Sunday, 3 June 2007

Climbing the Aiguillette d'Argentiere

Click on any of the photos to bring up large ones.

The Aiguillette d'Argentiere.

Chris and I climbed the Aiguillette d'Argentiere today. Very cool. Decided to do something constructive with our Sunday. It's a pretty strenuous 1 ¼ hour hike to get there - especially carrying rope, harness, water, etc. There were the most amazing views of the valley on the way up and the weather held up well so we had sun and a few fluffy clouds all day.

Chris sitting on top of the Aiguillette.

We did a warm-up climb on one of the crags behind the Aiguillette then did a couple of pitches on the Aiguillette itself.

The first pitch Chris led, and the second I led. Wasn't easy I've got to say with an overhang and required some concentration at a few different stages. Managed to get over the overhang with a swift non-technical manouvre - hands together on a small 'jug' (a type of hold on the rock) then let my legs go hanging free mid-air and haul myself purely using arms over the lip onto a slab. Not really a smooth technique thing - a big grunt of effort and then lots of power. Happy with it though, got over it first time without falling! Was very pleased with the whole climb and even more pleased to lead it. Chris' lead today was it's usual graceful move up the rock and I felt pleased for once to feel like I held my own on the technical pitches and feel that I was also moving fluidly and smoothly. We're certainly working well as a team and really compliment each other well.

Move your mouse over the photo of the Aiguillette to see our two routes up.

Looking directly across the valley on the hike up. Argentiere on the valley floor with its glacier above it. Also visible is the Grands Montets on the right.

A very graceful, sure-footed ibex wandered around our bags on the rocks before disappearing off up a crag. In the background is Le Tour/Montroc and the Domaine du Balme ski area.

Here's the flickr photo set for the day.
Here's Chris's flickr photo set for the day.