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[TR] Argentiere/Chamonix - 4 routes, 6 days 4/3/20

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Trip: Argentiere/Chamonix - 4 routes, 6 days


Date: 4/3/2008


Trip Report:

Route 1: Col du Plan






looking up the Glacier de Lescheaux: IMG_2362.JPG


On the Mer de Glace:



Here's a picture I had to throw in. It was taken at 4:30 in the morning at a gas station en route to pick up Sky from the Geneva train station. Just a wee bit different than the kind of pre-dawn pit stops that we get here in washington (I still love Washington):




Route 2: Aiguille d'Argentiere


Last Friday, Sky, David, Drew and I set out to ski the Barbey Couloir off the Aig. d'Argentiere. We decided not to use any lifts, something almost sacrilegious in a place like Chamonix. It was a day of pure alpine bliss.


We had a beautiful, long (approx 10000') approach route. We took the Glacier du Milieu, the one second from the left, between the the rock arms



We had great weather and views:



We got to climb some rock:



And we had nice exposure:




Somewhere along the way the following was heard:


"that's not icy- that's f***ing ice. I'm heading over there...."


By the time we got to the top, 11 hours after we started,a storm had blown in and persuaded us to abandon skiing the Barbey. So in generally good snow we headed back down the way we came up.


Sky shows how to get it done:



Route 3: NE Face of the Courtes




On saturday the four of us set out for the refuge d'Argentiere. The forecast called for good morning weather on Sunday with storms approaching in the afternoon. We thought an early morning start from a refuge would be a good idea. On the way to the refuge we almost lost Sky when he got carried away by the good snow and skied into a crevasse:



Then I almost had to bail when my binding broke just before reaching the hut. Luckily for me Fred, the guardian of the hut, was super nice and let me take the fritschis from his skis and mount them onto my own. After that the good times rolled:






here's Dave trying not to fall off the mountain:



somewhere around here the following was heard: "I wouldn't mind having a second tool for this...."









Route 4: Couloir OUEST du Chardonnet



Having had a full four days, Sky and I were ready to have a rest day on Monday before hitting something moderate in the Aiguilles Rouges on Tuesday when we saw that the forecast called for good weather. So after bidding "au revoir" to Drew and Dave Monday morning, Sky and I left once more for the refuge d'Argentiere monday night.


With new supplies of course:



When the alarm went off at 4, I asked Sky whether he'd managed to sleep. He said he hadn't because he was too stoked. We'd had 4 inches of fresh snow that had fallen in warm temps, followed by clearing and cold. Perfect for where we were headed. "How about you," he asked. I said I hadn't slept much either because I was so friggin' scared. To which Sky replied: "we just interpret our biochemistry differently." As I wrapped my mind around that pearl we heading out the door in below freezing temps and clear skies.




Daybreak on the Verte:



Sky at the Col Adams Reiley:



About 250m from the summit we encountered what the guide book describes as a delicate traverse which leads to the summit couloir. The traverse was super exposed and on uncertain snow. Sky tried to put steps in but had difficulty establishing anything with confidence.




After about 10 minutes, I told Sky I didn't want to continue. He agreed. So we sat down for lunch and enjoyed the scenery before heading down.












The green dot is col Adams Reiley; the red dot was our high point:


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HOLY SHIT MAN! Nice work fellas - looks like you rocked some cool shit. BTW, how deep was that crack?

Edited by David_Coleman

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Que c'est beau!

'Faut que j'y aille uen saison bien proche.

Edited by jhamaker

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