Sunday, 24 July 2011

more bolt clipping

Today I met up with Phil and Paul at battleship on Portland, this was Paul's first trip to the sunny island of Portland so he was in for some fun. we arrived at the crag and jumped on some easy routes to warm up, "The Ghost of Saturday night" 5+ and "Never drive a car when your dead" 6a, both really good routes which are great for warming up, we then moved on down the crag to a 7a+ called "Humanoid". Phil had been working this the day before and wanted to go for his redpoint attempt, with some great climbing with a few dynamic moves he was happily clipping the lower off to get his tick. I then went on to onsight "Chappquiddick" a really nice 6b with some great climbing. Paul also managed to climb this on toprope ( Well done mate).
After this I decided to try "One for the gipper" 6c... I moved up the route with some pretty tough climbing, I was just below the lower off when my foot slipped causing me to blow the onsight attempt...(Gutted).
Paul had a little play on toprope before i decided to go for my second go at it, i moved up the route and found it a bit easier knowing where to find the holds and managed to get the tick... Overall i felt this to be harder than judge jeffreys..the 6c+ I onsighted last week.

We finished the day off with Paul leading a slabby 4+ with some nice climbing, Phil also met him at the top to go through the art of threading the bolts to strip the route...

Overall another good day at the crag, I'm pretty keen on this area at Portland so I'm probably gonna spend a few summer days down here trying to get that ultimate tick....

Phil on "humanoid" 7a+

Paul on "Chappaquiddick" 6b

Me on "One for the Gipper" 6c

Sunday, 17 July 2011

6c+ onsight

No Pictures to show for today's climbing but still a good day all in all, Myself and Phil headed over to Portland to battle the winds and rain and try and get some bolts clipped, we headed into the battleship area to realise that the routes were soaked and wind way to strong to do any climbing, So we decided to head over to cuttings to find some shelter and dry rock, we arrived at the new cuttings and the routes seemed fine, it was mad, we went from one side of Portland in goretex with wind and rain, to the other side with beautiful sunshine and shirts off... we warmed up on some easy routes before jumping on the technical 7a called "tipping the scales", Phil managed to get the tick but I was unable to link one move...gutted.
In the afternoon we headed back over to battleship to try and get on our intended routes, all the routes seemed to have dried out and apart from the wind the weather was fine, so I jumped straight on "Judge Jeffrey's". The climbing was amazing, a little pumpy but found a good rest half way up, after a few grunts and a long last bolt run out i clipped the bolts to get the 6c+ onsight...happy days.
Phil was up next, he decided to try "On the wall" a hard sustained 7a+, he work the route for a while on top rope before going for his redpoint, he moved up the route and clipped the top with no worries at all...well done mate.

Overall a good days climbing with some good ticks, I really enjoyed it at this area and cant wait to get back there to try lead "Trance Dancer"...

I dont have any pictures from today but heres one of my amazing lady during her dance show... Well done babe and congrats on a great show...

Sarah during her Dance performance at the Pavillion theatre Bournemouth

Thursday, 7 July 2011

poor weather and loose screws

Things havent seem to have gone to plan after our early success early on in the week on the forbes arete. Scott managed to roll his ankle on the walk out from the auguille de chardonnet causing him some greif, after close inspection and a visit to the chamonix nurse they have noticed that one of the screws in his ankle has started to work its way loose causing him some pain and serious problems for the future, he is now under strict conditions of no climbing for the remainder of the trip... This sort of leaves me at a bit of a loose end but being in chamonix I am sure there is something I can do.

Scotts ankle with the bottom right screw starting to work its way loose

Last night I headed down to the Le Col Des Montets for a chilled evening of bouldering with Kat and her freind Paulo Sutch, It was nice to meet Paulo has he was really nice person and also a very succsessful photographer working for the magazines Elle and Vouge,It was really nice to chat has we all had a go at a varied grade of routes, the routes here seemed pretty easy compared to the bouldering back home, I managed to onsight all the routes I tried other than one 6c called "la Saliiere" but I will try to get back over there before I head home and get the route ticked has We run out of light before I had chance to finish the last move.

