Training mountaineering techniques

 In Outing report, Training

This week, I trained with an alpine guide to review and learn mountaineering techniques for my personal mountaineering climbs.

Monday was dedicated at reviewing self rescue rope technics learned last year during the FFCAM’s (French Alpine Club Federation) first grade rock climbing instructor training module (climb back a rope, pull up the second climber…). Then I learned how to uses cams and nuts to protect a route.

nut placed in a crackcam placed in a crackthe guide

The next day we climbed the Index peak (2595 m) in the Aiguilles Rouges range to practice protecting the climb with cams and nuts.

panorama of  l'Aiguille de l'Index on the leftThe guide removing the nuts behindbelay station on camsThe ridge of the Index just before the summit

The route, very easy (5.6 max), is a good spot to train free climbing on mountain environment with a great panorama on the Mont-Blanc range as a reward.

on the ridge before reaching the top of the Index peakThe panorama on the Mount-Blanc range at the summit of the Index peak

Wednesday was mountaineering. To practice rope work on alpine terrain, we did the Cosmiques ridge (between the Cosmiques lodge and the Aiguille du Midi in the Mont-Blanc massif). I did the entire climb as the leader to put in practice mountaineering techniques on different terrain (snow ridge, glacier, rocky ridge…) following the alpine guide’s advices. It was a very good day with great panoramas on the Mont-Blanc range summits up to the Matterhorn and the Monte Rosa massif.

crossing the glacierthe glacier to reach the start of the ridgethe cosmique lodgeclimbing on the cosmique ridgeclimbing a gully on the cosmique ridgelooking at the panorama from the ridgetaking a break on the cosmique ridgeclimber on the cosmique ridgeanother party taking a break on the cosmique ridgeother parties on the cosmique ridgethe end of the ridge

On thursday we were supposed to do the aiguilles d’Entrèves ridge to pratice rope work again but it was raining in the morning so we cancelled. The next day, it was supposed to clear off in the afternoon (which never happened), so we headed to the Sea of Ice (Mer de Glace) to practice ice techinques.

clearing fog on the sea of iceriver on the sea of icewalking on the sea of ice 1walking on the sea of ice 2

It was a great week, in good company, doing nice climbs with wonderfull sceneries and learning a lot. It’s now time to practice!

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