/ Arolla Early June?

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BruceM - on 25 Apr 2012
Hi

Due to holiday situations am heading to alps much earlier this year --first few weeks of June.

Iím wondering if Arolla is a sensible objective, given that its peaks are at a fairly low altitude -- perhaps it might come into summer condition fairly early?

Also have never been there so it would be interesting.

Or is the altitude deceptive because of some locational thing. Would be aiming at just the classic <AD sort of things people usually do there.

Any views or experiences appreciated.

Cheers
graham F - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to BruceM: It's usually good in June. Lots up to AD is fine even if it's still snowy. Huts open mid June-ish, but the winter rooms are good.
Kid Spatula - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to BruceM:

There was a LOT of snow still in early July last year. Glaciers well covered and crevasses filled.

Couldn't get to the Tsa mind :(
jhw - on 25 Apr 2012
Apologies for thread hijack but does anyone know if it's possible to get around to the start of the Tsa/Tsalion traverse from the Bertol hut (for various reasons we don't want to begin at the more logical Tsa hut).

Thanks
Kid Spatula - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to BruceM:

You would have to abseil down the start of the route I would think?

The traverse across from the Bertol would be epic.
jhw - on 25 Apr 2012
Looks clearly not possible on the map I'm looking at. I can't see any sensible way.
jhw - on 25 Apr 2012
Edit - other than walking along/up the fairly crevassed glacier immediately east of the ridge, and somehow joining the start of the climb that way.

I think basically there is no way to do this climb from the Bertol hut - have to revise our plans.
Hat Dude on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to jhw:

Four of us went to do the Tsa from the Bertol Hut a while back; started late from the hut due to bad weather overnight; two of us turned back because we didn't fancy the look of the weather but the other pair went on. The weather cleared and they did it without any bother, I was kicking myself.
They didn't say it was anything other than straightforward.
Kid Spatula - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to BruceM:

Oh hang on. If you want to get to the Tsa from the Bertol it's fairly easy. I thought you meant the West Ridge route. Yeah you have to walk up the glacier from the Bertol, it's fairly easy but last year it was avalanching a lot when we tried it.
jhw - on 25 Apr 2012
Thanks (sorry again for thread hijack). Looks like you have to smash through a fairly mean cornice at the top of the Col de la Tsa too.

Cheers all
graham F - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to jhw: It's fairly easy to get to the Tsa from Bertol (or to the top of the Tsalion) You don't go through the Col de la Tsa. To get to the start of the Tsalion west ridge walk up early from Arolla or stay in the Tsa hut. You can return to the valley through the Col de la Tsa to avoid going round via Bertol but this is becoming steeper and more crevassed each year.
BruceM - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to BruceM:

Thanks folks. Don't mind hijacks - all good Arolla talk.

It may be the same with loads of snow this year too given conditions in other parts of the Alps.

Whereupon, perhaps the question should be: does a lot of snow rule out too many of the fun things in the area like the Tsa?

At least in Chamonix and elsewhere there is lower rock to do if conditons up high aren't best. Arolla doesn't really have much of that from what I can see.
jhw - on 25 Apr 2012
Thanks for this - really very helpful! See you out there in July

Have a great trip Bruce and report back on how you find it - interested to hear...

graham F - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to BruceM: The Tsa normal route clears quickly, as do many others. Tsalion West Ridge takes a while and needs to be dry. If June is snowy then you can hire snowshoes for the approaches. Cheilon Normal/traverse, Dent Blanche, Eveque, etc, etc are all good even if snowy.
Kid Spatula - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to BruceM:

Last year you couldn't get to the Tsa normal route. Too risky snow wise. Other stuff was fine though. Eveque normal route looked great.
graham F - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Kid Spatula: Yes you could! There may have been a couple of days early season when it was difficult but snow settles fast in the summer and it was definitely climbed in June.
Kid Spatula - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to BruceM:

OK, I couldn't :)
LakesWinter on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to BruceM: A mate of mine has done the N face of Pt Marcel Kurz a couple of times in recent years in early July - could be an option.

The Tsa clears quickly and is often in nick, in June you could probably go from the plan de bertol up the snow slope to the left of the hut to cut the corner - we did that in Aug 07.

Luette-Pleurer traverse looks good in early season - we were tired from many days on so didn't complete it. I wonder if anyone on here has done it?
BruceM - on 26 Apr 2012
In reply to BruceM:
Thank you all. And cheers for the local info Graham. The area does sound like a fun target then.

Meanwhile just need the local wx here in Scotland to pick up again to get ready :) Mind you we have had some very alpine days on the Ben recently with this late snow.

All the best
Bruce
ads.ukclimbing.com
peas65 - on 26 Apr 2012
In reply to BruceM:

We did the TSa from the Bertol hut last year, brill little climb. I would recommend getting up before the people doing the haute route as we had to wait over an hour just to get down the ladder onto the glacier as they were all roped together and a bit useless. We did it in august so crevasses were pretty open by then, as was the schrund on the col de tsa. Watch for rock fall there was plenty dropping off onto the glacier.

Arolla is a brilliant place and i would head back again if we were going back to the alps this year, the campsite is lovely and reasonably priced. I would take lots of food as the local shops sell hardly anything and its all very expensive.
Have a nice time

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