Chamonix climbing with Arnaldo Rocha • June 23 - 28, 2018

Arnaldo Rocha of Brazil, managed to combine a bit of alpine climbing with a recent business trip. He joined Mark for 6 days of generally great weather but frustrating infrastructure issues.

To begin, the Aiguille du Midi cable car was out of commission while they replaced the cables. And for the first 2 days of our time together the Mont Blanc Tunnel was also closed (repaving some 555 meters of road surface.

But we did find some good things to do.

Other Trips with Arnaldo

Alps ice climbing, February 2012
Peru, May and June 2012

Return to all recent trips

We started with a the classic Petite Aiguille Verte loop. A bit of steep snow and ice going up on the left and rock ridge climbing on the descent.


Climbing up on the ice of the Petite Verte.


Arnaldo looking good....


... and on the summit.


On our second day, the weather was a bit "variable". We headed up into the Aiguilles Rouges to the traverse of the Aiguilles Crochues.


Arnaldo on one of the many short pitches of the Crochues.


Another summit photo,


On the descent, almost down to Lac Blanc.


Down at Lac Blanc.


Helmet off in preparation for a swim?


On day three, the Mont Blanc Tunnel opened again. So we are off to Italy, up the Skyway lift, and heading to Traverse the Aiguilles Marbrees.


At the top of the crux slab on the east ridge of the Aiguilles Marbrées.


A bit of snow on the Marbrées east ridge.


The final 4 meters of the Marbrées.


The descent of the South Ridge.


Our plan for day 4 was the Tour Ronde North Face. With an amazingly early start we were first on the route in the dark.


The Tour Ronde (photo taken later on the same day).

We climbed one 50 meter pitch above the bergschrund. Aching calves, however suggested that another 9 pitches of steep snow and ice was not a good idea. So we down climbed.


And continued over to the North Ridge of the Petit Flambeau. Here, Arnaldo negotiates the rocks at the start of the route. The sun has yet to come up!


And finally....


Higher on the Petit Flambeau.


Up the long snow arete near the summit.


And on the summit of the Petit Flambeau.


We descended to Chamonix very much needing a shower and a good night's sleep.


On day 5, our second to last, we made the big trek across the Vallée Blanche to the Cosmiques hut. Our plan was the Chèré Couloir, rather hidden on the right edge of the Triangle.


Just to add a bit more interest, we climbed the Arête Laurence as our route to the hut.

The beautiful sunset from the Cosmiques hut.


Unfortunately, the Chèré was not to be. Far too many other climbers were ahead of us, and the ice they would inevitably knock down would not be soft. So we contented ourselves with climbing some of the fine mixed terrain on the north side of the Points Lachenal.


After a few pitches on the steep snow, we arrive on the rounded summit.


Looking back at the Points Lachenal.


And now the long walk back to Point Helbronner. A rather full week. Thanks Arnaldo.