Aug 08 09
After getting up late, as usual, to a glorious sunny Saturday, and the obligatory trip to Snells to buy those really essential items we just can’t live without, we left a hot and crowded Chamonix and made our way up to the cool of Vallon de Bérard.
We were familiar with the area, as we had skied down this valley (see Crouchues-Bérard Traverse), but this was the first time we had been here in summer.
The walk up was easy enough, passing the Chalet de la Cascade à Bérard, and plenty of walkers, and within 30 minutes we arrived at our destination: L’île aux Razmokets – 12 pitches of lovely Aiguille Rouge rock.
There was a family of four climbing as two teams ahead of us, but they let us pass and we were able to continue without hold-ups all the way until the end. The route was great. It was a great shame that the two harder pitches had been chipped reducing them both from 6a to 5b+. I’m sure that without the chipped holds the slab would have made an interesting, but do-able crux.
There is a bit of a scramble to reach the final four pitches. They’re not as good as the first eight but still worthwhile. We caught up with two more teams on the last pitch which had a very awkward finish – you have to step left onto a fast disintegrating slope of mud.
Six (or seven) abseils later we were back at the bottom. A great day out.
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