Adapt to conditions. It might be the most important part of the guide work. It could be on the route, choosing to continue or not (depending on conditions, weather, mood, motivation and fitness) It could be just entering the route, choosing to climb the line on left or right if conditions seem to be better. Or it could be at home when you plan your climbing/skiing/mountaineering project.
Here are the actual conditions : Weather is really warm in chamonix for a 10 th of january. There are no ice falls, gullies are completly dry and snow conditions are disgusting… What is left is dry tooling, but while a sunny day it’s bit a pitty. So our choice finally lead us to rock climbing in the warm valley of Aosta on a southwest wall : Pilastro Lomasti. We have chosen the route « La rossa e il Vampirla » known to be really homogeneous (6a,6a,6a+,6b,6a,6a) and on a perfect Gneiss. Indeed the rock is really perfect there : crimps, pockets, cracks … really solid and slightly slaby. A real pleasure for fingers.
The light shines on the wall from 12 to 16h in January, just enough time to have a perfect sunny and amazing climbing day.
So when conditions are rotten in Chamonix massif, don’t be shy to cross the tunnel and visit this friendly, sunny and lovely Aosta Valley.
The famous Courmayeur guide Arnaud Clavel had the same idea as us today. It shows it was a not so bad idea and we adapt quite well to conditions.
Access : Highway A5 exit on Verres, then follow Arnad. Once past the village follow Machaby and park at the end of the road. (Maximum 2h from Chamonix). Start walking towards Machaby little village (really beautifull) and then follow signs (Pilastro Lomasti) until bottom of the route (45 minutes of pleasant hiking).
Gear : 2*50 m ropes, 14 quickdraws, Helmets, Harness, Climbing shoes and Chalk.
Guide Book : Mani Nude 2, Arampicata sportiva in Valle d’Aosta.
Antoine & Ena