News

Yamada & Tani Summit Kangchung Nup from North Side

Yamada & Tani Summit Kangchung Nup from North Side

On 24 April Japanese climbers Toshiyuki Yamada and Takeshi Tani successfully summitted Kangchung Nup (6,089m) via a new route on the mountain's North-West face. This marks not only the first ascent of the face, but also the first time that the mountain has been climbed from its northern side.

The new line follows a similar route to that of a 2014 Czech expedition that was forced to retreat from ~5,900m due to dangerous conditions. The direct line on the north face was also attempted unsuccessfully in 2019 by Paul Ramsden and Jim Hall.

 

 

 

 

Report: 14 April 2022

Well, the end of the winter is coming.

The last snowfall has temporarily improved the snow cover especially on the glaciers. Unfortunately, the recent hot spell associated with poor refreezing has caused conditions to deteriorate.  

Let's see what this weekend brings! Strict time keeping will be essential. 

The gullies are gradually drying out. Here too it is necessary to start early to benefit from a good refreeze (crossing rimayes, rock falls...) and manage the timing. 

The classic ski touring routes are still in play. 

 

The various parts of the Aiguilles Rouges are still practicable (glacier de la Floria, Pointe Alphonse Favre, Cols Crochues - Bérard, Buet, etc...). The descent of the Bérard valley has become quite "spicy" due to avalanche debris. It is better to take the left bank. Skis off at the buvette. The Loriaz refuge is closed for the season. 

 

The conditions in the Albert 1er sector are those of the beginning of summer. There is not much snow on the cols, but the col supérieur du Tour and the col du midi des Grands remain ok. Aiguille du Tour, Tête Blanche and Petite Fourche are being done. The Aiguille du Chardonnet is much too dry to be considered (ice on the way up and down, huge rimayes, very open glacier). 

 

In the Argentière basin, the "classic" cols are still practicable. Col du Passon: the ascent of the couloir and the descent go reasonably well, in spite of the numerous avalanches. It is increasingly dry at the col du Chardonnet and the cols of the Tour Noir/D'Argentière are still in good condition. The Aiguille d'Argentière has been done by the milieu glacier, icy below the summit. 

The Couvercle is still accessed via the central couloir even though it's becoming dry. The Whymper was done at the beginning of the week when there was a good freeze (lots of snow in the couloir, ridge ok, they left the skis at the rimaye). Be careful with time keeping and the crowds expected this weekend! 

 

In the Aiguille du Midi sector, the Cosmiques arête and the arête Laurence (approach on foot) are being done, but it’s hard work. The classic traverse of the Pointes Lachenal could be considered if you have good crampon technique (initial slope is shiny ice). 

The Chéré couloir is being done regularly, you should avoid putting your stuff down at the base of the route because a small serac has collapsed above, and some blocks still need to purge. Prefer an abseil descent but beware of the crowds. 

A team were seen in going in the direction of the Directissime but without more information. 

Vent du dragon, Burnier-Vogler, Pellissier, Gabarrou and Modica gullies are very dry but can be climbed with care and can be protected; beware of rock falls on hot days. 

The south face of the Aiguille du Midi seems dry, the ledges are still well covered with snow but the cracks do not seem to be plastered. 

For the Trois Monts, you will still have to be a little patient. The faces are loaded and there is a risk of avalanche especially above the initial rimaye (which is crossable). This route is technical (those who have tried it have gone halfway). 

The Vallée blanche is in spring condition, you will need a good knowledge of the route, and to time it right: not too early for good skiing and not too late for the salle à manger and its dicy snow bridges. 

 

In the Torino sector, the north face of the tour Ronde is in good condition but it's a bit of a slog. The Gervasutti is being done, be careful with the rimaye. Still a bit of activity in the gullies of the Combe Maudite (beware of refreezing/timing). The Aiguilles Marbrées and Entrèves are in good condition (approaches on foot). The Aiguille de Rochefort and the Dent du Géant can be considered but it is probably still a bit early to find really good conditions. 

 

At the Grands Mulets, you must take the lower track to cross the Jonction. Above, the track via the dôme Pitschner is best. The Grandes Montées are a mess and best climbed on the left as you go up. There is ice beneath the Vallot then very airy on the Bosses ridge. The north ridge of the Dôme is icy and not appealing (by eye). In short, it's all very technical (photos). 

