Dec 7, 2019

Verdon - Lame Fatale

 Verdon, the classic Patrick Edlinger play ground
With its rock faces, low alpine surroundings, the deep canyon and scenic nature it´s just a big playground for a number of sports, climbing, hiking, canyoning, biking and not to forget Climbing & BASE jumping!!
It´s just one of these places I have to go to at least once a year!

Anna Backlund on a Verdon steep classic!

The approaches can be kept quite short, a 5 meter hike to the rappel point direct from the road. So in this case the combo with good French cuisine most be under good control if you don't want to gain to much waste pondus.
But, there are some exceptions, as always.
For me I have found some of the best routes starting from "Malines" driving the Rue du Crete anti clockwise from Palud sur Verdon village.
Still not a huge approach, but at least its a little warm up before the climbing starts. And once on the top of the route, your more or less at the car!
the habitats of Gorge du Verdon

Ackommodation in and around la Palud sur Verdon is very easy in many ways. During high season with warmer temperatures the camp sites are numerous and cheep.
There is also a few R B´n B´s but the old French version of the same, Gite du France, is really a good and well worth the money option.
In Palud there is one just opposite the church and close to everything in the center of the village.
la gorge - the Grand canyon of Verdon
Best season for climbing is, for me personally as a Scandinavian, spring or fall. Many times late november and early december is a good time with still stable weather and good friction. But, most of the time that means climbing on the south facing walls.
It can also mean a few days of rain or even snow!



One of my favorite routes are "Lame Fatale" 6c/7a, an 8 pitch route in the section of "Malines" (described above)
It has a few neighbors with really high quality as well, but the cool thing with Lame Fatale, as the name says, is the upper sections exposed climbing on these limestone type blades.
Topo, route most to the right
Take the ridge road from La Palud sur Verdon towards the chalet Maline (anti-clockwise on the map). Park at the first real car park on your left, carved in the rock, after a fairly sharp left turn.
From the car park, return to the beginning of the left turn. A cairn marks the entrance to the descent path, 45min/1h, with some sections of exposed down climbing to a fix rope at the bottom. Keep an eye open for the red dots!
At the foot of the cliffs, follow the foot of the wall for about 100 meters, pass under overhangs, until you see a large yellow pillar. A well marked path joins at the bottom of the route.

7 or 8 pitches, deepening on your belays, takes you back up to the road. Enjoy the second and the second last pitch specially!

Second pitch note; Technical crossing in slab.
Do not stop at the first belay. When it joins "Chan", continue to climb another 10 meters (short steep wall) to reach a belay (2 bolts) on a small terrace. Take care when belaying the second on this one.

The travers of pitch 2, Lame Fatale
Exit pitch on Lame Fatale

Equipment

50m rope
15 QD´s
Extra sling/biners for a few of the belays

We got a snowy situation

The forecast turned out to be just as right as we thought it would be!
Second last day was supposed to be filled with heavy rain and even snow. And yes, they was right!
But with the steep Verdon walls of the gorge, the climb could go on!

Tour du boulangerie 
la vue d´Early bird

Traversing the Gorge a la Slackline!


// Everydayadventure




Oct 24, 2019

French Direct - Alpamayo

Alpamayo - Cordillera Blanca

Once voted as the most beautiful mountain in the world by Alpinismus magazine in 1966.
Alpamayo is in the Huascarán National Park in the province of Huaylas, Peru and it rises to an elevation of 19,511 feet.
The closest bigger town is Huaraz, a very nice Peruvian town some 10hours from the capital of Lima

This has been one of the mountains to climb one day on my "must have to do list". I bought the topo over this area long time ago when I picked up my interest for mixed- and expedition climbing.
And after my previous trip to Argentina and Patagonien the Cordillera Blancas of Peru was the next on the list in this part of the world. 
So when I got the question of going there to guide it, well the answer was easy to make!

The journey

The flight over to Southamerica from Europe is not to bad, if you can find the direct flight from Spain. If you end up hip hopping between all the numbers of airports between Peru and Geneva, well then its an other more demanding and boring story!
Actually the best way to do this flight is to buy a one way ticket to Lima and then buy the retour direct in Peru when time is up to go back home. Its 1/2 price on the flight in Lima instead of buying an expensive ticket aller retour from Europe.
Monsieur Eduardo at Lima Taxi
Magnus getting acklimatisized 
Once at place we had an arrangement with a local Lima man who supported us to the busstation in Lima for a direct trip up to Huaraz. An eight hour trip on good roads with a great comfy bus. We took the night bus which meant that we didn’t miss any time really and the bed was included with the ”Bus & Bed” service.

