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Tour De France, in 5 paragraphs.

Date: July 2010 mostly.
Submitted by: Alan Tees

5 Weeks in the Alps, in 5 paragraphs.

Told Columba of my plan at the weekend, and he didn’t think much of it (not a big fan of brevity apparently), but here goes…

The Alpine meet at Ailefroide was not as well attended as usual, (but better attended than the BMC one, which was cancelled due to lack of support).  A wise retreat off the Pic Niege Du Cordier, under heavy shellfire from large parties of novices above us, was followed by a fine ascent of Ailefroide East (the record time Fergus and I we were aiming for,  floundered in soft porridge near the top) and an ascent of the “Fissure D’Ailefroide” the classic 11 pitch VS with Mauchin, and a highly obstructive “Rooksack”.  Plenty of craggin on the nearby bolted routes, and a Via Ferrata or two.

Bill arrived and has already rit paragraph 2.

Collected Margaret off the plane, the one on which  Bill was about to embark , and we went South of Grenoble, to camp on a farm outside Clelles.  I have always wanted to climb Mont Aiguille (the first technical mountain ever climbed, in 1482, on the orders of King Louis- no, not the gorilla). It is a plateau surrounded by 1000 foot cliffs.  We could find no details of the route locally, so set off with our two arms the one length, not a good idea, (unless you are King Louis the Gorilla).  A few red herrings, and a teetering retreat were enough to totally put Margaret off the idea, and of course I eventually found the right route just as we were about to leave!

The Maritime Alps were next, and we climbed Cima Di Lombardi 2800m, and something else, on the Italian border.  There are tons of rocky peaks up to 3200m, accessible from huts, on both sides of the border, not usually seriously technical, but good scrambles, and there are no crowds, except in The Vallee Des Merveilles, which we went to next!  The hut had to be booked”On Line” and it was full of trekkers, and people up to see the prehistoric drawings.  We were up and away early, and had the valley to ourselves, and a fine days walk over two cols took us to the Nice Refuge, which was indeed quite “Nice”.

Last paragraph!  Swimming in Provence,  trekking in the Vercors, wine tasting and cycling in Burgundy, cider in Normandie, D Day beaches, and then we were on the boat.  What do you think Columba?

17 Aug 2010

Entertaining reading... makes want to go there :-))

18 Aug 2010
Peter Cooper

Call that retirement? Book me in.

24 Aug 2010

Oh Oobee doo.... luv the ref to the King of the Swingers. Sounds Margaret and you had a great time

08 Sep 2010

6 weeks next year for me if I can make it!

Photo of Route