Category Archives: Rock Climbing

Grimsel Rock Climbing

We spent a few days smearing our way up a few of the famous Grimsel slabs. Located between Meiringen and the Grimsel Pass, this little valley of Haslital is well known for its plethora of technical, multipitch rock climbing. Though our technique was certainly improving after more than 30 pitches on these smooth slabs, my toes were killing me! This area is smack dab in the middle of other world class climbing areas such as Graue Wand and Winterstock above the Furka pass, the Salbit valley below Andermatt, and the Englhorner range above Meiringen.

These climbs are part of the multipitch rock climbing trips I organize. Have a look at some of the places we can visit together.

Terrasse a Choucas

Andy and I climbed the Terrasse a Choucas above La Fouly yesterday. The heat has finally arrived in these Alps for the first time this “summer”, making this north facing, rock climbing route at 2000 meters, an ideal choice. Olivier and Andrea Roduit, Charlie Fellay and Jean-Yves Michelod put this route up a few years ago in the Val Ferret. The climbing is varied, with the more difficult moves on slab/friction. 10 rappels gets one quickly back down to the base and into La Fouly for cold beer.
The forecast calls for sunny days with afternoon thunder showers probable for the next 5 days. The high peaks are still in great shape for ski mountaineering, and as the snows from last week’s fall quickly melt, the pure rock routes will quickly come into shape.
Summer Time!

Spring Time in the Alps

Hot! It’s hot! And beautiful. What a fine spring it is in these Alps. The weather is gorgeous, the flowers are coming out, and the grass is a color green that one sees only in the Spring.

We drove an hour south into the Val d’Aoste last week, with the pretense of skiing on the vast quantities of spring snow there. Just an afternoon’s climb, followed by a trip to a fine Italian Hut. Ok, well, a second day for a multi-pitch climb since it is so warm. Day 3? We found ourselves driving two and a half hours, due south, to the Italian coast, to climb stunning limestone above the sea. It was slightly cooler than Verbier, 12C mornings with a high of 20. Perfect climbing temps for the cliffs above Finale. How nice this spring is.

In the Aosta Valley, just an hour’s drive from Verbier, we stayed at the B & B Maison de Noe. The architect and local guide, Andrea Duc has created and amazing oasis in the beautiful valley one returns from at the end of the multi-pitch climbs. It’s worth a stop just to have a look at the amazing restoration he has done with this little “hameau”.

Rock Climbing near Verbier and Chamonix

Summer is over and I have not published a thing! Too much time to do too many things!

The weather is back to summer-time temps, reflecting again the in and out weather in the Alps this season. Most recently, we did a couple of real fine climbs on perfect granite. One, up the Val d’Arpette, which many of you know from winter ski season. The other on the Pointe Lachenal above the Chamonix valley.

Olivier Roduit’s route on the Six Carro in the Val d’Arpette is one of the nicest climbs anywhere! The rock is stunning, with all sorts of cool forms, from cracks to knobs. The Contamine Route on the Pointe Lachanel is another supreme route, offering the aspiring, clean, crack climber the opportunity to protect his lead with the sole use of rocks and friends.