At Huaraz we had found a great local place to stay at a private Gite, Zarela Zamora López, some 10min walk from the city center, away from the traffic and noise.
Ackommodation is good, breakfast is ok, but its possible to order extra ”supply” with great plates of fresh fruits and müslie. This we quickly finished and headed out for an afternoon acclimatization tour. 
Around Huaraz there is a number of high passes and beautiful places to hike and scramble up to, all around 4500 and up to +5000meters.
We made a couple of easier treks and scramble tours around the town, taking day trips from Casa Zarela. And enjoying the great number of restaurants in town in the evenings.
The great views seen from Huaraz
After a few days we headed for a 3 day trip to Pashpa and Ishinca.
This valley is surrounded by mountains with the highest one, Palcaraju 6274mts, clearly rising high above the Ishinca refuge.
As the first day of climbing we headed for the lower part and the south peak of Palcaraju Ouest, 6110mts
via the South West ridge.
Second day we therefore took an easier day climbing the Nevds Urus 5495mts, before heading back to Huaraz and a great meal at Creperie Patrick.
After a est day climbing some doubtful rock at los Olivos. But, for a couple of hours play its an ok, but not more, place to hang out. But, be prepared for a very warm session. There is also a lady with a small dog walking around claiming money for climbing there.
Palcaraju 6274mts
Refugio Ishinca

Mixed climbing up the Palcaraju South West ridge
Magnus just below the summit of Nevds Urus, 5495mts

French Direct

Finally we was ready to head for the main goal, Alpamayo was waiting with a nice sunny spell of good weather.
Conditions suposed to be good a and all things set for an interesting week to come.
The drive up to Cashapampa passed better then suspected on good roads and the hike up to BC is a nice trip by it self. We did it over a 2 day hike which made it most pleasant and enjoyable. Perfect time to listen on a bunch of down loaded pods in-between inhaling the nice views.
We also found out that we had gotten us the best cook in whole Peru, who continuously served us with great food. Almost so we didn’t want to leave BC!
When making the last plans we decided to make it as light and quick as possible to try to climb Alpamayo via the French Direct. A route that probably should have been named American Direct, since it was first climbed by two Americans. But with an tragic accident with two french climbers getting killed by a sera fall it was named French direct.

The French Direct follows a prominent snow and ice flute in the middle of Alpamayo's iconic southwest face via snow and ice runnels that ends abruptly at the airy summit ridge. Sometimes reaching the highpoint is too dangerous of a proposition, and plenty of climbers have called it good after reaching the summit ridge. People has even died falling through the corniced ridge. 
This year, 2019, the conditions turned out to be quite good.
We established our high camp at the line between the glacier and the moraine, usually called Moraine Camp at 4900mts. And then made plans to make an early start to go direct for the summit, without the Glacier Camp.
A plan which I think with light and right equipment is the best choice.

So with a 23:00 breakfast call we was ready to leave our home at 01:10
Moving over the glacier and up to the col was super fast in the frozen conditions to the col at 5400mts at 03:30
To our surprise we was still all alone, nobody camping up here and no one a the route, we had the whole mountain for our self!!
Approach for the Moraine and High Camp

The upper glacier was soon crossed with some painful tracking up the last bit to the start of the climb in deep fresh snow.
The bergschrund was easily passed with just a short vertical section and then the next part of hammering up the snow and ice formations could begin!
And since we didn’t have any other people around this passed easy as well and soon just after sunrise we stood at the summit col, just some 30meters away from the summit. Which turned out to be a most airy massage of very interesting climbing on refrozen, slightly overhanging snow.
Sending two happy lads on top with the most stunning views to been seen in the best ever weather to think of!
A dream for filled!
Moraine Camp views

Alpamayo - French Direct

Equipment
2x50m rope (topo says 2x60 but for me it worked out fine with 50m)
2-10 ice screws (depends on the conditions I guess, but I used only 2)
1-2 snow stakes

Altitudes


  • Cashapampa 2900 m.
  • Llamac 3800 m.
  • Camp de base 4300 m.
  • Camp moraine 4900 m, petit et pas d´eau.
  • Camp col 5400 - 5500 m sur glacier









//
Altitude5500 m / 5947 m
Dénivelé positif700 m
Dénivelé des difficultés550 m
Pente 90°
Un "petit" 6000 m raisonnable et une orientation W bien pratique pour ne pas prendre le soleil trop tôt. Petit dénivelé mais qui prend du temps : Suitth. vant les températures, faire attention à la dernière longueur en neige foireuse, ne pas arriver dans la chaleur.









