Alpine interlude 8th January


I’ve finally got back to the Alps for the first time since 2006 and so glad to have made the effort.

Good friend and UIAGM guide Graham Frost has taken a few days off his hectic ski-guiding schedule to indulge us in some cascade climbing.

I’ve never actually climbed continental ice so there was a fair amount of trepidation on my part.

We started today with a couple of climbs to see what I was capable of and I was relieved to find that arms, axes & crampons do work away from Skye too;)

A 20 minute drive took us from Graham’s house in Eveline up to Arolla and a 5 minute walk to the foot of a 65m icefall. G dismissed with the first steepening easily but I knew it was steeper than it looked when I caught him shaking out an arm.

New tools and new boots all seemed to work well for me despite the “in yer face” feeling that I’d forgotten about. Pitch 2 was nicely stepped and led to a friendly abseil ring and quick descent.

After coffee back in the village & admiring the weather forecast for the week we headed for something a bit steeper and a bit longer above an avalanche tunnel.

Only grade 3 in the guidebook I won’t be wanting to go much harder this week!


Off for some snow-shoeing and a route with a proper name tomorrow…..