Posts

Engelhorner, Switzerland, Mountaineering course, Chamonix ski guide, haute route, chamonix climbing, Chamonix freeride, Chamonix mountain guides, Swiss mountaineering

Plenty of space to play in the Burnese Oberland

The climbing in the Burnese Oberland is slightly different to the other areas of the Alps. The summits are high, with steep limestone on their northern flank, to the south of the watershed its a maze of peaks divided by expansive glaciers really giving the feeling of being in a big, slightly wild place. It is a long range of mountains extending from the Col du Sanetsch in the west to Grimsel Pass in the east with a lifetime of mountaineering and rock climbing possibilities if we start to look at the sub-four thousand metre peaks.

P1020817

View east into the Oberland from the Mutthorn hut with left to right: the Eiger, Junfrau and Abeni Flue dominating the skyline.

Looking west into the Oberland from the Engelhorner. The horizon from left to right: Froschkopf, Kingspitze, Kastor, Rosenhorn, Mittelhorn, Wellhorn and Wetterhorn with the huge face of the Scheideggwetterhorn to the right.

Looking west into the Oberland from the Engelhorner. The horizon from left to right: Froschkopf, Kingspitze, Kastor, Rosenhorn, Mittelhorn, Wellhorn and Wetterhorn with the huge face of the Scheideggwetterhorn to the right.

A few weeks ago the Rosenlauistock and traverse of the Kleine and Grosse Simelistock were the objectives with Laurie from Australia. Here are some photos from these two days of alpine rock climbing in the Engelhorner:

The Rosenlauigletscher behind good limestone climbing.

The Rosenlauigletscher behind good limestone climbing.

P1000941

traversing pitch on the Rosenlauistock with the Wellhorn behind

P1000945

overhanging abseil on the descent

P1000954

taking in the morning views from the Kleine Simelistock

P1000959

great climbing, perfect setting

P1000962

Engelhorn ambiance

P1000965

Another party on the summit of the Kleine Simelistock where we had just come from.

P1000967

climbing the ridge up to the Grosse Simelistock

P1000977

on the crest

P1000981

summit sandwich

P1000983

looking back up at the “mountain goat” descent

P1000984

relaxing in the meadows below the imposing cirque

 

The Oberland is most famous for its high alpine summits and the biggest glaciers in Europe, here are some photos from the Finsteraarhorn, Hinterfiescherhorn traverse, the Grunegghorn and the Monch in late July.

the Finsteraarhorn in the morning light

the Finsteraarhorn in the morning light

the rimed up summit cross of the Finsteraarhorn

the rimed up summit cross of the Finsteraarhorn

Finsteraarhorn summit view over towards the Aletschhorn, Grosse Grunhorn and the Jungfrau

Finsteraarhorn summit view over towards the Aletschhorn, Grosse Grunhorn and the Jungfrau

the Grosse Wannenhorn with the Valais behind

the Grosse Wannenhorn with the Valais behind

Grunegghorn summit view up the Ewigshneefeld with the Hinter and Grosse Fiescherhorn on the right and the Eiger at the top of the valley.

Grunegghorn summit view up the Ewigshneefeld with the Hinter and Grosse Fiescherhorn on the right and the Eiger at the top of the valley.

sunrise from the Monchjoch hut

sunrise from the Monchjoch hut

The view down the Aletschgletscher from the top of the Monch

The view down the Aletschgletscher from the top of the Monch

The Monch summit ridge

The Monch summit ridge

Haute Route, Ski touring, freeride, off-piste, backcountry, Alpine Energy Guiding, mountaineering & ski adventures, Andrew Lanham Mountain Guide, Chamonix, Aosta Valley, Swiss, lyngen alps

A “skiers” Haute Route

Chamonix to Zermatt is probably the most famous multi-day ski tour in the Alps. There are as many ways to go about the traverse as there are personalities that find themselves drawn to this iconic traverse.

With three guest from the US I found a slightly different way of doing this traverse, we made the most of the world class off-piste in the resorts along the way and of course not forgetting to sample the local cuisine and good wine en route.

We clocked about 16000m of descent and 2800m climbing over the 6 days. Thanks to the guys for a fun trip!

 

Skinning up to the Col de Chardonnet with the Grand Montets ski area in the background.

Skinning up to the Col de Chardonnet with the Grand Montets ski area in the background.

Skiing down into Switzerland to get a taxi to Verbier

Skiing down into Switzerland to get a taxi to Verbier

 

P1000500_2

Off-piste day in Verbier, below the face we just skied in great snow.

Off-piste day in Verbier, below the face we just skied in great snow.

 

sunrise over the Swiss Valais

sunrise over the Swiss Valais

morning view from the hut

morning view from the hut

Smooth turns down the Haute Glacier d'Arolla

Smooth turns down the Haute Glacier d’Arolla

P1000537

enjoying some classic Zermatt off-piste

enjoying some classic Zermatt off-piste

 

 

 

Chamonix Ski touring, freeride, off-piste, backcountry, Alpine Energy Guiding, mountaineering & ski adventures, Andrew Lanham Mountain Guide, Chamonix, Aosta Valley, Swiss, lyngen alps

Painting lines on mountains winter 13

Winter 2013 has been filled with good powder turns, here are a few images from the last couple of months.

Good pow on the south faces round Chamonix this winter!

Good pow on the south faces round Chamonix this winter!

P1000314_2

Beautiful terrain near La Grave

P1000330_2

Couloir skiing near to La Grave, France

P1000416_2

Laying some tracks on a ski tour from Grands Montets

P1000431_2

Getting the goods in Les Aiguilles Rouges near Chamonix

P1000254_2

A guest from Canada discovering a powder day, Chamonix style! 4900m of descent in a day with runs like this couloir off the Grands Montets..

