/ ALPINE ARTICLE 1: Alpine Reminiscence 2007 by Nick Bullock

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In the winter of 1972 the Colton-MacIntyre was
attempted by Bonnington, Burke, Clarke and Haston. A
plane flew the team and a deposit of equipment onto
the Leschaux glacier, where, after 17 bivouacs and
with fixed ropes, they only managed to get to 350m
below the ridge. Attitudes have definitely changed
along with understanding of what is possible. In 2007
Andy Houseman and Ross Hewitt, just one of the many
teams who climbed the Colton-MacIntyre reported
Styrofoam ice for nearly the whole length of the

Houseman's take on the route is, "A pretty good
climb with a couple of spicy pitches.

Times change.

Nick Bullock reports on the activities
of British Alpinists in the the Alps in 2007.

Read the article:
In reply to Jack Geldard - Assistant Editor: I've been looking forward to this for a while and it hasnt disappointed. What a brilliant achievement, must have taken forever to catalogue all that. Time to replace skis with axes I think...
thanks Nick
In reply to jongriffith: Your article is very good too Jon!

Thanks to you and Nick.

Michael Ryan - on 03 Feb 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Assistant Editor:

resolution width issues should be sorted: back on topic
graham F - on 04 Feb 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Assistant Editor: Yes, certainly inspiring reading and some good pictures - good effort Nick.

You've raised a few points though. The most obvious is the focus of British alpinists on Chamonix. Ok, so a few folk went to the Eiger, but otherwise you could title this "the Activities of Brits in Cham", or more accurately "Brits on the Tacul/Jorasses/Dru". There is lot more to the Alps...did anyone go there? Is the lure of "15 minutes" of internet fame to blame? Or Easyjet? Or dossing chez Baird?

Secondly, this sentence.."I do not climb in the Alps in summer and the body count of approximately thirty in one month...confirms why I believe this to be the correct decision." Yes, the growing number of deaths is worrying, and very sad, but you're implying that summer alpinism is suicidal. That's simply not the case. It's dangerous, yes, but not more so than winter. As more people take up alpine climbing the accident rate is bound to increase, but with the correct skills, route choice, appreciation of current conditions, etc, you can can climb here safely. Thousands do! The Conville Trust, BMC, IFMGA guides, etc are all trying to help folk do just that.

Oh, and "carving seracs"? Sounds terrifying!

So, that sounds like a bit of a rant - it's not really meant that way. If I ever climb anything outside the "Chamonix Box" I'll let you know...

long - on 04 Feb 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Assistant Editor: I've been looking forward to the Alpine instalment and really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for taking the time Nick. Can't wait to get out there.

francoisecall - on 05 Feb 2008
In reply to graham F:

Or even "the activities of me and my friends", lots else was happening.

The new routes put up on the South Face of Grandes Jorasses were done by a group in the Alpine Club summer meet on information given by Luca Signorelli.

On the dangers of summer alpinism, Nick has a point if he is considering long routes which are partly mixed or with little traffic and where there is an advantage in loose things being frozen, descents not too slushy, and accessible on skis (quicker and safer).
graham F - on 05 Feb 2008
In reply to francoisecall: Completely agree with you!

As for summer, I did say " route choice, appreciation of current conditions" are vital...

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