August 20th 2011

Mont Blanc - Innominata Ridge

I’ve been wanting to get on the Innominata for a while now; not necessarily for the climbing but for the photos- South side of Mont Blanc at sunrise is a sure win combination. After over a month of inactivity in the high mountains I wasnt sure how the top of Mont Blanc would feel like but in any case Ally and I headed over into Italy and started the long hike up from Val Veney to the Eccles hut. 6 hours of sun stroke later and we arrived at a full hut. This seems to be quite normal for the Eccles now so I bunked down under one of the beds on the floor- a bit claustrophobic but better than outside!

A pretty involved approach to the Eccles hut

Think I’m laughing from a sense of humour failure not because this was fun…© Ally Swinton

The next morning was perfect. A stellar sunrise and we were just at the right spots to get some awesome shots. The route itself is pretty straight forward- think a Cosmiques arete with a massive snow slope at the top. Its probably got one of the most beautiful knife edge snow ridges I’ve seen in the alps so far. Anyway I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…

A full moon lights up the Aig Noire and Courmayeur below, always a good start to the day

Arriving at the Col Eccles at day break

Sunrise on the lower part of the route. Aig blanche de Peuterey on the left

Just passed the Crux

Amazing ridge action

Panoramic of the ridge, also showing the whole Peuterey Integral ridge in the background

One of my new favorite pictures. Aig Blanche and Noire in the background

Crossing the Grand Couloir- a bit sketchy even early in the morning

The Alpine Exposures coffee table photo book