With all the rain that has been falling even a clear two day spell in the weather doesnt offer much- the rock will still be wet and snowy and anything that holds snow will be sliding in the sudden heat. Thankfully Jeff Mercier and his encyclopaedic knowledge of the range stepped in- you name the route, and he’s done it, years ago, and probably free. With our eyes on some big links ups before I leave for Pakistan the idea was to get a big day in so he suggested we went and climbed the S Ridge of the Moine from the first Montenvers lift. This sounded like a perfect idea- i’d never done the Moine and it seemed the perfect objective to do in a day trip.
Arriving at the Couvercle, got to love the view onto the Jorasses from over here
The walk in was nice and fast to the hut and we quickly set off in the direction of the S ridge. It’s an aesthetic ridge that is pretty much the line of the mountain-750m in length and sections of 5c. Once established we pretty much ran up it- it is always interesting to climb with new people and learn their alpine tactics especially someone who has climbed just so much in the range; and Jeff doesnt hang about. Less than 4 hours later we were enjoying the panoramic views that a full on white out offers on the summit- probably not worth carrying the camera all that way really. You win some, you lose some.
Starting up the S ridge on the left- awesome views over the massif
The classic shot of the ridge
A rapid descent saw us miss the train by just over an hour but feeling still fine by the time we got to town we decided to head up Mont Maudit the following morning from first lift for a few red blood cells….a nice morning activity that got me really psyched for the next project!
Summit clag…now for the long descent to town