Last weeks were very active climbing wise. The weather was a bit moody, so we couldn’t go in the granite of Mont Blanc massive whenever we wanted (there was a period of strong SW wind) so we had to search for some alternative multipitch routes in the limestone lower down.
Active Climbing Weeks in Chamonix - Martina Cufar
With Mayan Smith Gobat we went to the Fiz, a nice mountain chain facing the Mont Blanc. The access is not as comfortable as the cable car on the Aiguille du Midi, good two hours of steep walk and some II, III grade climbing and we were in the base of the nice steep face of Pointe d’Ayeres (2610m). We did the route Dret dans le pentu, 260m, 7b+. The route is really nice, pumpy climbing on good holds, except the first, quite chossy pitch on the bad schist.
Some days later we went with Nico a bit further, in the Chablais. Above the “alpage” of Mevonne reigns a perfect wall; Dalle de Mevonne. There’s not even a small legde on the anchors to rest a bit. We did Les ailes de la liberte, 180m (7b, 7a+, 7a+, 7a, 7b+, 7c+). All this in the rhythm of the cowbells some hundred meters lower down :-)
Mayan was in Chamonix 10 days, wishing to do some crack climbing in the granite (to train for her goal this autumn, to do Half Dome and the Freerider in a day!). The conditions didn’t want to get better, there was even some new snow, so we went to Brevent (2550m) and did one of the trad classics, Premier de corvee, 7a, 180m and a bit harder Où ça m'amène la benne 7b+ 150m. On her last day we finally had a perfect day; I took her to the route I've already done this year, Les intouchables in the Trident du Tacul. But we did a bit harder variation of the crux pitch, the Bassanini crack, graded 7c+. My on sight attempt with placing gear ended up somewhere on the middle; I was exhausted! It's so hard this "violet" size of crack, where you have to do ringlocks! Mayan who trained in Indian creek quite a lot, did it on her second go and said it would be around 5.12c/d (7b+/7c). I retourned some days later with Nico and did it (with preplaced friends). Nico didn't have a lot of problems with Bassanini crak, his fingers being »fat«, they jam well in the violet size of crack. But then he saw another, longer, harder crack some meters on the left. He put in one bolt to traverse from Bassanini to this new Super purple crack, put a nice shining chain anchor on its top and did it on the same day! It was really great! This new line is a good 8a, for which you need around 8 violet camalots! I liked the first ¾, the boulder problem to get from one crack to another is really nice, but the last part too hard for me and my fingers; I would need to train ringlocks more and most of all resist the pain while twisting the fingers into the sharp crack.
Here you find the topo: http://jmc-crew.com/News.php?Id=458
Down in the valley I did some nice routes too, Luge a foin 8a in Foron, Guerrier des ombres in Pierre a Laya 8a+ (well this one I did belayed by the croll since I didn’t find anybody to belay me), and finally Reveille le chabal qui est en toi 8b Suet. This route was not so nice, the holds keep on breaking and the starting boulder problem is really painful for the skin in those summer conditions, but after Super purple crack it felt quite comfortable:-)