Rebuffat Gully, Tour Ronde.

Grande Pilier d'Angle

Grande Pilier d’Angle with the breva spur infront. The view from the Forche bivouac!

Finally some stable weather and a route in the mountains! What a fun little route too. I can’t believe this little gem has evaded my sights before now.  This inconspicuous gully on the north face of the Tour Ronde (but not the actually Tour Ronde North Face if you get me) is only properly visible from the approach to the Fourche hut and would normally be considered a winter/spring route.  Being as this summer hasn’t been very summery up until now, there has been a lot of good ice forming on the north faces up high. Continue reading

Tour Ronde South Face

I woke with a start and checked my phone which told me it was 0742. I was supposed to be at the entrance to the Mont Blanc tunnel at 0745.  I thought I’d lost out on a good day and I was angry with myself for sleeping past my alarm.  I jumped out of bed and started to get ready even though I knew it was too late to get a ride through the tunnel I was still keen to get out and have a good day in the mountains.  I calculated in my head wondering if I took the Aiguille du Midi lift up if I would be able to meet up with my friends on the other side of the Vallee Blanche before they dropped into the south face of the Tour Ronde.  Luckily my house mate Ally Hurst was going to the midi to traverse to the Italian side to ski with Ally Fulton and Andy Dines.  I joined up with them and we headed up to the Mothership. On the way over I manged to convince them that the Tour Ronde south face would be the place to go and manged to (hopefully not too selfishly!) steer the group to my preferred objective. Everyone was psyched with the day despite the dangerous and generally awful exit of the glacier that they would have avoided had they stuck to their main objective.  It was still an awesome ski by all accounts and a simple well rounded day out…. Start in France, traverse to the Italian side via the Vallee Blanche, climb the Normal route on the Tour Ronde and ski 3000 odd meters to the valley floor. Simples….

The last few weeks.

Betty the Berlingo and the Verdon Gorge. Can’t think of a better way to spend the weekend. Photo Davide De Masi.

Despite working full time at the moment (well four days a week but still, ugh), I’ve still managed to get out and about climbing some of chamonix’s premier slitter and pocket pulling in the Verdon gorge.   The summer is in full swing now and its hot hot hot!  Good for climbing granite in the mountains but not so conducive for southern french limestone adventure sport which is where this tale begins….. Continue reading