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skykilo

[TR] Chamonix-Aiguilles Rouges - Aiguille du Pouce, Voie Des Dalles 9/22/2009

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Trip: Chamonix-Aiguilles Rouges - Aiguille du Pouce, Voie Des Dalles

 

Date: 9/22/2009

 

Trip Report:

Cecile and I began our Chamonix sojourn with a bit of an epic. I usually do all my glacier travel in ski boots, so I had to buy some boots. I got some La Sportivas at Snell and we organized our affairs and it was already about 10 am. What to do?

 

I thought the Arete des Cosmiques would be a good warmup. So we hopped on the telefreak and took a glacier walk. The scenery can't be beat.

02adcsm.jpg

 

There were two Brits climbing the route, too. We were cutting it a bit close to catch the derniere benne, given that we hadn't started climbing until about noon. But hey, that's why they call it the Aiguille du Midi, n'est-ce pas?

 

Some people never learn. I didn't take a topo or pay much attention. We followed the Brits and what looked like the easiest way and ended up in a horrendous shit couloir on the south side of the arete. They were having trouble so they let us pass.

 

I climbed something that felt like real climbing - very fun - on the left of the couloir. Then I managed to find a belay in the midst of all the choss. One more pitch! What looked like a good pitch was a world of absolute shit rock. I was afraid of killing Cecile and the Brits. Finally, I found an exit on the right. There was a good, vertical corner with cracks. It was a little difficult in boots with some ice in the crack, but I thrutched up it well enough. Freedom!

 

I belayed Cecile to me. Then one of the Brits asked her to leave them our rope. Cecile continued to the station while I belayed the first Brit. Minutes later, it's snowing pretty good, I'm shivering, Cecile's yelling at me from above to hurry up there and catch the last benne, while I'm keeping one of the Brits tight on belay; he tells me he's stuck and can't climb because his hands are frozen.

 

Make a long story short, we spent the night atop the AdM. But we were set for acclimation!

 

We decided to do some test runs in the Aiguilles Rouges. Flegere closed for the season, so we actually hiked from La Joux, a small village near Argentiere.

 

Aiguille de l'Index

05adlism.jpg

 

The views of Chamonix and the Massif are quite nice. And if the telesiege is open, it's all of a 5 minute approach. But we had the whole area to ourselves.

06adlism.jpg

 

We spent the night below the Aiguille de l'Index to do another Rebuffat classic the next day:

Aiguille du Pouce, Voie Des Dalles

07vddsm.jpg

 

Again, we had the place to ourselves. Except for one of these guys:

08vddsm.jpg

I think he's saying, "Your partner's a fucking idiot and he's going to drag you off route onto some 5.hard R slab climbing"

Well it is the Voie Des Dalles, isn't it?

 

We eventually found the magnificent crack system to get us through the slabs.

09vddsm.jpg

 

We had lunch on a cozy block with views.

10vddsm.jpg

 

That's right, Ivan, it was magnifique, formidable, impressionant!

11vddsm.jpg

 

The descent was stimulating but not too difficult.

12vddsm.jpg

 

 

 

Gear Notes:

Route-finding goggles.

 

Approach Notes:

Telesiege de l'Index ou de la Randonnee.

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You certainly didn't waste your time. Way to get out there! Soon it'll be time to get the skis on, and I'll be the brit saying I can't go any further. LOL.

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