 

At the Conscrits, the Dômes de Miage are still in good condition: cross the "mauvais pas” as early as possible, but otherwise the ascent is fine, cold snow on the Armancette until 3,000m then crust until the traverse. Note: it is tricky to get to the Cugnon car park, because the path has been damaged by avalanches. It is easier to park at the Frasse car park. 

The north faces of Tête Blanche, Lée Blanche are not good by eye, lots of ice. 

 

On the Mont Tondu glacier, a huge slab went down to the sand layer, with a 1m50 crown wall, reserved for good skiers. 

 

The Haute-Route is still being done without any more info than in the last report.

 

The ski areas of La Balme, Brévent, Flégère close on Monday evening. 

 

As far as hiking is concerned, nothing new since our last update. You should stay close to the valley floor and be patient for the high altitude routes such as the lakes and the high balcon paths. 

 

For information, you should avoid 4 routes on the "falaise de Bionnassay"(Antibiotic, Homme aux gènes, Newton pousse Archimède, Etat de siège), because of the presence of a peregrine falcon nest in the area. 

 

Report translated from La Chamoniarde.

 

 

 

AC Everest Film to Receive European Premiere

AC Everest Film to Receive European Premiere

The Alpine Club film 'Everest: by Those Who Were There', based around our 2021 exhibition of the same name, has been selected for inclusion in the 2022 Trento Film Festival. This will be the film's European premiere and attendees can catch it on two occasions; at 16:45 on the 1 May and at 16:30 on the 6 May. The film will also be available to rent via the festival website from the 23 April. Full details here.

100 years on from the first expeditions to the world's highest mountain, 'Everest: by Those Who Were There' uses a variety of archival material, original footage and the expertise of numerous Everest luminaries to examine how our relationship with Everest has changed over the last century and to profile the characters like George Mallory who made up those early forays towards 'the roof of the world'. 

A selection of six note card boxes with labels indicating that they refer to the Everest expeditions of 1921, 1922 and 1924

 

 

 

Video: Tom Livingstone and Matt Glenn on The North-East Pillar of Tengkangpoche

Video: Tom Livingstone and Matt Glenn on The North-East Pillar of Tengkangpoche

In October 2021, AC members Matt Glenn and Tom Livingstone made the first ascent of the North-East pillar of Tengkangpoche (6,487m) in the Solukhumbu region of Nepal. Mountain Equipment have now released a video of the ascent complete with an interview in which Tom explains the details of the line.

 

 

 

 

Stewart Hawkins

We have recently learned of the death on 20 March of Stewart Hawkins, an Associate member since 2007.

 

 

John Brailsford

The Club is saddened to learn of the death on 1 April of John Brailsford, a member for sixty years. He joined as a member of the ACG in 1962 and became ACG secretary in 1967.

 

 

Report: 01 April 2022

At last it's all gone white!
 
A temporary return of winter with snowfalls in the mountains. On this Friday afternoon, the ground is white down to the valley floor. This morning, there was between 20 and 30 cm between 2,000 and 2,500m depending on the sector (40 cm at the Requin and Cosmiques refuges, 30 cm at the Conscrits) to which we must add between 15 and 20 additional cm that fell today (on the other hand, the wind will have a hand in things).
 
It's difficult to say what it will be like in the mountains. This should be good news for the quality of the skiing. On the other hand, we'll have to be wary of the risk of avalanches in the next few days as we are all a bit out of practice.
 
Above all, you need to be extremely careful on glaciers. They are generally quite open for the season and this new snow will undoubtedly form very tricky snow bridges. There have been an unusually large number of crevasse accidents in the last few weeks in the northern Alps, enough for several rescue organisations to warn about. Excellent experience in glacial terrain and roping up are more necessary than ever if you are planning trips in the high mountains.
 
