This winter, ice-climbing conditions are pretty much disgusting in Haute-Savoie. Last 2 years were fantastic, but this winter it’s too warm or too snowy… Most of the classic line doesn’t even exist this year ! Some great lines in Swiss (Kandersteg) or Italy (Cogne) are in good condition but in order to climb ice in Haute-Savoie, you have to be sniky.
There is an aera where icefalls are almost always in good condition : The left side of glacier d’argentière… Here is the topo stolen on Jeff Mercier website (it’s ok because he’s already stolen it on other website).
The proximity of glacier brings a cold stream which « build » the lines… and even if classic routes are not ok, you can climb the mixtes lines (quite tough).
Lana Djonlagic has two really bad points : First she is a doctor from Croatia mountain rescue (HGSS) and then she is Ena’s best friend ;) Her really good point is, last year she gave birth to the beautiful and big baby « Vili ». So after 2 years without ice climbing she wanted to enjoy a nice climbing day on Chamonix.
In this direction, the 3 of us picked the route « Déferlante » 60m of nice ice garded 4. Classic of the classic and often in good condition. Approach is really easy : 30 minutes of walking or skinning up from Lognan Mid-station. Then one 30 m and another 50m abseil put you at bottom of the icefall. Now it’s time to enjoy…
The ice fall was quite busy today, so we decided to climb the line just on the right of Déferlante : A nice 60m gully protected by good bolts !
Ena climbed the first pitch where you need few ice screws to protect yourself well.
The second pitch is the crux with a steep section of thin ice protected by 4 bolts on your right. Beautiful.
A last pitch in the snow brings you to skis. You just have to put them on and enjoy a ride until Argentières.