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Fairly Long, Moderately Hard and Mostly Free (Read 110013 times)

jwi

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looking good! What makes PdL particularly useful is that, aside from impeccable route choice, the topos and route descriptions are very good – correct and giving good indication what the actual difficulty is of freeing the route. So I was dismayed that topos wasn't included in this book. Hopefully the online topos / route descriptions that can be accessed through panico verlag's web are good.

SA Chris

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http://www.climbing.co.za/2018/08/slanghoek-amphitheater/

looks nice. So many choices in SA, but almost everyone just goes to Rocklands and boulders...

Ged

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I thought the multi pitch climbing in sa was second to none. It combined the proper adventure trad feel that I've only really felt on sea cliffs in this country, with the stunning Rock of the US. I climbed on blouberg and yellowwood amphitheatre, both of which require a fair bit of local knowledge to get to, but would recommend them to anyone.


SA Chris

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Glad you enjoyed it Ged. I did say "almost" everyone.

There is some great multipitch stuff elsewhere in the Cedarberg, as well as  http://www.climbing.co.za/wiki/Klein_Winterhoek

duncan

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Marcel Dettling and his family have climbed a ten pitch new route Adam and Evi 7a+ (6b+ obl.) in the Freakonomics - Deep Blue Sea area of the Eiger Geneva Pillar. Looks very good. Copious beta and a topo on his blog.


Photo topo: Marcel Dettling

Worth noting the hanging glacier above the west flank approach and descent.

ghisino

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My friend Lionel Catsoyannis recently finished bolting a new multipitch route in Verdon (left side) called Burne Out ("burne" means testicle in french). 7a+/b max, 6b+ mandatory.

as most Lionel's bolted routes it is very well bolted and the grades are not typical verdon old school sandbags - more in line with recent sport crags in south-east france. Yet i strongly suggest that you don't consider the route if you are at your absolute limit on these grades: the last pitch is both the hardest and the less aidable, and retreating from there would be quite an epic.

A very enjoyable outing in summer or any dry&warm period, featuring a spectacular yet relatively easy 30 meters roof pitch, and more conventional climbing. I think it may be the perfect "easy day out" if you are ticking 8's in la ramirole (not far away).
Do not climb the roof if wet, it may be fragile and dangerous in those conditions. you can scramble directly from the first belay station to the one after the roof (easy but unprotected)

There's a many pics and a topo on my blog, i can translate detailed approach instructions if anyone is interested. https://ggrimpe.com/burne-out/

https://goo.gl/maps/z29mJgo2AGu




« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 12:07:10 pm by ghisino »

jwi

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Looks well cool, and Lionel Catsoyannis is the author of one of the best multipitch routes I've climbed, so I'm keen. Looks like a good active restday if your climbing the Old School vertical walls on the right bank as well...

SA Chris

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Love that topo.

ghisino

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Ok so you need to park your car in pont de l'artuby.

First check from the bridge that the riverbed is completely dry (often the case).

If dry, find a path on the Eastern side of the bridge, going south, parallel to the cliff 's edge. You will soon find a well marked path going down with many fixed ropes, metal steps etc. Normally used to get up after bungee jumping. Once below the bridge, follow the riverbed downstream until the huge cave is on your left.

If there's running water in the river do not go.

If there is some still water, you can abseil down a gully just opposite of the route (visible on the Google Earth link in my blog). Several short abseils on trees threads etc.

Yossarian

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Reviving this amazing thread once again...

Early on there was some mention of the Grand Capucin and related alpine rock routes. I keep thinking about the bit of the Bregaglia in which we failed to get much done two years ago. The Bondo / Cengalo rockfall has rendered that whole area pretty much inaccessible for the time being - you can reach the Sciora area as we did via a pass from the neighbouring valley, but the area is officially closed I think. (Having said that, I think Piz Badile is reachable now.)

Anyway, I’ve looking up routes on the Capucin and also things like the Salluard route on Point Adolphe Rey



I’ve got absolutely no alpine or winter experience, though the chap I’d probably do this with has done a fair bit of ski mountaineering / serious off piste. As I understand it, the approach is about as straightforward as this stuff gets, esp from Courmayeur / the Helbronner lift.

I’m thinking ahead to a trip in a year or two, but am slightly unsure as to how much snow / ice preparation / training is required, and also (bearing in mind the lift costs a fortune) is the best plan to aim to camp up there for a few nights to get a decent hit on a few routes? That seemed to be the approach James Pearson and co took when they were working the Voie Petit.

Obviously there are plenty of options for alpine rock without snow approaches, but this stuff does look amazing and realistically it’s not like trying to climb K2 in a pair of tweed trousers...

Johnny Brown

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So when we were on the Voie Petit we camped on the little col just below the Helbronner lift. Lovely spot to be once the lift has shut. It is also common to camp in the middle of the glacier below the Grand Cap, wilder feel but you'll be more limited in what you can carry for camping - I think a lot of folk who do this walk from the Midi. We went for the stagger out of the lift with the kitchen sink. Seems to be less regulated than the French side where I think it is/was officially banned and occasionally they send some guides to clear all the skinflints.

