Monday, 29 September 2008

Tower Ridge

Mark and I ventured out in the not so pleasent weather to do Tower Ridge today. Despite the wind, rain and Hail we had a good day. The ridge is an atmospheric place to be when it is in the clouds. There were two other groups we met at the summit who had both enjoyed the CMD Arete inspite of the weather.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Via Ferrata

I have just finished doing the Via Ferrata workshop organised by AMI. This 2 day workshop aimed to familiarise us with working groups and the problems that may arise on the these man made cousres.

The first day we went to a short Via Ferrata in Pielle. The instructors on the workshop wanted to look at the use of a rope with groups, their pros and cons, for the morning. This made for some interesting points of discussion. In the afternoon we ditched the rope. During this session we talked about group management and problem solving on steep group. An interesting day.

On the second day we did a mountain Via Ferrata in Tende. This was longer, more exposed, but not as technical as the previous day. We re-visited some of the things we had covered on the day before as well as looking at zipwire rescues. The weather closed in on us a little some we went into the village to debreif and have coffee.

Overall the weekend was worth while. I don't think I would say I learnt any new skills. This I think is a positive. All the technical skills we used I had already learnt on route gaining my UK qualifications. What I did learn was how they apply to this new arena, which was well worth seeing.


For the last to weeks i have been trying my luck at some alpine climbing. I was climbing with Ian Hay. We stated in Chamonix on the Chardonnet, we made an accent of the classic Forbes arete, it was  in superb condition. From the summit I got good look in to the Argentiere Basin, it looked good, lots of routes in good condition i.e. The Battembourg-Thivierge gully, The north face of the Droites looked climbable and the north face of the Aiguille d'Argentiere look very good to. We then headed over to Switzerland to try and find some better weather and some dry rock. We headed to the Stockhorn. The weather was looking good for a few days so we made the long walk (5 hours) up the beautiful valley to the Baltschieder hut, from here we climbed the south-east ridge of the Jagihorn. We had the mountain to our self's, it was a very good route on perfect rock well worth the walk. From here we made are way over to the stock horn bivi hut to climb the south ridge. This was the same quality as the Jagihorn. It was back to Chamonix of some sport climbing, we headed to La Malladiere and climbed Indiana Jones a brilliant 7 pitich route that stays dry in thunder storms!!! 

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Alpine Tien Shan

This is another trip for Adventure Peaks, this time I went to Kyrgyzstan to run an alpine Tien Shan course. The aim of the trip was to learn some alpine skills and try and climb a new peak. The team members were Kate, Claire, John, Adam, Andy, Joey, Rachel and Kevin. It was an adventure from the start, it took us a full two days by six wheel truck to get to our base camp. Which was up the kalio valley. From here we explored two valleys both were a good 6 hours walk to the glaciers. After a rest day and sampling the local vodka we headed up a valley east of our BC with enough food for 5 days. On our first day we split in to 2 teams one managed to climb one of the many unclimbed peaks (4758), The other climbed a new route to the summit of pt. 4852. The next couple of days we spent on the glacier looking at glacier travel and rescue.
The last day we tried another peak but were forced to turn back because of weather and difficulties. So we packed up and headed back to BC in the rain to begin our journey home. A truly wild experience!!!