Yesterday (9/8/11) me and Wee Ally Swinton headed up to the Aiguille du Midi for some mixed climbing. We were feeling pretty lazy and couldn’t really be bothered to walk anywhere, so we abbed of the bridge to climb a route the has coined the name “The S**t Route.” The route follows a ice line which finishes at the end of the Arete des Cosmiques after 4 pitches of grade 4. We started up it and were pleasantly surprised to find good ice for the first two pitches, then it turned to s**t. Literally. Unfourtunaly this route is feed by the toilet above. Not very nice and I don’t have anything else to say on the matter. Here’s a video of Colin Haley climbing it in the winter made by my mate Bjarne Shalen of Endless Flow . Click here for the video.
Today I headed up for the Frendo Spur. I have always wanted to do this route but I never got round to it. Findings partners can be hard sometimes but thats not the reason that I soloed it. I have been wanting to solo a long alpine route for some time now and it was great to get the chance!
I missed the first bin (story of my life it seems) but managed to get the second. I got to the start of the route at 7.35am. I felt really good on the route. Some of the rock is a bit bad in places but on the whole it hold quite lots of interest. I had a few route finding issues along the way but luckily didn’t lose to much time over the whole route. The crux went well and just after I met Ally, Colin and Will who had bivied at the mid station the night before. We had a quick chat and I carried on. I found one more hard pitch after the crux which probably wasn’t on the route and required a few moments of deep concentration. With the rock out the way I put my ‘poons on and started up the snow arete. I really enjoyed this part of the route. Lots of exposure. With one more pitch of ice to climb I was nearly there. First time sticks in perfect Neve saw me up the 80 degree ice to the ridge. I got to the ridge at 10am with the total time on the route being 2hours 25mins. Unfortunately I didn’t get any good photo’s but check out my mate Greg Boswells Blog for some picy’s and his account of when he did it last week.
It was really fun for me do this route in the way I did and Im looking forward to doing another alpine solo soon…Until next time folks.