P1000442_2

Touring in Les Aiguilles Rouges delivers as always.

P1000463_2

Touring near Chamonix yesterday

Chamonix Ski touring, freeride, off-piste, backcountry, Alpine Energy Guiding, mountaineering & ski adventures, Andrew Lanham Mountain Guide, Chamonix, Aosta Valley, Swiss, lyngen alps

Fresh turns and sunny skies

The last few days have been spent doing some nice tours with the two Henriks and Matthias from Sweden in search of fresh turns and adventure, weeks after the last snowflakes landed on the slopes around the Mt. Blanc range. Here are some photos:

The guys getting some sun on top of the col du Beajeant on day 1

The guys getting some sun on top of the col du Beajeant on day 1

Enjoying the descent down to the village of Buet

Enjoying the descent down to the village of Buet

Henrik looking cool on his yellow skis

Henrik looking cool on his yellow skis

Boot-pack to get the goods at Courmayeur on day 3, spectacular views onto the south side of the Mt. Blanc range

Boot-pack to get the goods at Courmayeur on day 3, spectacular views onto the south side of the Mt. Blanc range

Matthias on our summit for the day

Matthias on our summit for the day

Henrik in action

Henrik in action

open slopes, good snow, sunshine...

open slopes, good snow, sunshine…

On day 4 the boys got up close and personal with the Dru

On day 4 the boys got up close and personal with the Dru

Skiing with a backdrop

Skiing with a backdrop

perfect turns in the cohesionless faceted snow

perfect turns in the cohesionless snow

and again..

and again..

 

Thanks to guys for a good few days of skiing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Le Tour, Swiss Alps, Mountaineering course, Chamonix ski guide, haute route, chamonix climbing, Chamonix freeride, Chamonix mountain guides, Swiss mountaineering

ski and ice pics

Some skiing and ice climbing shots from the last week of outings:

Sunset on Swiss Alps from Tete de Balme on an evening ski tour a few weeks back.

Sunset on Swiss Alps from Tete de Balme on an evening ski tour a few weeks back.

P1000182_2

Moody sunrise on the rime plastered granite spires of the Grand Charmoz

P1000243

Climbing through the mixed section of Lillaz Gully with the village of Cogne 600m below.

P1000251

Couloir skiing off the Grands Montets yesterday.

Aiguillette en Decembre

Enjoying some sun and fresh snow last week, on a morning ski tour near Les Houches

008

Dru, Mountaineering course, Chamonix ski guide, haute route, chamonix climbing, Chamonix freeride, Chamonix mountain guides, Swiss mountaineering

10 minutes of sunshine on the Dru

The couloir nord des Drus caught my eye on a walk in the Aiguilles Rouges this October, it looked to be in very good condition. We then had rainy weather for a while and the Montenvers train was closed. Recently Jon Bracey did the route and seemed to think it was in tip top condition. With the train running again, I managed to motivate aspi guide Guillaume Thebaudin into heading up there.

Always a cool feature the Dru..

At Montenvers station I bumped into the young Scot, Ally Swinton, who had just been on the Leseur route and confirmed general good conditions.

After sharing the bivy spot with some friendly guys from the mountain rescue, we headed up to the bergschrund, starting up the couloir at five o’clock. At eight o’clock Guillaume started his lead on the famous Nominée crack, with his combination of dry tooling, french free and aid.

Looking down the approach couloir, great conditions!

Guillaume on the Nominée crack

The next two pitches into the main gully were excellent, airy mixed pitches.

Traverse at the top of the second mixed pitch.

Ambiance guaranteed

In the S of the upper couloir

The team getting our 10 minutes of sunshine for the day at the breche

We arrived at the Breche des Drus at two forty five and then rappeled the couloir and the N couloir direct which is uuuh.. steep.. We were back at the bivy before dark for a relaxed dinner and good sleep.

High quality route, the mixed pitches are not to be underestimated. Take a No. 4 camalot or two..

Aiguille de Chardonnet, climb, alpine climbing, Alpine Energy Guiding, mountaineering & ski adventures, Andrew Lanham Mountain Guide, Chamonix, Aosta Valley, Swiss, lyngen alps

Autumn on the Chardonnet

With this calm autumn weather I thought I’d better get off the couch and climb some mountains. I chatted to my friend Guillaume who was keen to check out the Gabbarou route on the Chardonnet N face. The approach is long especially with the fresh snow we have at the moment but it’s always a fun face to climb and the summit is really beautiful so I signed on.

Autumn sunset from the Albert Premiere hut

After taking a good couple of hours to snowshoe across the glacier du Tour to the bottom of the face we decided to take the Escarra start to the route as that way we could quickly access our snowshoes on the descent and we could assess avalanche conditions on the descent route. With some deep snow, we arrived at the foot of the Escarra 4 hours after leaving the hut.

The route turned out the be good with nothing really difficult. Two and a half hours later we were on the top and three hours after that back at the hut enjoying the afternoon sunshine before heading down to Le Tour.

Guillaume walking up to the hut

The start of the Gabbarou gully

In Gabbarou gully

Guillaume on top

Chamonix, Ski Touring, Mountaineering course, Chamonix ski guide, haute route, chamonix climbing, Chamonix freeride, Chamonix mountain guides, Swiss mountaineering

Col de la Buche

The high mountains are looking very white, thinking about skiing!

A short Ski Tour last winter with my friend Daniel