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Under mountains and stars – Blaitière bivy

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Sometimes, the best part of mountaineering isn’t the climbing itself but the simple joy of being in the mountains. A couple of days ago, Claire, Xavier and I headed for some of the classic routes on the northwest faces of Aiguilles de Chamonix. We ditched our initial plans of heading up Pilier Cordier on Grands Charmoz and instead went on the ridiculously good L’eau rance d’Arabie (F6b, 8 pitches), on the Pilier Rouge de Blaitière. Perfect cracks, perfect rock, some slabs here and there, super fun moves and gorgeous views.

After abseiling the route in the early evening, we settled on a flat spot on the moraine, just below the glacier, and enjoyed an amazing bivy. Since the cablecar was barely an hour away, we had even brought beers! And as soon as we settled in for the night, we were treated to a superb moonrise behind the Aiguilles, at one point perfectly aligned behind the summit of Aiguille du Midi.

The next morning, Claire and Xavier headed back up to the Pilier Rouge to climb the shorter and even more classic Nabot Léon, while I headed down to get some work done, getting in Cham just in time for breakfast…

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