Long Day in Chamonix

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Messages 1 - 20 of total 91 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 16, 2013 - 01:31pm PT
One gets a bit jaded reading about all the amazing speed climbing and link-ups being done these days. Still, this one by Jon Griffith in Chamonix is awe inspiring: up and down two 3,000 foot Argentiere north faces - the Verte and Les Droites, then up Les Courtes and ski down the back and back to town.

http://www.alpineexposures.com/blogs/chamonix-conditions/7454504-solo-link-up-of-aiguille-verte-n-face-ne-face-of-les-droites-and-n-face-of-les-courtes

Whew! I earned a beer just reading about it.

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Mar 16, 2013 - 02:16pm PT
Great, incredible photography.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 16, 2013 - 04:15pm PT
It looks like good conditions.

The athletic ability is becoming a honed science. These routes are fully soloable, and for a good climber it becomes an adventure in stamina.

A friend of mine was talking to me about Ueli Steck and the program he has been going through. Full blow sports medicine and training. We don't do that here for climbers.
WBraun

climber
Mar 16, 2013 - 05:39pm PT
But !!!!!

They haven't done anything yet!

They still ended up in the same place they started ......

:-)
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Mar 16, 2013 - 06:00pm PT

Holy macaroni. I don't know about a beer, Rick,
I want to sleep for a week!
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Mar 18, 2013 - 01:28am PT
Thanks for the Thread Ricky A. A treat to read. Love the Chamonix area.

Please give G. howdy's. Cheers, lynne
MMCC

climber
New Zealand
Mar 19, 2013 - 05:10pm PT
Awesome.

Good commentary here from Duane Raleigh...

http://www.rockandice.com/lates-news/the-big-freaking-deal-aint-bouldering
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Mar 19, 2013 - 05:13pm PT
He tilted the camera!!!111

DMT
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Mar 20, 2013 - 01:48am PT
A great Thread. What a wonderful world....what great opportunity is given to so many. Cheers, lynnie
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Mar 20, 2013 - 07:57am PT
We need a damn cable car to the shoulder of the Pal Glacier.

Approaches suck.

Can you imagine a night out on the town in Bishop, and then getting off the cable car just before dawn on the Palisade Glacier?
Dolomite

climber
Anchorage
Mar 20, 2013 - 01:20pm PT
Ten replies in four or five days proves Duane Raleigh's excellent point. I did Les Courtes (1980), but standing at the base of Les Droites scared the crap out of me. I can't believe how often it gets climbed these days. Kudos to Griffith--he's the real deal (but, the dude is laying with fire.).
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Mar 20, 2013 - 02:14pm PT
We need a damn cable car to the shoulder of the Pal Glacier.

Approaches suck.

Can you imagine a night out on the town in Bishop, and then getting off the cable car just before dawn on the Palisade Glacier?

I hope you are joking! We don't need that here!



That is an amazing feat by JG. I believe he has the record for the fastest time up Cassin ridge now too. Great athlete, and he also takes kick-ass photos! Love his blog!
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 20, 2013 - 03:39pm PT
There is no cable car up the Argentiere. There was a ski lift, but it was only for the lowest part of the Glacier. Just a hike, and not a bad one at that. They might have built one, but the upper glacier is really flat and not a ski destination.

I know that Rick has done some long Chamonix ice climbs, but you will never understand true exhaustion until you haul ass up one of those routes.

The only one I did, because it had been a dry winter and only the Triolet was barely in condition, was probably the most exhausting day of my life.

There was no snow and we did one of the direct routes rather than the regular route. There was a couple of hundred feet where the ice was 2 inches thick. It was soft and nice on that part but no protection was possible.

The rest of the route was bullet hard dinner plate ice and that meant a hell of a lot of axe swings. I was never much of an ice climber, meaning I was a rock climber who strapped on crampons and went at it, but the shear mileage was awful on the steep part, which was 80 degrees max.

Doing those three routes means that he was in truly Superman condition. They are all 2500 to 3000 feet long and just holding your arms over your head all day will kill most people. To do that many axe swings in a row is unreal.

I was sipping scotch with Duane Raleigh a couple of years ago when he told me of the sports medicine work that Ueli Steck goes through. In Europe, they don't have the big pro sports that we have here. Steck was trained under the supervision of a whole gaggle of docs and has nigh superhuman strength and endurance.

Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Mar 20, 2013 - 08:01pm PT
I hope you are joking! We don't need that here!

Just joking!

rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Mar 20, 2013 - 08:55pm PT
Man! Truly fit just about sums it up.

I soloed the N Face of Les Courtes back in '77 during the Summer. Seldom have I been so hammered on a descent... Maybe it was being kicked out of the hut at a ridiculous pre-dawn start, or maybe it was all the Drambuie during dinner, or just the tension of being out-there on the singularity, but it was a hella down-climb of that slope to the east. (I think Jack Roberts went for a 500' slider over the 'shrund there a week earlier.)

Damn fine effort!

(I'd like to point out to Werner that getting back to the same point is the point... As he well knows.)
Berner

Mountain climber
Switzerland
Apr 5, 2013 - 04:01pm PT
I was sipping scotch with Duane Raleigh a couple of years ago when he told me of the sports medicine work that Ueli Steck goes through. In Europe, they don't have the big pro sports that we have here. Steck was trained under the supervision of a whole gaggle of docs and has nigh superhuman strength and endurance.

probably I get it wrong (sorry, my english isn't that good) but just to let you know: There is not a special kind of sports medicine that Ueli Steck goes through. It is not a long time ago, when he finally could join the Physiotherapist and Docs who work for the swiss gouvernement and the national olympic programm. Btw he is in a anti doping programm as well.
Of course he has to pay everything by himself because mountaineering is not a olympic sport... So there is for sure no bulk of docs around him and the training schedule is made by his physio and himself

greetings from switzerland
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Apr 14, 2013 - 12:21pm PT
More from the Chamonix area
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 14, 2013 - 12:38pm PT
Thanks, Marlow!

It takes a helicopter to capture the scale of Mt. Blanc and the absurdity of doing that traverse in under 9 hours.

I loved the part where he is sprinting past roped up parties on the standard route.

I appreciated his poignant words on the loss of his friend on the first attempt, and the eternal question of why do such things.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
May 6, 2013 - 03:26pm PT
Mont Blanc supercracks: http://www.alplib.com/mont-blanc-super-cracks-fr-lambertogiovanni-xml-307_314-8901.html
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
May 6, 2013 - 03:31pm PT
Digital Crack 8a+, Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix
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