Thursday, 3 September 2009

The end of the summer....?

It's been a great summer season here - warm all the time, even in July when there were a fair number of evening storms. We have hardly walked in the rain at all and August has seen wall to wall blue skies almost every day. How good is that? For hiking on non-glaciated terrain the conditions have been perfect; the same is true for cragging - everything has been really dry and the warm temps made climbing at altitude really pleasant.

Sadly there is a downside - the high mountains are suffering - heavy rockfall on many faces, grey, icy and melting glaciers, and lots of open crevasses.

Care must be taken when choosing high summits and climbs - anything remotely prone to rockfall should be avoided and beware hard grey ice on many slopes.

My treks have been great fun, especially the ones far from the crowds. Last week I did something I called Not the Tour of Mont Blanc with a brilliant team and we enjoyed near solitude on many days, even though we were really very near the famous TMB trek.

On this subject, last weekend saw the Mont Blanc Ultra Trail around the whole Mont Blanc massif. Having promised family and friends that I would not do this again, having succeeded on it twice, I was satisfied to watch from a distance and to enjoy the fantastic ambience that this race now generates in Chamonix. For the 3rd year running conditions for the race were perfect.

Now the season is drawing to a close and we'll all be glad to take a break for a while.

I have provisional programmes for my snowshoeing and summer treks and holidays and these can be found on my website

Ill be back with alpine news in a month or so!