The two I thought that looked the best were before and after the grey tower, there is also one after the first hard pitch (? cracks) but it's a bit low on the route. If you are going well you could take an amazing one after the red chimney pitches but that's a long way up if starting at Montenvers! Basically get as high as you can on the first day, cos it's a long descent down the back.....
We left Leschaux at about half past midnight and climbed past several parties still asleep on the ledges at the foot of the Grey Tower. This seemed about the biggest ledge available. Out of interest, a friend of mine started from the first Montenvers train and got down to the Boccalate in the evening. Go as fast as you can!
eire20 Jun 2011
Thanks Chad and Jon,
Good info from both of you! Hoping to get to the base of the Grey Towers to bivi alright so glad to hear there are good spots there.
Your friend sounds pretty fast Jon! I'd say he slept well after that outing!
Would be great to hear anyone's experiences who took the same approach as we hope to.
> Your friend sounds pretty fast Jon! I'd say he slept well after that outing!
Simon was soloing. It was the day after our ascent. The rock was completely dry and we wore rock shoes from the base of the route, right onto the summit. I'd imagine he did the same. Our approach (ie doing it in a day from the hut) was so that we could climb with a tiny 20L sac each, just big enough for a pair of boots, crampons and a waterproof. It paid off as we got back to Argentière that same evening. I hate climbing with a heavy sac and have never liked bivvying.
In reply to eire: There's a great spot just on the traverse after the red chimney. I must say i didn't notice anything around the 75m corner that you'd want to plan to bivi on. It was very icy when i was there, and as a result most small ledges were glazed over. But still i recomend getting to this point higher up. Its in a wicked position.
Sleep at the Hut and start on the route early, we set off at 2am from the hut and found loads of teams on the route, bivied just below the grey wall. good site enough for three teams. Made it to the top the top the next day. Bivi site also can be had at the traverse just above the red chimney near the top. Good luck. We did the whole route in rock shoes July in a very dry season a couple of years ago.
Does anyone know if the bottom of this route is racked by stonefall and whether this is worse later in the day? I'd always assumed it was but from what others are saying above it seems it may be possible to start this route later in the day without it being suicidal?
Also, in very dry years, is there absolutly no snow around at bivis and what articular problems does dryness present (are there sections that are better/easier/safer when its snowy)?
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