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powdherb

[TR] Aiguille du Midi / Aiguille Verte - Contamine, Arête du Moine 9/10/2012

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Trip: Aiguille du Midi / Aiguille Verte - Contamine, Arête du Moine

 

Date: 9/10/2012

 

Trip Report:

In order to maximize my remaining leisure time, I've been spending long weekends in Cham with my lawyer and personal trainier, Mr. Grant, who has recently become a father.

 

Our warm-up day started with a fun afternoon romp on the Voie Contamine, a fantastic 6-pitcher up the S. Face of the Aiguille du Midi. The line is accessed by rapping down from the summit of the telecabine and contains splitter finger cracks of golden alpine granite.

 

 

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Voie contamine

 

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Tom coming up a nice corner.

 

 

The next day we scrapped our plans to go up the Grands Montets ridge and down the Moine ridge on the Aiguille Verte and opted for a simple up-down the Moine ridge. This ridge is accessed from a nice stroll up the Mer de Glace and several hours of laddering around. Anticipating long and arduous conditions due to recent snowfall, we spent the night at the Courvecle hut which was the destination of some previous winter exploits.

 

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Our residence for two nights.

 

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The N. Face of the Grandes Jorasses from the refuge.

 

 

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The Talefre basin has undergone rapid change in the last few decades. You can tell from the these two comparative photos. The basin is SW facing and has been completely transformed from increasing temperatures.

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Talefre basin the 30s

 

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Old courvecle hut, where we spent a few days skiing last winter.

 

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We got a 3 am wake-up call after spending the night in the crowded refuge where I was (for a change) trampled upon and nearly urinated on. Starting up the ridge.

 

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The route follows the ridge on the left. The descent was made by the famous Whymper couloir, the prominent couloir that descends right of the summit. After we decided reversing the route would be time consuming and horrendously tiring, 17 rappels got us to the glacier floor. Thankfully, cool temps prevented any rockfall down the couloir, which we started down around noon.

 

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The route was never really hard, but long, complicated, and loose. Here's Tom on some snowy slabs a few hundred meters below the top.

 

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The finish involved some easy mixed climbing and a silly squeeze chimney.

 

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The summit of the Verte is an amazing place. I'm glad I can now call myself a vrai alpiniste.

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Fantastic...now I can stop agonizing over where I would go if I won the lottery.

 

 

And what's the big peak on the right side of the last photo?

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Great photos. Climbed there 25 yrs ago, haven't been back, but those photos make one want to visit again. Have to ask - what are you shooting with. Thanks for posting.

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Thanks for the positive comments guys.

 

Jim, I'm shooting with a Sony Nex-5n, which I just got. It's an amazing compact camera with a slr-size sensor and interchangeable lenses.

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Fantastic...now I can stop agonizing over where I would go if I won the lottery.

 

 

And what's the big peak on the right side of the last photo?

 

That would be Mont Blanc.

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DSC02359.jpg

 

Once of the BEST places in all of Cham I think!!

 

This photo is hiking from the Courvecle hut over to the Leschaux hut. Directly under the pointed peak you can see the new and old huts!

 

Phenomenal photos which bring back so many great memories. Thanks.

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And what's the big peak on the right side of the last photo?

 

That would be Mont Blanc.

Thanks....kinda figured as much

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