Some brief summary information (roughly speaking, not much has changed since our last updates):
 
  • Albert 1er refuge open, nothing particular to note in the area.
  • Still no information about a possible reopening of the Argentière refuge.
  • Before the bad weather: quite a few teams on the N face of the Drus; a few teams on the Whymper couloir which was fairly dry; N face of the Tour Ronde + Gervasutti couloir (quite complicated rimaye which is crossable and then a bit of an exposed traverse; dry at the top). Descent by the Freshfield couloir is dry (beware of rock fall); teams on the Roger Baxter-Jones (Maudit), Lafaille, Pellissier, Chéré, Vent du Dragon etc.
  • Rock fall (including large boulders) from the mixed section (at the top of ‘Pinocchio') have recently affected the bottom of the Gabarrou-Albinoni + Modica Noury routes.
  • Refuge des Cosmiques + Requin open, beware of crevasses in the Vallée Blanche. We'll have to wait for more snow to see what happens on the Trois Monts route. Cosmiques arête in good condition.
  • Mont Blanc on skis by the Grands Mulets: very complicated at the Jonction (see info on the website). We are waiting for information on the opening of the refuge which should take place during the next good weather window. It is absolutely compulsory to avoid the high track and to use the lower one even if you have to put skins back on. This itinerary is only for very experienced ski-mountaineers for the moment.
  • The Conscrits hut is open, no major changes in the sector.
  • Chamonix-Zermatt in quite dry condition: the Swiss rescue services would have carried out more crevasse rescues last week than in 20 years on certain sectors!
 
As far as hiking is concerned, this storm is a timely reminder that even though it is spring down here (green grass, primroses, pétanque games, barbecues and all that), there is still snow in the mountains. It's the time of year for walks in the valley (below 1,700 m). Most of the classic hikes in the valley are not practicable at all. Several rescues have already taken place for hikers taken unawares by the snow.
 
Report translated from La Chamoniarde.
 
 
 

What does the Future hold for the Glaciated and High Mountain World?

What does the Future hold for the Glaciated and High Mountain World?

As a mountaineer, you will surely care about the natural environment and appreciate the pristine, relatively unspoilt beauty of many mountain wildernesses. It is also likely that you want future generations to be able to appreciate the beauty and majesty of those environments. But what is the likelihood of that happening and what does the future hold for the glaciated and high mountain world?

 

In 2015, 196 parties signed up to a historic accord, the Paris Climate Agreement, with the aim of limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees above pre-industrial and preferably below 1.5 degrees. These numbers are not arbitrary. In the case of the frozen world (the cryosphere), overshooting 1.5⁰ C will result in passing irreversible and dangerous thresholds (www.50x30.net) and we are already at 1.1⁰ C of warming. That might not sound like much but global ecosystems, the cryosphere and humans are in a delicate balance with the rest of the climate system with reinforcing feedbacks that amplify these seemingly small changes to atmospheric temperatures. It is, however, not just the magnitude but also the rate at which humans are modifying the climate system that is a problem.

The graph above shows CO2 concentrations (blue) in the atmosphere alongside atmospheric temperature (red) for the last 800,000 years. CO2 levels have not been as high as they are now for at least 3 million years and are increasing at a rate that is unprecedented in the ice core records such as the one above. The present-day temperature increase lags behind CO2 as the climate responds to the unprecedented rise in greenhouse gases. Hence, even if we stopped burning fossil fuels tomorrow, the red line would carry on upwards. We are entering new and uncharted territory for the climate system. National commitments to meet the Paris Agreement (called NDCs) currently commit us to warming of about 3⁰ C so are well below the threshold to limit catastrophic climate breakdown.

Mountain glaciers around the world are currently receding at an unprecedented rate since the start of the Industrial Revolution and the latest research identifies human-induced climate warming as almost entirely responsible (Roe et al., 2021). A paper published in April 2021 provides the most detailed and complete picture of glacier wastage over the last two decades from over 1 million satellite images and shows how mass loss has been accelerating during this time for most of the 200,000 plus glaciers around the world (Hugonnet et al., 2021). If we continue on our current trajectory, the latest projections indicate that over half of mountain glacier ice will have melted and for low latitude and lower altitude regions they will be almost completed gone by the end of the century (Shannon et al., 2019). By 2050, Western Canada and the USA (excluding Alaska), central Europe and parts of Asia could be completely void of glaciers alongside many other damaging impacts.


The fate of one small glacier in the Pyrenees that survived since before Roman times but has now almost completely disappeared (Moreno et al., 2021).
On the left is the pre-industrial reconstruction of extent and the right the present-day remnant parts.

