October 30th 2011

Grandes Jorasses- The Shroud

I arrived back from Cornwall at 1am thanks to the driving efforts of Mr Geldard and the following morning I was unpacking my coastal bag, and repacking an alpine one for some shots that evening. I’ve always wanted to shoot some steep serac climbing action in the sunset but the obvious ones on the Tacul and Maudit have been done to death. Instead I’ve had me eye on the steep seracs of Grande Gargouille. The route name will definitely not ring any bells but essentially it’s the steep serac band that drops off the Midi col to the Glacier des Bossons below. So in less than 24 hours I went from the warmth of the West coast to the cold alpine world at 4000m, you’ve got to love lifts!

I was going to be spending the next few days with BD athletes Andy Houseman and Alex Chabot on a really exciting work project I’ve been doing for them for a while….

Alex Chabot getting stuck into some steep ice

Alex Chabot getting stuck into some steep ice

Andy Houseman at sunset

Andy Houseman at sunset

The following morning saw us head off for some mixed action on the Lachenal, though this early on in the season it was more of a rock climb with tools but hey, there’s snow in the background!

Alex Chabot on the Lachenal

Down to town from the Midi and the weather was still showing good signs. Korra had recently called to say that a route on the Jorasses I’ve had my eye on was in great nick so we decided to pack our bags and head on up. For various reasons including Alex dropping his axe we headed up the Shroud instead, which although should have been relatively quick ended up being a little slow as Andy was forced to pitch the whole ice field. In any case a good effort by Andy and Alex and we got treated to an awesome sunset on the summit.

Andy Houseman on the Shroud

On the top section of the Hirondelles Ridge

Andy on the summit of the Grandes Jorasses. The sun setting over Mont Blanc in the distance

A very cold but beautiful morning after bivying on the descent

The Alpine Exposures coffee table photo book