The valley on the italian side of Mont Blanc is a lot nicer and low key than Cham, but the campsites are pricey.

Crevasses are limited on the main glacier, some small ones on the descent from the lift which can be easily avoided, the main issue is likely to crossing the bergschrund to the base of the route. Depending how cold the nights are you might not need crampons for the approach but they'll probably help mantelling out of a disintegrating 'schrund made of sugar.

Altitude may be an issue. I didn't find it find too bad, but the first day it will likely hit you at some point and definitely felt better the second trip up (we did something like three nights up, two down, two up). Also big temp variations from t-shirt sunburn scenes in the day to well below zero at night. Having pumped up my flagging exped down mattress in the cold of the night I returned after climbing to find the heat of the afternoon had blown it up like a ballloon, splitting the internal seams. Not ideal!

It's an amazing spot to climb and hangout. We didn't get on anything else, but the Petit Cap, Chandelle etc also have easier, shorter routes than the Grand which looked fun. Enjoy.

nic mullin

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+1 to everything JB said.

The walk from the Helbronner lift to the grand cap is easy (like, gentle stroll easy) and will be well tracked.

Safety/training wise, when I was younger I yomped about all over the shop unroped and never fell in a hole - you'd almost certainly be fine doing that on this approach. I'm more cautious now (just because I'm older and more of a coward) and tend rope up where possible/practical on wet glaciers as a rule. Almost all Europeans seem to, Brits mostly don't unless they're punters. I don't know why.   

If you choose to rope up, my understanding is that if you're a pair and one of you goes in a crevasse, unless the person who fell can help to get themselves out, you will need someone else's help, so learning loads of complicated hoisting/hauling stuff isn't worth it. Know how to tie on with coils, have a general plan between you and make sure you both have prussiks and the gear you need to build a belay. You can easily learn what you need from the internet, a book or your mate. Avoid anything that looks complicated or needs loads of gear. Doing your best to avoid falling in is the way to go, roped up or not.

Other useful stuff: Don't wear new/expensive trousers the first time you wear crampons. Take a good sleeping mat or you'll get very cold. I was involved in an accident that needed a helicopter out there a couple of years ago and the one thing everybody said afterwards is "I wouldn't have known what number to call for rescue" - it's 112.

Have fun, that side of Mt Blanc du Tacul has some lovely bits of rock.
   

cheque

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I was involved in an accident that needed a helicopter out there a couple of years ago and the one thing everybody said afterwards is "I wouldn't have known what number to call for rescue" - it's 112.

 :agree: I only learnt it when I was lying in a hospital bed slurring "what number did you have to call anyway?" to my climbing partner.

mde

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As I understand it, the approach is about as straightforward as this stuff gets, esp from Courmayeur / the Helbronner lift.

Be careful! You have specifically posted the topo of the Salluard route at Pointe Adolphe Rey. My opinion is that you need a solid knowledge on glacier travel to access it. The glacier is really highly crevassed there and by going direct you are walking parallel to the crevasses which is always more delicate. Additionally, the shrund may be huge and the route may even be inaccessible later in the year. In my opinion, all these routes are best done early in the season.

Getting to below the Grand Capucin is easier than getting to below the Salluard route. But also at Grand Capucin, there will be a shrund and depending on the route you even need to go up the couloir.

Yossarian

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What time of year would be best do you think? As early as June? That might actually work better, as potential partner may well have his van left out there from the end of the ski season and we then have a place to stay.

TBH, my first thoughts were to do something like this with a guide and basically quiz him / her about every single decision or thing to watch out for. And do a single day / route in an ultra short weekend type hit. That was after listening to the Will Gadd Enormocast, in which he points out the logic and relative low cost of getting high quality knowledge from guides.

I think it would be wise to read around all this a bit more widely and go through the guidebooks in detail.

Johnny Brown

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Climbing with a guide would be a great idea. I'd try to get a personal rec to a good one, we had a bad experience when I was young with a guy who was desperate to do the route as fast as possible, get back to the valley and knock off. This of course sold to us with the 'speed is safety, you're in the Alps now etc'.

Quote
Safety/training wise, when I was younger I yomped about all over the shop unroped and never fell in a hole - you'd almost certainly be fine doing that on this approach. I'm more cautious now (just because I'm older and more of a coward) and tend rope up where possible/practical on wet glaciers as a rule. Almost all Europeans seem to, Brits mostly don't unless they're punters. I don't know why. 

+1 to this. As I was photographing on the big push day I had a lie in and then yomped down on my own, no crampons, sliding along overtaking the guided parties and getting ticked off by them. In my defence the glacier was quite dry but I daresay the longer you spend you there the more you realise the dangers are hidden.