That is why, for example, the UK government aims to put into law a reduction of 78% in CO2 emissions by 2035, which, for the first time includes our share of international aviation and shipping. That is the kind of commitment required to stand a fighting chance of not overshooting 1.5⁰ C (again see www.50x30.net). To achieve that reduction is a huge challenge but, just like anything in life, if you don’t know where you’re going you’re unlikely to ever get there. It will require legislation and profound changes to the way we operate but it will also require change at the individual level and each of us can help protect what we cherish for future generations. We need to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030 (relative to 2010) to avoid a dangerous overshoot. That means about a 6-7% reduction per year which is roughly what happened in 2020 during a global pandemic (it’s more than 5% because it’s relative to 2010 values). If each of us reduced our flights, car-miles, consumption and waste by that amount a year we can make a difference. Just like one nurse or doctor cannot change the course of the current pandemic, collectively they can save millions of lives. Collectively, we can do the same for the planet we live on and the mountain environments we care so much about, value and cherish.

 

This article was written by Alpine Club Green Group member Jonathan Bamber, Professor of Glaciology & Earth Observation at the University of Bristol and former President of the European Geosciences Union.

It first appeared in the Alpine Club Newsletter of March 2022.

 

 

 

Laura Tiefenthaler Makes Solo Ascent of The Heckmair Route

Laura Tiefenthaler Makes Solo Ascent of The Heckmair Route

On the 8 March 2022, Austrian climber Laura Tiefenthaler made an ascent of The Heckmair Route on the north face of the Eiger with Jana Möhrer. On the 25 March, she returned to the route on her own to make a solo ascent. 

Stable conditions across the Swiss Alps have lead to a lot of activity on the face and, having already climbed the Heckmair earlier this month, Laura was encouraged to attempt a solo ascent by Rolo Garibotti. She made her first attempt on the 24 March, but a routefinding error meant that she lost two hours and elected to retreat. She returned the next day, beginning at 1AM and topping out safely 15 hours later.

Writing on Instagram, Laura described her ascent: "With curiosity as my main motivation, and knowing that up to a point, I could get down, it felt safe to go explore. As I progressed, confidence grew. I rope-soloed all the hard pitches and some short sections. Reaching the Traverse of the Gods at 10am, I knew that time was on my side. I slowed down, prioritizing safety over speed, and topped out at 4pm, exceeding my expectations."

This is likely the second solo ascent of the line by a woman after Catherine Destivelle in 1992. 

 

 

 

Report: 24 March 2022

Some information from the heights in this long period of good weather.
 
No big changes except that the mountains are drying out (again). In the high mountains, it's hard to believe that it's March. In the valley too, spring is well advanced!
 
As far as ski touring is concerned, there are few changes in the “moyenne montagne”. You will have to time it right for perfect spring snow (“moquette/carpet”). Not always easy with the wind and the temperatures which vary a great deal from one day to the next. You have to be a good skier with the current conditions. Couteaux (ski crampons) are your best friends!
 
In summary:
 
  • Vallon de Bérard: you will need to walk as far as the buvette or even a bit further because in the morning it's bullet hard (crampons useful). Ice on the footbridge along the torrent, fixed rope normally in place.
  • Loriaz / Terrasse: portage until the end of the forest, count on a good hour of portage. Col de la Terrasse in good condition.
  • Crochue-Bérard traverse: couteaux or crampons are useful to climb to the col. Crossing under the Alphonse Favre: hard snow but acceptable.
  • Glacier du Mort: good steps on the way up, short mixed passage (5). Descent "no worse".
  • Col des Dards / Col du Belvédère (there and back): good spring conditions!
  • Beugeant: don't go too early!
 
In the high mountains, as we said, it's dry.
 
Little change around the Conscrits hut (hut open, about 1h portage on the way up). Access ok by the Mauvais pas. Still some activity on the Dômes de Miage, the descent by the Armancette glacier is on hard snow on the upper part (easily avoidable sastrugi then hard snow with good grip; but be careful not to slip), it's better from the Pointe de Covagnet. It’s a 10 minute walk above the lac d’Armancette then about 45 minutes to get back to the parking. Some people on Mont Tondu in fairly good conditions. Dry north faces as elsewhere.
 
Very technical skiing reported in the Vallée Blanche (hard snow, bumps, crevasses that are opening up). You can still ski to Montenvers. There are still a few skiers around the Brèche Puiseux, but the Vallée Blanche is in "reinforced concrete" mode in the morning to get there, which could discourage you.
 
Some teams on the Whymper couloir on the Aiguille Verte which is quite dry. Access to the Talèfre basin is already complicated, judge for yourself from the photo on the website.
 