Paulo on "La Fissure" 4c

Kat on "La Fissure" 4c

Kat on "La Fissure" 4c

Today I decided to head up to the Planpraz and walk the traverse to the Flegere station some way down the valley,I have wanted to do this for a while now has there are some great veiws up there of the Mont blanc range, The walk was really nice and fairly easy, I was thinking lots on how my little Alisha would love this walk, to be honest made me realise how much I was missing my little ones and Sarah. I must persuade Sarah to come out here some time soon so she can see how buetiful this place is. Anyway I eventually arrived at Flegere where I sat for a while sipping a large coffee looking up at the line of the Americain Direcct on the Dru, A route in which I really want to try and climb, Its pretty tough and committing but for some strange reason it really appeals to me, Hopefully one day I will get the chance to attempt to route.

Still  having no climbing Partner and the weather not the best I have decided to head up to the Plan de l'Aiguille and make the walk along the scenic route to the Montenvers where from here I should be able to get a better veiw of the Dru.
Only a couple of days left in Chamonix now so really looking forward to heading home to see my lovely Sarah and girls...

Mont Blanc with looming clouds

Mont Blanc

Paraglider flying over Chamonix

Paraglider with the grande Charmoz Le grepon behind

The Dru

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Forbes Arete

As acclimatisation peaks go this one certainly got the head banging, a truly amazing route with lots of exposure and fun climbing that never seemed to end.

We made our way up to the la tour Glacier mid morning on sunday with the idea of a bivy under the Aiguille du chardonnet before climbing the forbes arete monday and then back down in the valley for dinner... yeah right!
After a cold bivy and not much sleep we decided to go ahead with the climb, the first sections were basically a steady snow climb through very seraced terrain, this was tough due to the fact we were not acclimatised, once on the ridge itself is when things got good, the climbing was great, myself and scott took turns on the lead keeping paul in the centre of the rope as we moved across the ridge, the climbing wasnt to difficult other than a few thin ice traverses.
After around 10 hours from leaving the bivy we finally topped out on the summit 16:00, we were all pretty happy but also very tired, the ridge seemed allot longer than first anticipated. with bad weather knocking at the door we took a few summit shots before making our way down.
Weather hit us hard just has we were leaving the summit, with white out conditions and snowfall things didnt look too good, I lead on down from the summit crossing a few small cornices before finding the descent col, we started on down this moving together on the rope, things started to get a bit steep and unstable so we decided to start abseilling to lay things safe, dont want to go into it too much but after around 10 abseils, close encounters of rockfall and some pretty grim weather we finally made it down to the col, once here we tried to melt some water has we were all getting pretty dehydrated but due to the cold the jetboils failed us ,All feeling the strain we decided to push on down through some very unstable mountain terrain to try and make it back to the glacier before nightfall, we finally managed to make it down and get across the glacier to the albert premier hut around 23:30, all feeling pretty wrecked and done for we decided to take another bivy, Think i slept the best I have ever slept in the mountains so I must of been tired, we woke in the morning before heading back down the valley.

Overall all a very good route but due to weather made it pretty commiting, But great teamwork made a succseful climb, one more thing, want to mention how well paul done on the climb, he hasnt been climbing long now so he would have found this tough, he was really cool and confident and climbed very well, he also did amazing to finish the second half of the route with only one glove after making the error of dropping it down the face half way along the route.

Auguille de chardonnet with the forbes arete taking the ridgeline
 from left to right

Paul and scott on the approach

looking for a good bivy spot

relaxing in the sun at our bed for the night

Paul enjoying the joys of french veggie soup.

watching the sun set from the bivy always puts a smile on your face.

Paul on the snow slope approach to the ridge

Me leading across one of the snow/Ice traverses

paul on summit

Me on the summit with bad weather looming

scott on summit

me moving across the ridge

scott and paul on the ridge

Due to weather and bad conditions there wasnt many
photos of the descent other than this one of me on
one of the abseils.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Scott-why should I give a shit

After arriving at Scotts for 19:00 friday it wasnt long before the VW red was loaded up and ready to sail, after a long 15hrs of driving (Scott) while i slept we eventually arrived in chamonix, the weather looked nice and I was starting to get that tingly feeling of excitement. we arrived at our apartment before deciding to park the van in the underground carpark. now this is where it all went wrong, short ceilings, closing doors and a complete maze of diffrent tunnels turn this simple parking mission into a full on indianna jones moment. after around an hr of putting the pieces of puzzles together we finally managed to escape the nightmare and continue our holiday.

After heading down town for food and long discussions we have decidedtomorrow to head up the col du tour to the foot of the auguille de chardonnet for a bivy before attempting the forbes arete early monday...

Weather looks good so hopefully next post will be a succseful trip report....
Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are
naught without prudence, and that a momentary negliance may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; Look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end