Les Grandes Jorasses

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Messages 121 - 140 of total 242 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 25, 2013 - 12:42pm PT
And just for fun: Some advertisements seen in La Montagne 1930

Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Jan 25, 2013 - 12:43pm PT
Cool stuff!
steve shea

climber
Jan 25, 2013 - 12:52pm PT
There is/was really good crystal hunting behind the Leschaux. I lived off of crystal sales from time to time. Georges Bettembourg was a master crystal hunter. One of his stashes was behind the hut. Georges was killed while hunting crystals in the Argentierre. Rockfall.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 25, 2013 - 12:58pm PT

As a warning: Via Ferrata seen in the video.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Jan 25, 2013 - 01:09pm PT
A couple of notes on this great thread.

-Marc Twight did the Eiger in 1984 with Boulder climber Alan Bradley.

-I believe the 1950 Air India crash was the basis for the 1956 movie 'The Mountain' starring Spencer Tracy and Robert Wagner.
pneame

Trad climber
Tampa, FL
Jan 25, 2013 - 01:43pm PT
Nice finds Marlow - makes you realise that the glacial retreat has been going on for a while.

The little video - great. Crowds notwithstanding, it is a stunningly beautiful area.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jan 25, 2013 - 01:47pm PT
Yeah, I saw that Twight did the Eiger in 1984. He fer sure wasn't staying in Snell's. I first heard of him through Bouchard a couple of years later.(very nice guy). People need to understand that in those pre-internet days, it was very hard to even get decent topos of routes. We mainly just yacked with other climbers and did stuff that they knew about.

I am curious what month Twight was there. I hear that nobody does it in the summer anymore. Way too much rockfall since the ice all melted away.

I read his book "Kiss or Kill" when trapped last summer and I thought he was so wound up in himself. Not in a narcisitic way. He's all grown up now. I could relate to him, but he was more of a badass. Remember, I am a dumbass.
steve shea

climber
Jan 25, 2013 - 02:12pm PT
Topos? Did you not see the topo book in the Meteo? Very detailed IMHO. But there was so much new stuff to do there were no topos for that obviously. It was a smorgasbord of unclimbed routes. But for Gordon Smith, I never would have gone to Cham. The Brits were on it. Alex, Terry, Gordon, the Nicks...
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Jan 25, 2013 - 02:19pm PT
I was on the Eiger in about 88 in september. At that time there was already talk about warming ruining the summer although I tend to think there was a changing attitude of rockfall as "just the way things roll". I know there was a similar attitude in the rockies. I always thought it strange that anyone would go up on the Grand Central coulior or Deltaform super coulior in July. You just have to be a little thick I think. I confirmed it myself one fine July day on the Andromeda strain having fortunately bailed only to safely witness the cornice ream the whole gully an hour later! Now no boddy does those things in summer and it hardly has anything to do with lack of mid summer ice. Its just a dumb time to be in a gutter.

In 88 (or whatever it was) the icefields were still well intact with old ice. Conditions were good but we got scared off by storm.
steve shea

climber
Jan 25, 2013 - 02:31pm PT
Bruce, I agree. Larry and I had a very similar event on the Grand Central on Kitchener in Aug 79. We were dumb, full of Canadian Kokanee (beer) and chasing the alpine dream. The ice fields had the most confounding weather though. The Altimeter would read high pressure and it would snowing in July. Cham was much more 'predictable'.
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Jan 25, 2013 - 02:41pm PT
The Brits were on it. (... ), the Nicks...

Which Nicks Steve? Black and Blond?
steve shea

climber
Jan 25, 2013 - 02:54pm PT
Yes. I met Gordon in the states in 76. We climbed together a bit and his stories of Chamonix and what was possible got my attention. I met up with Gordon in France in 77 and then the rest of the Brit contingent. The whole Bar Nash scene it was unforgetable. There were a few Americans there, Rick A, Tobin, Mugs, Jack Roberts and others. 77 was Tobin's incredible season. Anyway that was it. I basically moved there. Spent a lot of time with black Nick the following summer. The whole lot of us pretty much got chased from Snell's and moved to under the Midi cables. It was free and the Gendarmes had not figured it out yet. Once everyone got wind of it though, it turned to typical climber's camp squalor. Nick always drove out from GB so we had wheels.
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Jan 25, 2013 - 03:06pm PT
Ah, well you might recognise Blond Nick here on Salathe Wall in 1981. Sadly no longer with us.

Credit: jaaan

Credit: jaaan
steve shea

climber
Jan 25, 2013 - 03:14pm PT
I won't post the names but it is striking that so many who cut their alpine teeth in Cham are no longer with us. Sad indeed.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 25, 2013 - 04:28pm PT
A part of the history of North wall climbing as shown i Edouard Frendo's book "La Face Nord Des Grandes Jorasses". Climbing as discovery.

Frendo and Rebuffat made the second ascent of the Walker in 1945.

pneame

Trad climber
Tampa, FL
Jan 26, 2013 - 08:24am PT
Apart from the genuinely mixed nature of the climbing + the tasty history, the other take home lesson seems to be that the "light" part of the modern "fast and light" was already much in vogue.
Note the quite small sac on the photo of the 'schrund.

The lack of "fast" was mostly due to the lack of modern gear slowing them down
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Jan 26, 2013 - 09:38am PT
I recall a tale From Gastley's book "Starlight and Storm" where Ghastley and an entourage of aspirant guides were doing their exam on the Wymper Spur. That alone I thought remarkable but worse yet he described how while bivouacing a number of the aspirant guides were killed by rockfall. That must have been a devastating tragedy. Does anyone out there recall this event and the details surrounding it?
mackenzie74

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
Jan 26, 2013 - 07:38pm PT
Great photos, brings back a lot of emotions.
Degaine

climber
Jan 28, 2013 - 04:26am PT
jaaan wrote:
Piola had already replaced the old bolts on Le Ticket, le Carré... when I climbed it in July 2010.

Ok, glad you had the replaced bolts. We looked over to Verdon Memories and the anchors looked like crap (old rusty pitons and tat). The second to last pitch of Le Ticket (your photo?) is pretty run out. The last pitch and variation are well protected cracks in the 5+/6a range.

jaaan wrote:
The Perrons... for me the Perrons have simply the best multipitch routes in the region.

I agree, the rock and setting are excellent. The traverse is fantastic, and a great intro to arête traverses.

Only climbed on route at Barberine, which has great rock as well.

Cheers.
Degaine

climber
Jan 28, 2013 - 04:35am PT
Wow base, this photo of the Talèfre basin:
http://www.supertopo.com/inc/photo_zoom.php?dpid=Ojw1PzckJisiIQ,,

is amazing, there is so much glacier / ice coverage. Nothing like that today.

Here's a photo of of the (l to r) Courtes, Droites, Verte:
Left to right: Les Courtes, Les Droites, La Verte
Left to right: Les Courtes, Les Droites, La Verte
Credit: Degaine

Taken in April 2011. We climbed the Y couloir on L'Aiguille d'Argentière, and then skied the Milieu Glacier (the classic ascent/descent route, "milieu" means "middle" in French).

The snow coverage on those classic north faces hides the glacial thinning and retreat in recent years.
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