#ChamonixDelivers

The popular Aiguille du midi cable car coming into the mid-station. This tram takes you up on the glaciers where you can access some amazing alpine terrain.
The popular Aiguille du midi cable car coming into the mid-station. This tram takes you up on the glaciers where you can access some amazing alpine terrain.

It was unfortunately a quick trip to Chamonix this year with all the other adventures taking precedence.  Nonetheless, this place is still one of my favorite places on earth.  Despite the busyness on the streets, lift lines and even the mountains, the alpine terrain here is truly impressive, inspiring and so easily accessed. Combine that with great food and all sorts of opportunities to see friends from various walks of life, it is a place that can’t be beat.

Nothing too crazy or impressive got accomplished between some bad weather and lack of partners, but I still climbed three (new to me) 5 star alpine rock routes, did some hiking, running, cragging and of course wine drinking and gelato eating.

The first day I arrived, Jonathon and I climbed the classic 5 pitch Margaret Thatcher (6c) on the Red Pillar Blaitiere.  It was so good and full of finger cracks, hand cracks and off-widths with bolts. There was only one short section of 6c climbing and the rest was 6a/6b.

Jonathon following pitch 1
Jonathon following pitch 1
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Me following pitch 2
Jonathon following the third pitch
Jonathon following the third pitch

A couple days later, Jonathon and I climbed the South Face of the Aguille di Midi via the Contamine Route (7a, 250 m).  Surprising, It was a really chilly and windy day and we climbed in all of our clothes.  Our fingertips got really cold but the climbing more than made up for it!  Each pitch was so awesome with rock solid golden granite and splitters galore!  We finished up early and took the tram back to town for a tasty lunch!

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Starting up the 3rd pitch
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Jonathon following the 3rd pitch
Me following the 4th pitch
Me following the 4th pitch
Jonathon belaying near the top of the route
Jonathon belaying near the top of the route
Obligatory summit shot!
Obligatory summit shot!

On one of the last good weather days, I climbed the 250 m Cache Cache (7a) on the Adolphe Rey with Pat Ormond.  Again, it was superb, golden granite climbing for the entire climb.  It was a big of a slog getting back up to the Midi lift but we survived and were able to make it down for wine and gelato.  I already can’t wait for next year!

Pat leading up the first pitch
Pat leading up the first pitch
Pat following pitch 2
Pat following pitch 2
Pat leading up the crux 6c slab pitch
Pat leading up the crux 6c slab pitch
Pat following the crux 7a crack pitch
Pat following the crux 7a crack pitch
Me leading the final pitch. A Really fun 5c bolted arete. Photo: Pat Ormond
Me leading the final pitch. A Really fun 5c bolted arete. Photo: Pat Ormond
It can be busy on the tram.
It can be busy on the tram.
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