/ Dent d'orlu September / October

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Gareth - on 16 Jan 2013
Hi. Looking at trip end September / beginning October. Wondered what temperatures and weather like? Previously been to Verdon and st Julian around the same time, was lovely and warm with blue sky's, but realise this is a bit higher.
JonS - on 17 Jan 2013
Its a good time of year for Orlu, although September can still be pretty hot. The snow generally doesn't arrive until December. The shorter days is your main problem at that time of year, head torch at the ready if you want to get on one of the really big routes.
john arran - on 17 Jan 2013
^^^^^^^^^
wot he said.
ayuplass - on 17 Jan 2013
In reply to Gareth:
We did Tapas Sans Dalle on Oct 2nd last year, there had been a couple of days of snow so the last 4 or 5 pitches had wet snow patches which were a bit grim and caused seepage problems for the top half of the route. However the top half is in the shade for mist of the day so I think routes that get the sun all day wouldn't be affected in the same way.
We climbed in t-shirts when we were in the sun, it was nippy out of the sun. We had been there since late September and other members of our party did routes on d'Orlu before the snow came earlier in the trip.
We set off before dawn (very frosty and cold) and just about got back before it was dark enough for headtorches (take one with you though!). The slushy snow also made the horrible decsent even worse so it took longer than usual to get down
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=206506
Chris the Tall - on 17 Jan 2013
In reply to john arran:
At the other end of the scale, how early in the season is it viable ?
JonS - on 17 Jan 2013
Maybe no snow until december wasn't entirely accurate!. There can still be snow about in June, but its usually gone by July. If you want the long days then July is the best bet......although it might be too hot aaaargh. Cloudy July day....perfect.
chiz - on 17 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall: Depends on the amount of snow over the winter, and how much seepage is on the slabs. And as already said, the length of the day for the long routes on the Dent (there are some winter routes in the Achard guide BTW). But lots elsewhere can be climbable in February if the sun is out. Can combine a winter trip with sunny cragging on the suntrap crags like Calames, though it will be cold out of the sun and the upper crags on Sinsat may be out and Auzat may be chilly too as out of the sun.

BTW, to OP: I've been in early September and had a week of rain, so its not as predictable as it may appear.

John, have the ice falls at Juclar formed yet, and are they in the new book?
john arran - on 17 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to john arran)
> At the other end of the scale, how early in the season is it viable ?

It varies quite a lot from season to season so difficult o generalise. There are times during some winters where you could almost certainly do a long south-facing route in midwinter (if you were quick!) but for you to have some expectation of it being 'in' you'd want to wait until well into May at least. From then until maybe late June you might expect to still have snow to contend with on the descent but the clean routes like Les enfants and Durrendalle should be completely dry after just a few days of sun.

Most ascents I think are in August but more because that's when French people have holiday than when it's best. July and September are probably best overall - July has longer days but more chance of afternoon weather.

john arran - on 17 Jan 2013
In reply to chiz:
> John, have the ice falls at Juclar formed yet, and are they in the new book?

No ice in the Rockfax, sorry. The ice here just isn't accessible enough to make it a tempting option for anyone here in winter as they probably would be mainly here for rock or sliding. Too many other things (walking, biking, swimming, etc.) to fit in too so we had to stop somewhere.

And I've been too busy working lately to even think about winter conditions so no idea how well anything is formed. It has been a relatively mild winter so far though so I doubt there's much of a build-up anywhere yet; we had good snow a month ago and we have masses of snow at the moment but between times has been mostly sunny and warm t-shirt cragging weather.
chiz - on 17 Jan 2013
In reply to john arran: Cheers, I was pretty impressed by the Juclar falls, and thought the walk in from the Ruhle refuge was pretty easy, I guess the reservoir road gets blocked if there's a big dump though making a long old slog, and when there's so much other stuff to go at...
Simon Caldwell - on 17 Jan 2013
In reply to ayuplass:
> We did Tapas Sans Dalle on Oct 2nd last year

We tried it a couple of weeks later, after the snow from the previous weekend had gone. But gave in after a pitch as it was so windy we could hardly stand upright at the belay, the thought of padding up slabs suddenly didn't appeal!

Apparently it is hardly ever windy in the Ariege ...
Gareth - on 17 Jan 2013
In reply to Gareth: Hi. Thanks for the all the replies. So Looks like it could be possible. We'll make sure we get an early start in!
hedgepig - on 17 Jan 2013
In reply to Gareth: I did a route further East 2 days after ayuplass and there was no snow except on the descent route. But we should have worn more clothes. And headtorches essential for the walk-in and retreat. But it was brilliant.

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