Aug 10 21
We got up at a reasonable time on Saturday morning and decided to make our way up to the Envers des Aguilles to tackle one of their fantastic slabs. We had been up there previously with Paul to climb Rhodo-dindons. It’s an amazing area with some fantastic views.
There were quite a few people on the train on the way up, and quite a few people making their way down to the glacier with their guides to practice crevasse rescue, but luckily, we weren’t held up too much on the ladders.
Last time it took us about an hour and half to get to the slab. Pete set a cracking pace to beat the time. We made it in just over an hour. We went light – taking the approach shoe option rather than the full heavy mountaineering boot.
There were a few parties on the slabs when we got there. A couple of Australian guys were just starting our route, but they didn’t hold us up.
This route is harder than Rhodo-dindons. One pitch at 6b just seemed impossible to me. It does take a little while to get used to the blank slabs, trusting the friction, but this was really hard. Anyway, needless to say, I used a little ‘French Free’ to get me up that pitch.
The best pitch was the crack. There were plenty of finger jam opportunities, and I even managed a little (half move) hand jam.
We didn’t make it all the way to the top. We’d decided we should turn around at 4pm giving us plenty of time to catch the last train. The abseil down and the trek back down the Mer de Glace went very quickly, so perhaps we could have completed the final pitches, but never mind.
Back in the valley we rewarded ourselves with beer and aperitifs at Le Lapin Agile. Very nice.
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