/ Chamonix rock advice; late Aug/early Sep

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ClimbShawn - on 11 Aug 2013
Hello and new to this excellent forum that was recommended to me. I put this thread under Alpine, though the intent is about rock climbing but in an alpine setting.

We are going to be in Chamonix last week of Aug and 1st week of Sep and would appreciate any advice you have for us. The general plan is to stay in huts for a few days at a time, come down do the valley and head to another hut for a few days and so on. The first week to climb in the Aiguilles Rouges and the 2nd week be on the Mont Blanc massif side.

We are decent sport/trad climbers, I lead up to 5.10+ sport / 5.7 Yosemite trad in the states. Not much alpine rock experience really. Am starting to pick candidates for climbs during the trips.

Would love to hear any advice on 1st week climbs to build up our confidence and understanding of the routes. As well, if a good idea to go to the Mont Blanc side, which I understand is more committing/serious on this trip or not.

We are pretty comfortable climbing crack, not fingers, but have climbed up to 5.11 at Indian Creek.

That's our general plan and are assuming that the hut plan is sound and we'll be able to be get the food/water/accommodations we need to be happy. We are planning on renting car in Paris and driving to Chamonix and leaving during the trip to have the freedom we need should plans change, weather prove to be bad, etc.

Advice on routes most appreciated and anything else about our plan above that you can critique and suggest more informed/intelligent alternatives will be fantastic.

Many thanks!
Shawn
Mountain Llama - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to ClimbShawn: been to the area twice, found the guidebook by Michel Piola good for Aig Rouge. Many of the routes can be done staying in the valley and using the brilliant lift system.

Cheers Davey
chrisallan - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to ClimbShawn:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=10511

This is where you should go for the second week. Piola also has a guide out for this area. Its very good.
thomm - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to ClimbShawn:
Agree on Piola guides (Cham shops usually have French and English editions). For building a most-wanted list, you still can't beat Rebuffat's 100 Finest book, which has plenty of the classic rock routes on both sides of the valley. For a friendly intro to the MB side, you can't get much friendlier than the Papillon ridge.
ClimbShawn - on 12 Aug 2013
thank you much for the thoughts thus far. I do, indeed, have the Piola books for both sides of the valley as well as the crag book.

Also wondering about glacier travel, we are planning to not do anything that involves that as we don't want to do ice axe/crampons/etc. on this trip. I'm assuming there is plenty that doesn't require glacier travel.
Alexandre Buisse - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to chrisallan:
> (In reply to ClimbShawn)
>
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=10511
>
> This is where you should go for the second week. Piola also has a guide out for this area. Its very good.


If he's climbing 5.7 trad, then envers will not be a good option. Especially this late, when most of the bergshrunds are wide open and options are limited. Better to stick to Blaitière/Peigne if he wants to experience the Cham granite.
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Alexandre Buisse - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to thomm:
> (In reply to ClimbShawn)
> For building a most-wanted list, you still can't beat Rebuffat's 100 Finest book, which has plenty of the classic rock routes on both sides of the valley.

Sure you can. Philippe Batoux came up with a gorgeous updated version, which now has an English translation.

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