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Arollas finest traverses.

~ Friday, 2nd October 2009

The early part of September this year yielded even more great weather in the Alps. This was fortuitous for Dan Steggles, as it was his first trip to the Alps and a great opportunity to climb three of the finest traverses in the Arolla are of the Valais Alps.        We started the week with a two night trip to the Vignettes hut. No other visitors were there on the first night, which felt a little strange, but at least we would be getting a route to ourselves the following morning. A glorious morning dawned and we strolled across the peaceful Glacier du Mont Collon to the south west ridge of L’Eveque. The ridge is graded AD and provides a superb route to the summit. Some easy ground, but plenty of technical interest. The descent is more straightforward, but still required care on the steep upper glacier. The Pigne d’Arolla followed, again with a stunning dawn. Much more straightforward, but ideal for further altitude training and a well deserved easier day. Dan was very keen to climb some more in this area so we actually returned to the Cabane des Dix, planning to traverse Mont Blanc de Cheilon on the final day of the week. The weather wasn’t as good as it had been, but the drifting cloud and light winds did nothing to put us off our plan. Other parties who had ascended the normal route were gone by the time we reached the top, giving us another fine route and summit to ourselves. Our only partners on the climb were a series of Broken spectres that had appeared in the clouds just below the summit ridge. What a week! Three great routes and summits and every one of them all to ourselves. Heaven! Well done and thanks to Dan.