May 14 05
Sunday arrived as perfect as forecasted – wall to wall sunshine. But instead of jumping on the first lift up to the Aiguille du Midi to bag a rock route, we decided to let the sun do it’s stuff and hopefully melt any snowy ledges while we hopped over the border to Switzerland.
We made our way to one of our favoured areas: Pissevache near Grange. We first heard of this area from one of Smiler’s friends, Henri, and we’ve now visited it three times. It has the advantage of a descent to the climb, leaving an easy, reasonably level return back to the car. You’ll see the cliffs, Dalle a Bornet at Secteur Vallon de Van, on your left as you drive from Martigny to Lausanne.
We thought about taking a line on the left, a bit harder but some good slabs, but there were already a couple of teams on that, so we opted for Bravo Lapp again. The climbing is quite varied, and the grade not entirely consistent. There’s a hard start, some easy middle pitches, some scrambling, some lovely slabs (always easy), and a couple of tricky steeper final pitches.
We reached the final couple of pitches as the sun moved round the mountain and cast us in shade, reminding us that we weren’t in summer yet, it was freezing!
On the way home we decided we had earned a cake so we stopped at the Col De La Forclaz. From the view we could look down at Trient and see the valley we had skied down with Rebecca and Mathias in February.
Start slideshow with these images