Rock Guiding in the Alps

The Ramp on Follomi, Sanetch
Beautiful Sanetch Lake and Fi
Fiona under the overhang of Follomi, Sanetch

I love all aspects of guiding. Alpine, ski, ice, etc. In the midst of a long season of guiding in the mountains however, rock guiding is a welcome breath of fresh air: light packs, approach shoes, climbing with a light rack, no crampons needed, often climbing in a tank top basking the sunshine… it really doesn’t get much better than this.

I was blessed with nearly two weeks of just that at a time when my body was screaming for a break from long alpine routes. Lucky me. On days when the weather is too bad to climb in Chamonix, I took my clients to sunny Italy to climb on the beautiful red dome of Machaby, where we climbed Bucce D’Arancia, a beautiful 10 pitch route with just enough breeze to make the sun enjoyable.

Tamsin on Bucce D'Arancia, Machaby, Italy
Sophie on the second pitch of Bucce D'Arancia, Machaby, Italy
Beautiful flowers on the way down through the little hamlet of Machaby

Sophie hiking through the ghost village of Machaby

View on the face of Machaby with Sophie and I

On warmer days, there are many options to climb around Chamonix, from cragging to long alpine rock climbing routes, either on red gneiss in the Aiguilles Rouges to beautiful orange granit. I guided a lot in the Aiguilles Rouges, which offers one of the most beautiful views on the Mont Blanc range.

View on part of the Mont Blanc range from the Aiguilles Rouges

I got to guide great routes right off of the Flegere:

The famous Index, Mani Puliti and Gaspard Ier with Tamsin:

Tamsin on Mani Puliti
Tamsin handsfree on the Index
People rapping down from the Aiguille de l'Index

Manhattan-Kaboul on Floria and La Ravanel on the Aiguille Crochues with Sophie and Denis:

Lift access to the Flegere. Prefect approach to climbing!
First Ascent stars on misty Manhattan-Kaboul

There is amazing climbing right across the border too and we got to climb amazing featured limestone both on the Dent de Morcles and on the Sanetch with Evelyne and my friend Fiona.

View on the multicolored face of the Petite Dent de Morcles
Evelyne at the start of the Fortersse du Vide
View down on pitch one, Forteresse du Vide
The things you can find on a climb!
Lots of exposure on the Forteresse du Vide
Military tunnels all over

Another climb in the Switzerland: The Pilier de la Pissechevre (the peeing goat!!)

High on the Pilier de la Pissechevre
Transitionning from the first to the second pilar on the Pilier de la Pissechevre

I really enjoyed all my days rock guiding and was refreshed and ready to get back to the Alpine world after these two weeks on the rock. Next up was the Kuffner ridge… coming up in the next blog! Stay tuned!

5 Comments on “Rock Guiding in the Alps

  1. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  2. Thanks for commenting. It’s always nice to hear and makes me want to write more. Will have an update shortly!

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