To be or not to be that is the question. Ah the Bard, he made a guest appearance this week at the Gaillands in Chamonix.

Gareth prepares himself for the week ahead

So folks, once more unto the breach. The weather yet again has been the deciding factor this week, with snow levels being down to between 1900 and 2500 metres.

Hotel Suisse, Col de Balme

Sunday: Tony, Gareth and I headed up to the Albert Prem hut, not much in the way of viz and snow on the path from the get go, loads of people heading the same way, not surprising given the forecast. The afternoon was spent running through a few skills.

The Chardonnet from above Albert Premier hut - very snowy!

Monday:  We headed out into the wild blue and very white yonder along with the masses, teams where heading up toward the Fentre du Pissoir, also the Table du Roc ridge, which was very snowy and could have taken a while to do??? The colouir looked like it may just go as well, but had looked very dry a few weeks previous.

Very snowy Glacier du Tour with equally snowy Chardonnet behind

Due to time constraints and the weather, the team decided to head straight to the Trient hut. Good track across, many teams on the Aig Tour and Tete Blanche, Petit Fourche. The North face of the Tete Blanche looked good, no tracks though.

Trient plateau at dawn

Tuesday: Up and at em early, before the weather took turn for worst. Surely not I hear you say, don’t call me shirley is the reply. We tore across the Trient Plateau in good time, spotted a few marmots below the Albert Prem hut, then we headed for the valley in time for tea and cakes.

View of Mont Buet

Wednesday: Alas poor Yoric, I knew him well…….well we had the Bard with us today down at the Gaillands, all we needed was a skull and Gareth and his bard like tights would have made it into the land of thespianism……they probably had better weather there as well. We had a blast around down at Servoz, before it got busy then bailed back to Cham, Tony and Gareth went for a curry that Gareth can’t remember having !!!!

Tony on Passy via ferrata

Thursday: Via Ferrata at Passy, very damp and wet in places, only three or four teams on it. The cloud kept drifting in and out, so not much good for photos, but the place felt quite eerie. Tony and I did the route whilst the Bard composed a new play from the comfort of the back seat of the car.

Routes that have been done over last few days:

22nd July: Traverse of the Entreves, be careful of the crevasses on the approach as there are quite a few of them.

25th July: Aig de Sialouze, Ecrin - good dry condition, no probs

26th July: Traverse of the Petit Grand Paradis - Good snow arête, rock and mixed, crampons all the way.

Still very snowy here in Cham, getting hotter at the weekend, up to 70% sun then looking stormy again mid week next week, so move around with caution. I’m in Arolla all next week hoping to find some good weather for once.

Take it easy out there.