Jul 3, 2016

Voie Versant Satanique - Bassin d´Argentiere

  This year has turned a lot of things around

Weather wise it has been everything than normal. With a late arrival of the winter which was accompanied with a late departure of the same.
Which of course then made everything move forward, as le printemps and summer.
And to make things even more unstable my Ford decided to break down totally. And that was after I had it funky served with new breaks, kit du distrubition and clutch. Then the whole gear box breaks down, tres merde bordel!
And then the whole plan and its ideas goes into nothing and its only to focus ob getting new parts and someplace to repair the yankee.

Gatering at Grands Montets

  But everything bad has some positive vibes. The Houte Savoie area is fairly easy to hitch hike, not on sundays though! And it has turned out to a most perfect école de langue. 
And the train service is, I must say, very good. I only wish that the Saint Gervais Maire, Monsieur Jean-Marc Peillex, finally some day could step out and realize that there is an ongoing climate change. And maybe listen to the idea of having a couple of more frequent trains scheduled between Saint Gervais les Bains - Chamonix - Vallorcine. 
If someone just could convince him that; 
-No, people will not leave the l´Arve valley in huge masses for Chamonix if they can escape with the train. Which in fact!!! is one of his reasons not to try to get more trains running that section... oh la la.

Spring skiing at Grands Montets, pas mal.

  Voie du Toits 

Crack climbing at "Voie des Toits" 6c
A couple of sunny days, after numerous days with a whole bunch of unstable weather including heavy snow falls.
The metro shows sun and it means jam gloves on.
We pack the gear heading for Grands Montes  and refuge d´Argentière. Convinced by the last days snowing and the late spring, we decide to take skis for the approach, turns out to be a hit in the bulls eye. A great spring snow skin from the very top of Montets, all by our self in the whole cabin,, having the whole mountain for our selfs with only a few old ski tracks. We are at the base of day 1st goal after a little more then 1 hour. Cool! 

Anna follows on "Voie des Toits" 6c
We have our plans set for Aiguille du Jardin and "Voie des Toits". A six pitch route mac 6c, first put up by G Bettembourg in 1979.
A 250m climb mostly on good granit, following cracks over a couple of ...interesting roofs sections.
Good belays all the way and easy to rappel off.

After a day of good climbing we still have a couple of nice turns to look forward to down to the refuge and a good espresso overlooking the surrounding mountains, Verte, Droites, les Courtes....
Finishing the day with a carafe of wine accompanied by a good meal served by Fred and Bea, at Refuge d´Argentiere.

Crux pitch at "Voie des Toits" 6c - photo A Backlund 

Briljant place for an after climb, at refuge d´Argentiere.

les Bellevues, Argentiere bassin

Day 2 - Versant Satanique

It is hard to choose between all the good routes in this bassin, but if you haven climbed "Versant Satanique" the choice is easy still. It is a must do.
After letting the other teams move out at 03.00 we have a late breakfast and leave after 08, with a belly full of very petit déjeuner. 

Approaching Minarets and Versant Satanique
  The 1h approach
is done on perfect hard snow direct from the hut.
Once again it turns out to be a perfect time of, maybe not year but section of time, in mountaineering timing is A & O as well as a heavy back pack is full of agony.
The start of the climb is super easy to find. Because you can start everywhere!
And of course I start, in good maner, a the wrong place. Ending up below a most tuff looking hard to protect arête.

Versant Satanique - photo Anna Backlund

6c crux pitch on Satanique - photo A Backlund

  Well, shame on the one who gives up, on y va!

A big fight and I reach the belay and some more cussin brings me to the next one...easy as that.
And finally we are at the Satanique original. Which doesn´t bring any shame on us.
Brilliant climbing on brilliant granit with brilliant cracks, BRILLIANT!

The crux 6c pitch has some unforgettable jamming, steep hand and fist cracks. And the last pitch don't pass me untouched.

Voie des Toits - 250m, 6 pitches, max 6c.
2x50m rope
2 set of Aliens Green-Red
2 set of BD c4 0,75-4.0
1 small set of nuts

Versant Satanique - 300m, 7 pitches, max 6c.
2x50m rope
2 set of Aliens Green-Red
2 set of BD c4 0,75-4.0
1 small set of nuts

Obs, its a new top out : Mont-Blanc GRANITE, Damilano, Désécures, Laurent
Can be bought at the refuge, same price as in any shop in Chamonix.

Email refuge fredzio@orange.fr
Phone 0033 450 531 692

/a back pack full of equipment is a soul full of agony

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