/ Destination for first Alpine trip
Heading to the Alps for the first time in a few weeks hopefully. Can anyone suggest a good destination for alpine virgins? Want to try some easier routes with a view to learning the Alpine way.
Had considered Chamonix but that's the only place we could think of, plus it might be dropping us in at the deep-end...
Any advice or help would be much appreciated!
Ensure you know how to rope up alpine style and crevasse rescue etc.
I camped in Argentière and met some people who I ended up climbing with.
Chamonix is not as hard core as some would have you believe and anyone with experience at trad climbing and ice climbing in the UK will find plenty to keep them going.
Are you going to be camping?
Erin's , alfroide
We've both climbed up to grade 4 Scottish winter, E4 trad, and 7c sport. Is the general consensus that we'd find most easier alpine stuff boring?
Remeber parts of Italy and Switzerland speak French too. It's difficult to describe the differences in cultural feel but they are there. Size-wise Chamonix and Zermatt are very busy with loads of bars, shops etc, while small villages are quiet and normally cheaper.
> We've both climbed up to grade 4 Scottish winter, E4 trad, and 7c sport. Is the general consensus that we'd find most easier alpine stuff boring?
It depends if you want mountaineering or climbing. "Classic" alpine mountaineering is more about covering a lot techinically fairly easy but often exposed ground quickly and safely (think Cuillin ridge maybe) than technical climbing. It also involves a lot of mountain walking and there is a lot of judgement needed about weather, dangers, times etc. Only you will know if you will find this boring. If you are after just technical climbing, Chamonix has lots oflifts that get you close very quickly. Of course it is possible to combine the two on routes like the Walker Spur, but you will have to ask others about that sort of thing!
Perhaps worth adding that if you are not that familiar with alpine grading, it makes something like "VS" look very precise! AD can be anything from a short easy scramble to a hugely long and serious undertaking.
Depends what you're after. I spent my first two weeks in Saas and only did easy routes. Best two weeks ever.
anyone have any guidebook suggestions for Ecrins or Saas valley? at the easier end of the spectrum... and in english!! cheers in advance
Yep, just turn up and see what takes your fancy.
You'll make loads of mistakes, (we all did). Hopefully nothing too serious.
Let us know how it went when you get back.
On a side note,
Sleeping bags for bivvying on the hill, what kind of comfort rating would I be looking at? And with the possibility of going back in winter, ditto?
Your profile suggests you have good technical expertise so a trip to Cham should suit. You can always do some of the mid mountain sport routes, or high mountain rock routes as well as the alpine style climbs. Cham has lots of variety of climbing of all grades.
Summer bivvy, I suggest very small and light. PHD Minimus ( rated +5 but ratings are notoriously varied )is what I use. Add silk liner, bivvy bag and hot water bottle. You will also have extra clothing if bivvying higher. Different bag for winter though!
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