It's a bit better for the classics of the Argentière basin (refuge closed, no opening date planned at this stage) and Le Tour (refuge open).
 
Cols d'Argentière and Tour Noir OK. Couloir en Y OK, glacier du Milieu technical (see cahier de course on the Chamoniarde website). The left bank of the Argentière glacier is complicated (several bits narrow with hard snow).
 
Col du Chardonnet: access to the col on the S side very dry (see photo, beware of rock fall). Fixed rope in place on the N side with several knots (you will have to undo your abseil device and redo it the other side). It is not long enough to pass the rimaye which is wide open. Plan to do a second abseil: minimum 40m rope, no belay in place, possibility of doing a snow belay or using the end of the fixed rope (krab in place) if it's quiet.
 
Fenêtre du Tour and Saleina, col du Tour and col sup du Tour OK. Aiguille du Tour: nothing to report
 
Passon: still enough snow to reach the Vormaine piste.
 
 
In the gullies, things are drying out but they are still there. Latest news, teams on Mini Blast, Vent du Dragon (the belays to descend from the Aiguille du Midi walkway don't seem to have been destroyed by the rock fall), goulotte Chéré, Pellissier, Modica-Noury (last pitch dry and more difficult than usual), Gabarrou-Albinoni, Lafaille (last pitch dry), N face of Tour Ronde (quite short ice section: 15-20m, ice in the upper section).

An old track in the Mallory which seems possible although quite dry (several mixed passages, ice exit).

Report translated from La Chamoniarde.

 

 

 

Tom Livingstone Makes Probable First Free Ascent of ‘Voie des Guides’ on Les Drus

Tom Livingstone Makes Probable First Free Ascent of ‘Voie des Guides’ on Les Drus

AC member Tom Livingstone has made what is likely to be the first free ascent of the Guides Route on the north face of Les Drus. Tom had already made two attempts to free the line earlier this year, but found success on the third time of asking with partner Tom Seccombe.

The crux of the route is believed to weigh in at around M8+ and the pair ended up on the face for longer than they had expected despite managing to onsight the hardest pitches. Writing on his social media, Tom commented: "Waking up, fresh snow worried us. We’d also run out of proper food since we didn’t expect (or want) 2 bivies. We ate a few boiled sweets for breakfast. Tom S. climbed the final hard pitch and I freed it on second"

 

 

 

Report: 16 March 2022

We're back!

It's fair to say that since the last update, there hasn’t been much change (all the classic ski touring routes are being done) but above all  La Chamoniarde are still struggling to get info! So please think about them when you're out and don't call them just to ask for information.

 

The birds are singing, the snow is melting, the crocuses are coming out... In short, it's spring! 

A warm spell of scirocco covered the surface of the snow with a thin layer of sand, no significant snowfall expected. Not goodl!  Let’s see how this will affect the skiability and the mountains (we can expect an acceleration of the melting of the snowpack, also watch out for a potential influence on weak layers in the short and longer term). 

Be careful in the next few days with a mediocre refreeze expected! 

 

Before the thaw and the sandstorm, all the classic ski routes were being done, in OK conditions (variable skiability). The snow cover is generally a bit poor, but there is just enough to go around. 

 

Nothing special to report if you are starting from the top of the lifts.  For departures from car parks, you will need to walk a bit and it’s not going to get better.  It’s a long walk from le Bettey for the aiguillette des Houches; 10 minutes for the aiguillette des Posettes from the le Tour car park; 15-20 minutes for Loriaz; 25 minutes for Bel Oiseau (short snow-covered sections on the road + steep part of the forest). No information from Plaine Joux (Pormenaz) and the Col de la Forclaz (Pointe Ronde). On the other hand, you can ski from Le Buet (until when?) and at the Col des Montets as well as at Notre Dame de la Gorge (crampons are useful for the first 150 metres of the Roman way). 

 

All the classic routes in the Aiguilles Rouges and Navarre are possible: lacs Jovets/Cicle sector, Armancette, Pointe Noire de Pormenaz, Crochue-Bérard traverse (section under the Alphonse Favre very hard snow in the mornings, reserved for good skiers); Glacier du Mort, Col des Dards and Belvédère (up and down the same way); N side of the Belvédère pass quite dry; col de Beugeant, col de l'Encrenaz, Buet, col de la Terrasse, Bel Oiseau, col de Fenestral. 

