After whats has proved to be a pretty poor summer season for weather so far it was bloody lovely to head up to the Envers Des Aiguille hut for some fun in the sun.
The Envers is one of those really special places with awesome climbing, stunning views, a friendly (and importantly not to big) refuge. The idyllic surroundings are enhanced by water tinkling over smooth slabs, alpine flowers and dramatic granite pillars. It is one of my “Happy Places” and I’ve always felt at home there, which is why I make a point of going up there at least once a summer when I’m here (read about my last trip up there in 2012)
Myself and Ross headed up from first train with a big rack and an open mind ready to sample some of the brilliant quality climbing the area has to offer. We discussed tactics on what kind of routes we wanted to do and settled on two “shorter” routes (although still a few hundred meters!) to make the most out of the time we had. We walked straight to 1er pointe des nantillions which is home to some magnificent routes around the 6a/6a+ mark. We ended up climbing the Uber classic Beinvenue au Georges V which Ross remembered he actually climbed before when we were on pitch 4. We’ll let him off though as it was probably about 20 year ago when he was in his mid 20’s :-). The climbing is fun and never to hard although the slabs are the hardest part so be prepared for that if you go up to do it! The belays are comfortable and the in-situ protection and belays are good. Here’s some Shots of the climbing (click one to see in gallery for full effect!):
After a pretty good nights sleep in the hut we woke up with out sights set on the Pyramid on the Pyramid Pillar. Given ED, 6a+ obligatory we knew we’d be able to get up the thing but we had the added challenge and option of harder climbing. The second pitch gets 7a and despite my best intentions to free it I pretty soon found myself “french freeing” (pulling on bolts) past the crux section. I wasn’t that psyched to be taking whippers before 8am…. that’s not very civilized! The climbing was awesome and the rock was immaculate with some of the best granite climbing I have done in a long while. Defiantly one to look at if your heading up that way. Here’s some shots from that day:
Hopefully this good weather stick around for a while so we can get some more alpine action in! Ciao for now!