Monday, 17 September 2018

Alpine Wanderings

The last couple of weeks I have been over in the Alps. I was due to work leading a Tour du Mont Blanc trek, unfortunately this was cancelled so I took the opportunity of being "on site" to have a spot of different fun. With my good friend Alex we had a grand tour, starting with the Ecrins Alps of southern France, before moving to Chamonix (briefly) and on to the Swiss Alps. We finished in one of our favourite Alpine areas, the Bregaglia (Bergell) Alps, right on the border of southern Switzerland and northern Italy. With it being late in the season, and thus snow/ice and glacial conditions likely to be poor, we decided to just concentrate on long rock routes. This turned out to be a good decision, and we climbed some fantastic routes, helped by the generally great weather. So, a fun time, but lovely to be back in the Scottish Highlands, where it is definitely starting to feel like Autumn. Looking forward to some hiking work starting tomorrow.

View of the Albina cirque, Bregaglia Alps
Punta d'Albigna
NW Ridge, Punta Albigna
Excellent climbing on the Via Meuli, Punta d'Albigna
Beautiful wee church in La Berarde, Ecrins
Alpine ridge scrambling
Standing on the tiny summit, Aiguille de Soreillier

Gorgeous granite climbing on the 12-pitch Palavar des Flots, Ailefroide, Ecrins

Descending from the Soreillier/Dibona cirque, Ecrins

The crux pitch of the South Ridge of Piz Balzet, Bregaglia. First ascent 1922, by local legend Walter Risch---solo!

Almost there.............

Crux pitch, Aiguille de Soreillier, easy but great climbing up cracked granite slabs

Dawn starts mean careful scrambling up verglassed (icy) granite slabs......

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