 

In the high mountains, it is still dry. The faces and couloirs are either little or not filled. The glaciers are starting to open up even though it's only mid-March. Lots of crevasse rescues have been going on (vallée Blanche, glacier d'Argentière). Remember to routinely rope up on the way up, even if we all find it hard to get into the habit. 

 

The Conscrits hut opens this Friday 18th March. The Dômes de Miage have been done. On the ascent, it's walking until the end of the forest (45 min/1h). The Mauvais Pas (bad step) is OK. Stay on the right bank of the glacier, arête in good condition (no ice). The beginning of the descent between the summit and the col de la Bérangère has been well worked by the wind (sastrugi) but was still skiable. Short skis off section above the lac d'Armancette and then skiing in the bed of an avalanche (from the beginning of the season) until the bottom of the valley. 

 

No real activity yet on Mont Blanc from the Grands Mulets. The “jonction” is passable (“mode gruyère" - lots of crevasses).  Higher up the atmosphere is Himalayan (not recommended for the moment): to be continued... 

 

The same goes for the “trois Monts” with a Mont Blanc du Tacul that is far too dry to climb. 

 

The Vallée Blanche is still going strong (writing this on the 16th of March feels a bit weird... sad) but is more than ever only for good skiers. Crampons are still necessary for the Midi arête. Some tricky crevasses especially near the Gros Rognon. Good bumpy terrain  "à la Grospiron” (a famous French Olympic skier) before the Salle à Manger which is already starting to open up. The Vallée Noire is quite easy but you need to be a good skier (patches of ice, crevasses, avalanche debris). 

 

 

It's getting a bit more dicy descending to Chamonix by the Mottets. You will need to take skis off 2-3 times on the glacier. Beware of the ice (it's hot) which overhangs the place where you take off your skis to go back up to the buvette. The slabs under the buvette have also dried out with the sun and traffic. You will have to walk for 8-10 minutes before the Orthaz couloir and then another 10 minutes on the bends before les Planards.

 

Still some activity around the Brèche Puiseux. The N face of Pointe Yeld is unrecognisable. Dry atmosphere also on the épaule du Tacul and in the Capucin couloir (2 rappels of 60 m at the last news). 

 

Access to the Talèfre basin is via the Pierre à Béranger (so you have to go early). The central couloir looks too dry.   A few teams have climbed the Whymper couloir on the Verte (no more information). Some teams have also been on the Col des Droites and the Pointe Isabelle (no more info). The Y couloir will have been done. 

 

In the Argentière basin, the refuge remains closed for the moment. The winter room is not accessible. The N faces are desperately dry, even the Lagarde couloir is not practicable (very dry at the bottom, cruxes not protectable, the only rope party that has been there recently did not like it!) For the record, a rope party has done the Tournier spur. No news from Petit Viking and co. The Y to the Aiguille d'Argentière is still possible (without access to the refuge, logistics are a bit more complicated!). The summit part of the glacier du Milieu (above the rimaye) is quite dry (ice on the surface) and said to be more technical than usual. Col du Tour Noir and d'Argentière: clear. Dry access to the Col du Chardonnet (crampons). A 60m fixed rope is in place on its N side but the descender does not fit: you will have to manage with an alternate method. 

 

Col du Passon: OK down to le Tour. The Albert 1er refuge opens on Friday (18/03). As a reminder, access is via the Col du Passon at this time. 

 

On the Swiss side, the Trient hut is open. On the other hand, "following incivilities and depredations affecting the security of the building, we have unfortunately had to take the decision to close the Cabane de l'A Neuve completely. Access to the interior of the hut is prohibited until further notice. There is therefore no access possible in winter. It will be reopened for the summer season." Very sad. 

 

Concerning the gullies, the activity is still concentrated around the Aiguille du Midi:  

- Vent du Dragon, Burnier Vogler. INFO of 16-03: rockfall in the Passerelle couloir, the belays could have been impacted. 

- Chéré couloir, Pellissier, Gabarrou-Albinoni, Modica-Noury, Supercouloir (L1+L2 completely dry). Do not exit at the top of Le Tacul but abseil the routes. 

- Lafaille, Valeria.

- N face of the Tour Ronde + Gervasutti couloir (rimaye passes on the right, mixed exit) with descent by the Freshfield couloir. 

 

For ice climbing, you can still climb near the cascade Bérard but you will have to hurry! 

