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Alps post-MI meet

Date: 17 -28 July 2010
Submitted by: Bill

My first time in the Alps (in summer) in a while and had a brilliant time. Arrived at end of MI meet and a huge thanks to Anthony and PJ for picking me up from the bus. Alan even had a pizza waiting for me at the Ailefroide campsite and from here on in it just got better and better.Started off with a great Alpine walk in some valley or other up to a couple of stunning lakes with Alan, Mags and Gertrude. Much enjoyable botanising on the way and a great aid to acclimatisation.

Next day my introduction to climbing on bolts – good fun and superb training but … maybe not just the same buzz as the real thing.

The following day Mags et al. left for a mid season breather and Alan and myself set off to La Brerarde, taking in a via ferrata en route – another first for me and a great experience.

Toiled up to Sorreler hut above La Brerarde (blisters!) for a crack at Aguille Dibona(see pic – yes, is really is this pointy on the top). Thrill of a lifetime to achieve success on this beauty the following day. It was never harder than French IV but route find was a bugger. Still, we made it!

After this we had a couple of days respite travelling through Italy and Switzerland before slogging up to the Valsorey hut for a crack at Le Grand Combin (4314m)). Atrocious conditions defeated us on this occasion, but we managed as far as roughly Col de Meitin (3,600m) – hard to tell in white-out –before turning back.( The Germans admitted defeat long before us – ahem).

That was pretty much it for me but the whole Alpine experience was just inspiring and I can’t wait to return next year for 5 or 6 weeks. Huge thanks to Alan and Margaret for all their help and support.

04 Aug 2010

Jeez! That is one pointy hill. Summitting this must be like meeting Vlad the Impaler.

Photo of Route