Feb 10 13

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.

Monte Bianco from the apartment window

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.

A beautiful walk along the valley

The route looked great and was in full sun – hooray, that’s the kind of ice climbing I like.

Tuborg... with a climber half way up the first pitch

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.

Pete reaching for a jug on the first pitch

Me on the abseil after finishing the last pitch

It was great to be on some long steep ice again, but I’m a bit stiff now.

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