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Arete des Cosmiques

Arete des Cosmiques


Postby mgmt! » Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:42 pm

Date walked: 04/08/2014

Time taken: 3

Distance: 2 km

Ascent: 150m

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with a planned trip to the eiger cancelled, we instead headed for chamonix , a well known base for alpine adventures. poor weather on the first day saw us walk from chamonix northward up the well signed path to le brevant 2525 metres. we watched a jazz concert at the planpraz cable station before walking back down to the village. next day we were waiting at 6am for the first cable car to the aiguille di midi only for it to be cancelled due to poor weather forcast !! there was a weather window for the next morning, so we headed up to the aiguille du midi station 3842 metres, got kitted up in the ice tunnel and setted off in thick clag down the narrow snow arete and headed for the cosmiques hut. the hut sits at 3613 metres, diner, bed and breakfast was 65 euro, bed and breakfast was 42 euro. there was no discount for our austrian alpine club cards !! we opted for the b&b option, our alarms set for 5am, breakfast pretty basic, cup of coffe and some bread and jam.

the start of the cosmique arete is about 200 metres from the hut, we left the hut at 6am eager to beet the rush from the first cable car from chamonix.
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billy at the start of the route

the climb is graded alpine 4a ( crux 4c ) and is a good introduction to alpine mixed climbing. you start by ascending a few snow ramps.
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1st snow ramp

we short roped most of the ridge, only pitching the crux.
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2nd snow ramp

we followed the ridge to a summit and traversed around it, down climbed a little and then made 2 abseils to the bottom of a tower.
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view to the grandes jorasses

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view ahead

we climbed a few chimneys and ledges
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rock step

round a second tower, a few twists and turns before reaching the crux. billy led the crux which was well protected.
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billy on the crux

we continued upwards along more ledges and chimneys.
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powder snow in the chimneys

you eventually come over a little lip right opposite a viewing platform of the aiguille du midi station.
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spectators on the viewing platform

and ascend a ladder to the station.
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an aide finish

a fine end to what was a fantastic climb, we took 3 hours , but we started early and were the second team on the ridge so we wern,t held up.
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happy chaps

we watched a couple of teams come up behind us and it does look impresive.
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couple coming up

we moved to another viewing platform and had a nice view back down the ridge. had a wonderful view over to mount blanc and its fully loaded north east ridge. the accent of mount blanc fro the col du midi goes up the snow on the right hand side of the triangular rock, i wouldnt go near it in this condition but it does look spectacular.
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view down the ridge

we headed back down the cable car before the weather worsened and planned our next outing, which was to be mount blanc.
mgmt!
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Re: Arete des Cosmiques

Postby mountainstar » Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:36 am

Hi mgmt!
Cracking ridge that!
We were up the Midi that day as well. We set off down the arete at about 7.30am and walked down the Mer de Glace to Montenvers.
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Re: Arete des Cosmiques

Postby mgmt! » Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:43 pm

its an intimidating exit from the station.. did you stay in the refuge du requin ? i didnt no there was a full on walkhighlands alpine meet taking place.., not till i met a full mini bus full on my way to the airport. brilliant base chamonix
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Re: Arete des Cosmiques

Postby mountainstar » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:36 am

We did not stay in the refuge du requin as we did the downward route in a full day. Last year we did stop there as we did it uphill.
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Re: Arete des Cosmiques

Postby Nigels3011 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:00 pm

Another great report bringing back great memories. We did the Arete in 2005 and we were in the first cable car rush. Took us 7 hours and much of that was queueing. Fantastic climbing experience though.
Currently in Zermatt. Had a day up to the summit of the Breithorn today.
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Re: Arete des Cosmiques

Postby mgmt! » Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:07 pm

thanks nigels3011, enjoy your tie in zermatt, i had a good trip there last year.
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Re: Arete des Cosmiques

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:23 pm

I think I was able to control my envy just enough to say I liked this report :? . What a gorgeous environment - must get to the alps: I have a standing invitation from my nephew who lives in Switzerland - I must follow it up!

Loved this report, envy notwithstanding!
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