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Topic Date User
Europe Alps in July - Partner needed 2-Jun-2014 At 2:40:20 PM stuart h
Mont Blanc is relatively straightforward provided you have some time to acclimatize. The refuges are heavily booked in advance but space often becomes available again at shorter notice. The Three Mont Blancs route is not unreasonable to do off the first Midi teleferique. I understand that one of the refuges on the Matterhorn is closed this season so make sure you have checked up on that.

There are lots of easy –moderate snowy things to do while you acclimatize. UKclimbing, CampToCamp & most importantly the Maison de la Montagne will give you the best sources of info on what has been getting climbed and is therefore likely to be in reasonable conditions. Nowadays July is late for most ice (you could still do the Chere if you are desperate – mostly rock gear anyway – or the Frendo or similar where you might want more than a couple of screws depending on your mood) so just a couple of screws should be fine. You can often do a lot of fun climbing in the Aiguille Rouges without needing to put boots on at all.

The classic alpine pillars should have melted clear during your trip if you are after that sort of thing. I think the best fun to be had in summer is the modern alpine rock climbing on features like the Blatiere, the Peigne and my favourite climbing location, the refuge des envers des aiguilles. You should find lots to do as there is almost limitless climbing from 6a to 6c+ (usually the obligatory grade is around 6a-6b).
A light rack & two ropes does the job on most of these modern routes – there aren’t a lot of splitters around the place, anywhere you can’t get standard gear will have a peg or bolt and the belays will be equipped for rappel so that you can get back to your axe& boots. I have always carried 5-6 cams from finger to fist(#3camalot or smaller), a set of wires (incl large) and about 10 draws. I certainly wouldn’t carry big gear or doubles (maybe throw in a link cam if you want a back-up) – the cracks and the climbing are quite featured.

Now I use a digital camera for the topos (topos &/or copies of the guidebooks are available in the mountain house in Chamonix and in the refuges) but in the past I used to trace them and you can photocopy in the mountain house. These details are mostly about Chamonix but there are similar opportunities across the alps – if you can cope with the Swiss Frank there is a lot of great rock (and skiing) in neutral territory.

Have fun.

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