 

It also feels like the end for snowshoeing! It hasn't snowed for a long time and the itineraries at the bottom of the valley can be done with good boots, poles and a small pair of crampons. At altitude (access from the lifts: Prarion, Flégère, Index, aiguillette des Posettes + refuge de Loriaz), they can still be useful when the snow is soft (it's warm) and not sufficiently packed. 

 

We are about to enter an "in-between" period: it is spring in the valley bottom but there is still snow at altitude. Hiking activity should therefore be limited to below 1600-1800 m depending on the sector. The paths are slippery, there may be ice or couloirs to cross.

Report translated from La Chamoniarde.

 

 

 

Green Group

The AC Green Group

The purpose of the Alpine Club Green Group is to assist the Alpine Club in initiating and contributing to mountaineering sustainability objectives - as well as raising the AC's profile, locally, nationally and internationally on this agenda.

The Green Group intends to inform, engage and support individual AC members in reducing all our carbon footprints, but also to facilitate partnership initiatives that are likely to have a more effective impact.

The Green Group is an open consultative group consisting of interested members who meet formally once or twice per annum (virtually at present) and any actions taken are fed back into the main AC committee by the Chair.

 

Green Group Members

The current Green Group is made up of:

John Booth                   Terry Gifford                  Andy MacNae 
Rob Collister                 Steve Goodwin               Ola Parcinska  
Ed Douglas                   Jerry Gore                     Martin Price 
Mike Fletcher                Grace Hurford                Andy Tickle 
Pete Frost                     David Medcalf               Jonathan White 

 

Resources

As part of their work, the Green Group produce position papers and articles for the club on topics relating to the environment; survey members on green issues and coallate resources to help members and the wider mountaineering community make informed decisions. You can keep up to date on Green Group activities at the Sustainability News feed and find more in-depth resources below.

 




 

 

 

Jon Bracey & Matt Helliker Climb Probable New Line on Aiguille Noire de Peuterey

Jon Bracey & Matt Helliker Climb Probable New Line on Aiguille Noire de Peuterey

At the end of February this year, AC member Matt Helliker and British Mountain Guide Jon Bracey made what is likely the first ascent of a line on the ENE face of the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey.

Climbed entirely on trad gear, the pair have dubbed the line 'Mad Vlad' and graded it M7 R, IX/8 with Helliker describing the crux pitch as "serious, run out, steep and questionable".

Further details at PlanetMountain.

 

 

 

 

Simon Gietl Makes First Traverse of the Rosengarten Skyline

Simon Gietl Makes First Traverse of the Rosengarten Skyline

Italian alpinist Simon Gietl has, over three days, made the first traverse of the Rosengarten Skyline in the Italian Dolomites. Gietl had initially planned to complete the route with Egon Resch but the pair were forced to abandon the route after Resch was hit by rockfall. Undeterred, Gietl returned on his own and, from the 1 to 3 March, succeeded in reaching all of the major summits in the range.

More details are available at Planet Mountain.

 

 

 

First Winter Ascent of 'Padre Pio Prega Per Noi + Echelle Ver le Ciel'

First Winter Ascent of 'Padre Pio Prega Per Noi + Echelle Ver le Ciel'

On the 1 March, after 3 days of climbing, the Italian team of François Cazzanelli, Emrik Favre and Francesco Ratti topped out on the link up 'Padre Pio Prega Per Noi + Echelle Ver le Ciel' (1,870m, 7b) on the South Face of the Matterhorn.

'Padre Pio Prega Per Noi' is a 700m line which finishes on the Pilastro dei Fiori pillar. It can be continued to the summit via 'Echelle Ver le Ciel', giving the complete 41-pitch link up. This was the first repeat of the complete route and the first ascent of the line in winter.

Further details are available at Planet Mountain.

 

 

 

Alpine Club Statement on Ukraine

Alpine Club Statement on Ukraine

The Alpine Club Committee deplores the invasion of Ukraine and stands united with the people of Ukraine in the face of Russia's violent aggression.

We also support the many Russian climbers who have expressed their opposition to what their government is doing.

We welcome the suspension of the Russian Mountaineering Federation from the UIAA. No alpinists or mountaineering officials from Russia or Belarus should be allowed to participate in UIAA events and all Russian and Belarus delegates should be excluded from UIAA working groups, committees and commissions, until Ukraine's sovereignty is respected and all Russian troops are withdrawn.