A group of my sister's city friends had a week skiing in Cham and did the Vallee Blanche with a guide. The next day one of them wanted to do it again, but the others didn't fancy it without a guide - so he went on his own. Inevitably, halfway down with no one else in view he went down a crevasse. Although tightly wedged he just managed to free one arm and get how mobile out, which miraculously had one bar. He didn't know the emergency number either, so phoned his wife in London...

jwi

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A group of my sister's city friends had a week skiing in Cham and did the Vallee Blanche with a guide. The next day one of them wanted to do it again, but the others didn't fancy it without a guide - so he went on his own. Inevitably, halfway down with no one else in view he went down a crevasse. Although tightly wedged he just managed to free one arm and get how mobile out, which miraculously had one bar. He didn't know the emergency number either, so phoned his wife in London...

Jeezus

SA Chris

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Worth getting a guide for a day to talk you through safe glacier travel. Once you know what to do to avoid them, or to extract one another if you do, some good choices are available. Climbing some of the rock routes in that area with glacial approaches is just brilliant. June could be slightly iffier weather wise still, but the bonus of avoiding the crowds once summer season proper arrives.

jwi

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Including routes from the Verdon in this thread is probably cheating, but Kallistée (Καλλίστη = the most beautiful), 11 pitches on Parois Rouge on Escales is particularly good.

It is also something very satisfying with routes like Rideaux de Gwendal, Fete des nerfs and Kallistée that starts at the bottom of the canyon and climbs all the way to the rim.

The first six pitches goes through the big overhanging lower red part of the wall and has fairly athletic climbing on big holds and maybe for that reason feels comparably easy.

In June the sun is high enough in the sky at noon so that the first 6 pitches are shaded by virtue of being overhanging. So we started at 12pm. By the time we reached the grey the wall was already in the shade.

The route starts with two body-lengths of pulling on a fixed static line to get off the ground past some seriously rotten rock, and continues on very average rock up to the first belay, after that the rock is fairly solid up until the last pitch of the red part, an A0-pitch on bolts through overhanging kitty litter.

Do not let the average rock and the two short bits of aid climbing on the first half discourage you. The climbing is steep, fun and athletic, and protected by beefy glue-ins. The middle three pitches are like doing a bunch of fun warmups at a steep sport climbing choss-pile.

The four pitches that follows goes to the most amazing Verdon grey imaginable. They are all 7a+/7b with the grades a bit randomly applied depending on source. I thought they were all the same difficulty except the very bouldery/perplexing 9th pitch (but my climbing partner had 0 difficulties following with the help of some chalk and a quick explanation of the trick). The tenth pitch is the topping on the cake and quite likely the best pitch I've done on the grey.

We did not do the 12th pitch (7a+ one-move wonder reputedly) as that seemed very daft since you already reached the rim, and the first ascensionist recommended to walk around instead.

We had two cars, so we had left one car at the rim and parked the other at Samson/Duc and walked in through the tunnels.


 
(Alex on pitch 7, which is still fairly steep. For some reason I thought this was 7a, but apparently it's 7b in some topos which makes more sense. Sustained and techy)


(Pitch 8 is a very nice sustained 7a+. I felt this was the easies of the 4 top pitches, but it is always easier when there's chalk on the holds)


(Me following Pitch 8.)


(Pitch 9. I was simply not good enough to figure this one out on the fly.)


(Pitch 10 of Kallistée is maybe the best pitch I've climbed on the gray. Ends with an anticlimactic grass-filled crack. Alex took a bunch of pics of me on this part, on every one I am staring at my feet)

We have a bunch of photos from pitch 1-6 as well, but they are all a bit crap.

« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 10:28:05 pm by jwi »

HaeMeS

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Thanks for the trip report Jonas. I wasn’t sure the route was a must or not. Now I’m sure it is  :bounce:

jwi

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Thanks for the trip report Jonas. I wasn’t sure the route was a must or not. Now I’m sure it is  :bounce:

It definitely is. Possibly the best route I've done on Escales I think. In retrospect I should have gone back to the belay to redo the 9th pitch clean, as we had plenty of time. The tenth pitch is interminable (18 draws!) but not so steep and possible to get up even if really really tired as it is mostly about putting the feet in the right spots.

I should add that it is very comfortable to haul on the route as almost every pitch is either overhanging or vertical but free of big features.

galpinos

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Those photos are making me very jealous (despite not even having the ability to get up that route!).

danm

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It's OK Nick, there's plenty of mind blowing routes in the gorge at all grades! There's nothing like the feeling of abbing in, pulling the ropes and then realising you are on the wrong hanging belay for your route out. At this point you realise the things in the "jardin" ledge below you are the improvised encampments of those who have made the same error as yourself.

SA Chris

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Eperon Sublime was my rude awakening to this! Nasty shock for a sport climber.

Starting from the bottom on La Demande seemed a lot friendlier.

dunnyg

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Verdon always looks amazing. Tried to go last summer but it was (unsuprisingly?) too warm for us and we ran away to the mountains. Cheers for posting up the pictures!

 

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