We took a typical Sterling Alpine start for our first day in Cogne. At 10.30am we left the apartment.
We’re actually not staying in Cogne itself, we’re a few miles up the road in a very small and very sleepy village called Lillaz. It’s cold up here, but there is a great view of Mont Blanc, or should I say Monte Bianco.
We didn’t expect to do too much on the first day. We chose a popular route not too far from the village, so we thought we’d have a bit of a queue. It took us about 40 minutes to get to the route, at first on the hikers path along the valley, then steeply up the hillside.
The route looked great and was in full sun – hooray, that’s the kind of ice climbing I like.
There were a couple of teams in front of us, but due to our timely (late) start, we didn’t have to hang around for long. There were four pitches, with a long steep scramble before the last, which gave us great views. Unfortunately, the sun moved (doh!) so we actually did most of the climbing in the shade.
It was great to be on some long steep ice again, but I’m a bit stiff now.