Disconfinement. Climbing and mountaineering over several unauthorized pitches

We tried the “glacier hike” in Chamonix

We are roped in.Under a bright sun, we put on crampons for the first time, after having crossed the white valley by panoramic cable car from the Aiguille du midi, which overlooks Chamonix, the mountaineering capital.early in the morning, the first skips contain more athletes than tourists.As Roger Frison-Roche, the author of "Premier de cordée" wrote, the cable car in service since 1955 allows "anybody" to be able to speak of glacier, serac and Mont-Blanc.In twenty minutes, we are propelled to almost 4,000 m above sea level.

On arrival, a breathtaking setting of ice and granite is offered, with a spectacle of the mythical walls of the Alps, along which big names in mountaineering have opened up routes: the Grandes Jorasses, the Aiguille verte, Les Dents du Géant… The Aiguille du Midi and its sheer ridge, where mountaineers soar, are the starting point of one of the most famous off-piste routes through the Vallée Blanche., to the south, climbers tackle the vertiginous Rébuffat route with a guide, looking for their catches along the cracks in the rock.From where we are, the summit of Mont-Blanc seems falsely close.Several roped parties form in the distance long tracks in the snow.

Ice ax stuck in our backpack, ten meters of thin rope separate us from each other

The objective of the day, for novices that we are, is more modest: to learn mountaineering, by discovering the basics of glacier walking, accompanied by a guide.from June to mid-September or in winter with snowshoes or skis.At the foot of Pointe Helbronner, at an altitude of 3,400 m, he encourages us: "We can progress quickly.In four or five outings, feels more comfortable."The ice ax stuck in our backpack, ten meters of a thin rope separates us from each other.We must constantly be careful to keep it taut, in case one of us does slip." The glacier is relatively open ", Warns Jean-Marc Maisonneuve, mountain guide for 22 years.In this summer, it is streaked with crevices." The first risk today is to fall into it.»We progress in rhythm, well supported on the ten points of the crampons, feet slightly apart, so as not to hang on.

Posted Date: 2020-07-20

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