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For some of us the.. by Peter Walker   (Show all posts)
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kernowclimber
2011-09-05 10:02:24
"Our Lady in Paradiso" from kernowclimber Expand pics
Our Lady in Paradiso (Expand pics)
Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained
We camped in the Val Veny below the Mont Blanc massif near Courmayeur. Hemmed in by jagged snow capped mountains with blue glaciers fringed by pine forests, this valley is biscuit tin beautiful. To begin acclimatization we took a cable car to Punta Helbonner (3375m) to practice crevasse rescue with an Italian guide, followed by another day at similar altitude. From Punta Helbonner we took the Panoramic Mont Blanc lift for the 5 km journey to the Aiguille de Midi. The world’s highest cable car traverse connects France and Italy offering tremendous views of the Mont Blanc massif and the Mer de Glace. At Aiguille de Midi we emerged via an icy tunnel above a thrilling knife edge aręte to traverse the undulating plateau to Punta Helbonner. The route passes the east face of Mont Blanc du Tacul beneath towering granite spires and over a series of deep blue, cavernous crevasses.

We then tackled Gran Paradiso (4061 m), climbing the zigzag path from Pont to the Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele II (2735 m). The hut, resembling an aircraft hangar, is excellent: warm, with bunk-bed dorms for 4 people and tasty, plentiful food. As members of the Austrian Alpine Club we got a good discount. Next morning we breakfasted and set off at 4.30 am for the 1300 m climb. Squally showers and gusts of wind were ominous signs as we crossed the boulder field behind the hut. After taking a route up the west face glacier, atop the snowy ridge, high wind and poor visibility halted progress. I was blown over and had to self arrest with my ice axe. Scary! Disheartened, we returned to our campsite.

Fine weather then settled in. By now well acclimatized, we planned to climb Mont Blanc. However, a bad fall of ground at the infamous Grand Couloir closed the route to the Gouter hut. Seeking an alternative, we trekked up the Val Veny to check out the Gonella route. I didn’t like the look of it and the rapid thaw resulted in the removal for safety reasons of the fixed equipment on the Miage glacier the very next day.

We therefore consoled ourselves with another stab at Gran Paradiso, taking a different route over moraine and a rocky ridge above the north face glacier entailing scrambling and a via ferrata. As darkness receded, the sight of mighty Mont Blanc blushing dawn pink against an inky blue sky was sublime. The final climb above a bergschrund is steep; the short traverse to the Madonna statue very exposed and liable to congestion. We had to wait our turn. It was a magical moment to have the highest peak solely in Italy to ourselves for a few minutes with extensive views of pristine meringue-like peaks soaring into a deep blue sky in all directions. We returned to the hut via the west face glacier. After lunch, a beer to celebrate and a hot shower, we descended to Pont. Gran Paradiso is a great introduction to Alpine climbing, but you need good fitness levels and appropriate experience and equipment to tackle it unguided and safely within guidebook time.
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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 19 Next page >>
Summit Summary
Doughruagh South Top: Twin of Doughruagh main top
Collaborative entry Last edit by: liz50 a day ago.
Located behind Kylemore Abbey, it has been reported that access from the grounds is no longer allowed. It is possible to park in a small lay-by at L77637 58711 and walk approx 30m along the road t...

  
Summit Summary
Currywongaun: Rough and Rocky
Collaborative entry Last edit by: liz50 a day ago.
Park off road in a small lay-by at L72134 59157 and ascend the spur in a roughly Easterly direction to the summit. Usually climbed en-route to its larger neighbor Doughraugh.

  
Summit Summary
Doughruagh: Rocky summit with access issues from Kylemore Abbey
Collaborative entry Last edit by: liz50 a day ago.
Located behind Kylemore Abbey, it has been reported that access from the grounds is no longer allowed. It is possible to park in a small lay-by at L77637 58711 and walk approx 30m along the road t...

Summit Summary
Raghtin More: The smallest Inishowen Arderin
Collaborative entry Last edit by: liz50 2 days ago.
The easiest approach is to park at Urrismenagh viewpoint carpark C317 443 and follow the track to its highest point. From here you can avoid Crockmain and carry on towards Raghtin More to the Nort...

  
Track
Forbidden Keadeen
CaptainVertigo 2 days ago.
Please DO NOT attempt to gain access to Keadeen from the road by following my route. The owner, who is a very decent ... walk, Len: 7.2km, Climb: 487m, Area: Keadeen Mountain, Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland

  
Summit Summary
Crockmain: An uninspiring summit with great views
Collaborative entry Last edit by: liz50 2 days ago.
The easiest approach is to park at Urrismenagh viewpoint carpark C317 443 and follow the track to its highest point before heading north over heather to the summit. Alternatively from Mamore Gap c...

Track
Meentog South East Top
Onzy 3 days ago.
Route to Meentog SET from west. Parking is in a farmyard (with permission) and a helpful track leads up to around 540m walk, Len: 4.1km, Climb: 336m, Area: Glenbeigh Horseshoe (Ireland)

  
Summit Summary
Knocknanacree: Views to Slieve Mish and the Dingle Peninsula
Collaborative entry Last edit by: liz50 2 days ago.
Summit can be approached from the West by parking near Minard Castle V556 992 and following a rough track uphill past a quarry and onto the summit ridge.A shorter steeper approach is possible from...

  
Summit Summary
Teeromoyle Mountain: A summit in the middle of a classic Horseshoe walk
Collaborative entry Last edit by: liz50 2 days ago.
This summit is usually accessed whilst walking the Glenbeigh Horseshoe. A shortened version taking in the 4 central 600m summits in the centre of the horseshoe Teeromoyle, Coomacarrea, Mullaghnara...

Summit Comment
Bruse Hill: Bruse
Nekarsulm 3 days ago.
Track up from the quarry is overgrown. I partially walked up a small stream, as it at least cuts its way through the whins. Climbing straight upwards, you will see places where some earlier climbe...

  
Track
Doolieve
caiomhin 6 days ago.
walk, Len: 3.5km, Climb: 48m, Area: Doolieve, South Cork (Ireland) Doolieve

  
Forum: General
Irish Times - Post Mortem on Hillwalker
CaptainVertigo 4 days ago.
According to the Irish Times a postmortem examination is to be carried out on the remains of a man found during the search for a hillwalker in Connemara who went missing during a St Patrick’s day ...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 19 Next page >>