Monday evening Chris Andrews and I raced up to the Envers Hut beside the Mer de Glace, for a stuffy night sleep.
Awaking at 4.30am, we had left by 4.55am and quickly walked along the snow slope by head torch. We swiftly crossed the bergschrund with minimal faff and reached rock.
We moved together with good momentum to halfway and paused to adsorb the sunrise.
Above, Chris Andrews oblivious to, and spoiling, an otherwise beautiful sunrise.
The final summit pitch is an amusing lay-back crack or leg-jamming off-width, depending on your taste. The reward of a Summit Mary awaits.
An abseil and scramble decent lead us down the other side of the Grepon to the Nantillions glacier, which we tediously down climbed.
A hop, skip and a jog in the rain took us to the Midi lift.
The hardest part was remembering where the car was parked; after having gone up the Montenvers train to the Mer de Glace and come down the Aig. du Midi two days later…
Chris Andrews and I set our sights on the classic Aiguille de Moine. We decided to treat ourselves to the Covercle Hut and hiked up in the rain.
After a solid night sleep, we were on the route early with Chris leading us through the damp start.
Chimney shuffles and squeezes are always an adventure.
Along the way we picked up ‘Solo Keith’ who was in Chamonix for his annual two week hollybobs. He had intended to be on the easy normal route, but finding himself at several tricky steps on the South Ridge, was very grateful to clip into our rope.
Becoming ever more responsible for our mate Keith…
A safe summit in good style.
The summit of Aiguille de Moine had an excellent and unique perspective of the massif.
The decent via the normal route is well marked with cairns and French men, so, with a little intuition, allowed us a quick and casual decent.
“Les Anglais descendent pas mal” – said a French guide