Monday, 5 July 2010

chamonix 2010, introduction

Trip reports. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, I’m going to be writing a few.

We are currently in Chamonix, the classical home of Alpine mountaineering for many. Yes, I know there are more imaginative places to base yourself for an Alpine trip, but I happen to really like Chamonix, not only for it’s ease and convenience of route access, but for the whole town atmosphere – the gear shops, the bars and restaurants, and the ice cream. I am hoping to have a less traumatic trip this time round, as last year’s head injury was not an experience I have any desire to repeat.

Anyway, we have a ‘route list’ or perhaps even a ‘wish list’, a list of potential objectives we would like to achieve over the next couple of weeks before we head back home, a list I am not going to publish for reasons of self-protection and vanity - I don’t want to put up a list of gnarly routes that people will see and think ‘wow, she must be amazing* if she’s planning on climbing all those’, fail to complete them and then make a hash of justifying it all on here…So I’m not going to. What I am going to do, however, is write up some basic details of the routes we do, as we’ve done them, perhaps including a few photos for good measure.

So, where do I start? We arrived in Chamonix town late on Saturday night, and proceeded to spend Sunday fannying around town on ‘logistical’ missions (so we went to the supermarket basically, oh and of course had a cursory wander around the legendary Snell Sports). The most critical of these missions was actually my purchase of a new pair of standard (i.e. non-prescription) Cat4 sunglasses – this turned into a bit of an epic because I am possibly the tightest and fussiest customer any of the Cham sport shops and opticians have ever met. I am happy to report that [eventually] we found a pair that looked cool, were Cat4, had side protectiony bits, and most importantly didn’t come with the 1300Euro price tag of some of the Cartier glasses (I jest not!).

We did manage to spend part of the afternoon acclimatising at altitude by heading up on the Midi lift to have a cup of tea and sit watching the storm for a few hours (yeah, we got stuck up there for a while when the weather closed in…), I even managed to acquire a little bit of an altitude headache, so we declared the day a success!

Enough prattling, the next update will include some climbing and some photos.

*Just a note for any new readers – I am actually one of the best climbers and Alpinists in human history, not the ‘bumblie’ alluded to in the blog’s title…


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