Oct 13, 2019

la Chasse aux Trésors - Mont Oreb

 La Chasse aux trésors is an other great Piola route in the aiguille rouge massive.
It travels up some variated climbing cut in two different halves, 6 plus 6 pitches.
This route is to be find on Mont Oreb, 1h15min on the trail up vallon de Bérard from le Buet, Vallorcine.
Find the cairn at 1702m (46,01205N/6,88709E) and continue up right on the well marked path. This route starts quite far right on the falaise with the first bolt some 3-4m up on a broken slab.
The route Diamants de Sang is about 10m higher up to the left. to find Trésors just walk down passing ¨de Sang¨ towards a terasse of blocks

Approach up Vallon
This is a nice area with a couple of interesting routes which are getting more and more popular. But a good escape on warm days or when its to crowded in Chamonix
(Topo at the bottom of the page)
Mont Oreb
The first part
L1, 5b - a broken slab
L2, 5c - a slab and then a short diedre and a small roof
L3, 6a - Traversing leftwards
L4, 6b - the premier Piola slab, short crux section
L5, 6a+ - Some interesting slabs
L6, 4 - Pass 2 bolts and find a defuse trail rightwards

Walk up some steep grassy and rocky section more or less straight up to the base of a small diedre.
More to the left there is an other route with a lunule.
The belay is visible some 30m above

Second Part
L7, 6c - Start up a short slab aiming for a tricky looking diedre, which are protected with 3 bolts
L8, 6b+ - Traverse right over a couloir to a slab. A small roof up to the belay
L9, 6a+ - a nice crack section white looking rock to the left, 45m
L10, 6b+ - an engaging diedre on soli rock with a spectacular traverse out left to a pillar
L11, 6b+ - Continue up the red pillar, short crux at the top section, 45m
If rappelling stop here, if walking down its an other pitch of 5b with 5 bolts


Descent
Makes more or less the same way down, following the same sentier between the two sections, possible to make the rappels in 4 plus 3 rappels, the last is +50m
Take care of left equipment if there are Chamois around!

Equipment

2x50m ropes, if rappelling back down
a couple of friends C4 size #0.3-#2
8 QD´s plus some free biners for belay

Sep 30, 2019

Moby Dick - Aig de Mesure

Aig de Mesure to the left

Want to get away from the crowds and looking for a nice steep route on solid Gneiss, here is one:
Moby Dick on Aiguille de Mesure!
Put up 2002 by mr Piola, with friends, its again a solid Piola route. But this one is well bolted with not to many run outs. Even on the easier pitches


Approche

After col des Montets continue towards le Buet. Just before the village there are a few parking spots on the right.
Take the first left (horizontal forest road that goes to the waterfall in Bérard), or park in the parking lot opposite (S 1365 m). Take this road for about 500 m. Then take a narrow path to the left (indicated Praz Torrent unfortunately invisible from the road).
This path leads to the head of Praz Torrent (point 1803 m). Continue towards the homonymous needles, then before the path really straighten (cairn next to a very large block), leave it to engage left in the Combe de l'Encrenaz towards the pass of the same name. Climb it back to the best (cairns and chamois). Pass near a bivouac then a large fractured block characteristic. Cross then the scree to join the opposite wall

Time 2h

The start is located roughly in line with the spilling area with roofs in a pretty colored wall.
The original departure is the one on the left. A few meters to the right is a variant for L1 / L2


Grading
The original quotations are 6a +, 6b +, 6b +, 6c, 6c +, 7b, 6c +, 6a, 6c +

Materiel
2x50m rope
11 QD´s
Crampons might be good in the early summer






Summet!
Take care on the rappels, some are quite airy...
//