Jan 2, 2017

Midi Sonne - Close call on Midi Sud

Midi Sonne - Close Call

Anna enjoying some good crack climbing on "Yá Pas du feu du lac"

  As a slow but still great start of the new year, 2017, we decided to take a tour up to Aiguille du Midi and crack up a route on its south face.
Conditions was perfect and the amount of people few, as very few. 
We was the only team that aimed for any rock climbing, a few teams on Arete des Cosmiques, is there a day with no parties on that?
the Classic Approach

  Since we took a slow start and the last cabin down is somewhat early we aimed for a easier and shorter route. The choice landed on ”Midi Sonne”. A 6a route with some 5-6 pithes. A route that we would avoid during the warmer summer months but at this time of year, no other climbers and cold conditions, it should be safe enough.
The approach down the arete to the glacier went smooth and quick, so did the final part up the snow slopes up to the bace of the route. Which starts far left (west) on Midi´s south face.
With a super solid rimeye the start was easy and forward, I quickly racked up and headed up the first 10mts before I changed to my 5-10 slippers, putting my boots in my back pack, and lead off the last bit up to the first belay of the day. 
All the time it was a bit of fussy drizzling of ice and small stones down the face and in the couloir, but nothing bigger.
Climbing inwards...or...outwards. A pitch that no longer exists.

  Anna followed in a good mood and soon we found both of us hanging at the belay in a pair of shiny bolts.
After a bit of messing around with ropes and equipment Itook of for pitch two, which was mostly obvious. 
With only the premier part after the belay somewhat difficult the rest flower on pretty easy, but Anna is suddenly claiming her exposed situation and ”it doesn’t feel good here, a lot of things falling of below” 
Since we are both of us quite experienced and has done a bit of climbing in alpine terrain and had our misshappenings together I stop and are prepared to take up the conversation. Regarding what we should do!?
But at the same time something happens, the whole wall below us is hanging in the air…and then it just goes. A couple of tons just vanish below us, some 2 meters below the last belay. And I am just waiting on what will happen next…
After a couple of seconds, feeling like minutes or hundreds of a second, I am chasing my self up to a bely out on the right, which should be safer terrain. And as quick as possible secure Anna up to me. But are we safe? Will a bigger piece above us come off, will the whole thing collapse??
With no better option, the only way is up. Like up as quick as possible...with out considering to much if we stayed on the right route or not, just up! Ending up us climbing a bunch of routes, "Jet Sept", a bit on Y´a Pas du feu du lac"...

Major blocks of rock below us, pitch one os nowadays found at the glacier!

  A bunch of rope lengths later I top out at the Midi summit. 
After taking in consideration if a short traverse out to the bridge with the power cables would be an option, not!

Anna on the summit pitch...safe!

A short rappel down from the ridge and we appear down at the point of view, frenetically applauded by all the other tourists, and we can sort our gear out surrounded like rock stars…life is great! 

Applause please!

And, with the high pressure infront of us, we will have time to climb all of the routes on Midi South Face, the ones that still remain that is!!

//Freek - your dreams will be here tomorrow…but you may not!

Midi Sonne is the line orange
Stay Away!

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