Joint with ABMSAC, Climbers’ Club, FRCC, SMC, LSCC, Wayfarers and Yeovil MC
Just over 70 people from 7 clubs and guests attended the meet over the 3 week period and were blessed with good weather for most of the time, what rain there was being short lived.
The campsite in Ailefroide seems to get busier each year and there was a noticeable increase in numbers since the last meet there in 2011 but after the first weekend which was a national holiday in France it did get quieter but still queuing for the showers and the toilets was normal especially at peak.
The campsite being surrounded by granite crags dictated that the rock climbing was more popular than the Alpine climbing and this was reflected in a higher turnout from the more rock oriented clubs such as the CC and the FRCC than on past meets. Many of the multipitch and single pitch routes were climbed as well as frequent forays to the limestone and quartzite climbing areas in the main Durance Valley and side valleys such as Fournel and Fressinieres.
The Barre des Ecrin being the highest peak in the area attracted a lot of attention all by the normal route as the Barre Noire Couloir was out of condition. Other teams climbed Roche Faurio, the SW ridge of Pointe Louise, Roche Paillon, Roche Emile Pic, Pointe des Cineastes, Montagne Des Agneaux, the Traverse of the Glaciers (Pic du Rif & Pointe des Arcas), Dents de Coste Counier, Aiguille de Sialouze, Pelvoux and the traverse of the Meije.
Various via ferrata were ascended including the very spectacular Gorges D’Ailefroide located between Ailefroide and Pelvoux, it traverses the vertical or even overhanging walls of the gorge about 10m above river level and the second part is classed as a “Via Ferrata sportive” in the guide it certainly lives up to that name.
The meet was very sociable starting with an evening soiree on the first weekend so people could get to know each other, again we had the group tent where people could socialise and cook on the few occasions when it did rain, quite a few people came on their own and had no problem finding climbing partners. As people left we had several end of meet dinners at the Hotel Engilberge in the village, they provided very good food and service at a reasonable price.
Next year’s meet will be held in the Bregaglia, Switzerland based at Camping Mulina in the village of Vicosoprano 15 July to 5 August 2017.
I hope to see you all again next year. Keep an eye on the club meets calendar for next year’s venue.
By Keith Lambley
Top Left; Meije Traverse, Cheval Rouge - Climber John Venier - Photo Andrew Moore
Top Right; Meije Traverse - Climber Andrew Moore - Photo John Venier
Botton Left; Pointe Louise, SE Ridge - Climbers Keith Lambley and Kate Ross - Photo Adam Kassyk
Bottom Right; Super Pilou, Aiguille de Sialouze - Climber Helen Brown - Photo Adam Kassyk