With the end of another action packed week in Cham I’m feeling pretty worked out but also pretty happy with packing so much in. 2 Sport climbing sessions, 2 bouldering sessions, 2 runs up to the Mid station of the Aiguille Du Midi, 1 Mont Blanc “rep” from 2nd Bin at the Midi over the three monts route (in 2h40mins to the summit) and a 550m E2 granite rock route in the Envers Des Aiguilles. Oh yer and 4 days work at Mountain Dropoffs. All in a 7 day period.
Heres some pictures and blurb about Children of the Moon Integrale, a stunning 18 pitch 6a+ in the Envers Des Aiguilles.
Thusrday the 28th of june saw myself and gav walking up through the baking, muggy heat to Envers Des Aiguilles Refuge which is some 2 1/2 hours trek up from the Montenvers railway. This hut is in a stunning situation and gives access to some superb quality rock climbs in a friendly yet wild alpine setting. I would highly recommend this as a first hut stay if your a young alpinist coming out for a summer season. If your under 25 and a BMC or Alpine Club Member and plan on binging your own food up with you then the Hut costs a mere €6 Not bad aye? And on the plus side the Gaurdiens are very friendly and speak good English and the hut is rarely super busy either. Most of the routes on the Aiguille Du Roc are no more than 30mins away from the hut and all have a very big feel about then so are a great place to get “big face” experience. If you pick your route wisely then you’ll be able to abseil back down on 45m spaced bolt belays to be back in the hut for dinner time or you can carry on over the Grepon for a massive day. Am I selling it to you yet?
We had our sights set on the classic and highly acclaimed Children of the moon Integrale. With the hardest pitch coming in at French 6b and the easiest (real) pitch being 5b with almost all of the pitches being 6a. It was certainly sustained and varried from perfect splitter cracks to tenuois technical slabs (of the Michel Piola variety, see my write up about Fidel Fiasco for why slabs are always harder than cracks if Mr Piola is involved ;-)).
We made a early-ish start (5.30am) from the hut and made about the 20min hike up to the base of the route. After locating the start Gav thought that he’d lob his chalk bag back down where we’d come from leaving us with one. Woops. the first couple of pitches are straight forward and lead you to the base of a 60m high “pillar” where the 6a pitches start…..
From the midway ledge where Children of the Moon finishes and the Integrale begins the climbing changes to more crack and slightly less slab and the rock is superb.
The descent back down the route went well and we mae it back to the hut for 6.30. The smell of Tartiflette in the oven did little to inspire me to begin the long slog back to town but with work looming the next day there was only one thing for it. Suffer out the knee jarring 4 hour descent back to the Cham was a hard end to a full on week but the Burger and Beer afterwards was very good!
Topo description for the route here.
Check out Charlies recent trip report to the Envers here.