On August 18, 2013 by Tim Neill

After climbing with Keith and Cal I was back guiding for Alpine Guides ( ), looking after Phil and Ben for 5 days of techy alpine climbing. The great forecast continued and allowed us a busy little trip.

We warmed up in the Aig Rouge climbing the classic Chapelle de Gliere. With a bit of rock mileage we were set next day for an ascent of the Aig du Peigne with a mix of the Voie Normale and the Lepiney route on the upper SW ridge to the very sharp and spectacular summit. I’d always hoped to stand on this top as we used to climb a lot on this peak when we first visited Chamonix, but it’s a long way from the top of its great little rock climbs to the summit proper….

We abseiled and scrambled down to stay in the comfy and welcoming hut at the Plan de l’Aiguille for a prompt start next morning. A really lovely place, great cuisine and a menagerie of pets including a couple of Donkeys!

Next day we romped up the popular Chere Couloir on Mt Blanc du Tacul on squeaky ice. Ben’s first time ice climbing….his calf muscles got a good seeing to. Good effort.

Through to Italy on Thursday had us clinging along the traverse of the Aig Entreves and a picnic lunch on top of the Aig Toule after linking its still shady little snow face. This quite little summit enjoys an amazing vista of the south side of Monte Bianco and Combe Maudit. Our evening in the Torino hut couldn’t have been more different from the previous hut night….wire bunk beds, plastic bag rustlers, cafeteria queing, but at least nice coffee.

We took an early start and enjoyed an ascent of the Dent du Geant to ourselves. Spectacular climbing aided by enormous ships ropes to one of the sharpest summits around. We by passed the hordes now arriving and enjoyed a mellow scramble back down to the glacier and strolled content back home, wrapping our 5 different days up with coffee and paninis down in la Palud.

One Response to “Contrasts”

  • Hey there Tim,

    A lovely account of our mellow week up above Chamonix. Great pictures too, make it look and sound like a cruise. Honestly, when we had to turn up the Turbos, it wasn’t quite as smooth on my end of the rope – fighting up the fixed ropes on the Geant was just brilliant! Love it!

    Take care mate,
    Hope to see you around,

Leave a Reply