Tel: +44(0)77 2000 1326 | Email: info@tarmachan-mountaineering.org.uk

LAC BLANC VIA THE LADDERS

2018/06/23 20:23

Mont Blanc & Lac de Cheserys 

Mont Blanc & Aiguillete de Argentiere 

The Ladders
Aiguille Rouge 

Aig. Verte, Grandes Jorasses & Aig. Chamonix 

Final steps up to Lac Blanc 
Definitely Lac Blanc today 

Busy

Aig. Verte & Les Drus
Another classic day walk from Chamonix today. One of the finest views of the Mont Blanc range is from the beautiful Lac Blanc. Lac Blanc, along with several lower lakes which are collectively named Lac de Cheserys, lye on the opposite side of the valley looking across to Mont Blanc.  The finest way to get to these stretches of water is from the town of Argentiere via 'the Ladders' or 'Echelles'. This series of metal Ladders and narrow ledges go up through a weaknesses in the steep crags which are just beyond the treeline, directly above Argentiere. This side of the valley is named the Aiguille Rouge and is also a Nature Reserve.  It's best known residents are the ibex which you are very likely to see. It was 'rush hour' when I arrived at the foot of the steep ground.  So I avoided the bottleneck and went looking for an ibex or two to photograph, success!  15 mins later and it was quiet up the Iron rung way. Stunning views across the valley.  After the steep ground it's a lovely trail to the lakes.  Lots of snow around, a great foreground again the big mountains across the valley. In my eyes the finest lakes are the Cheserys not Lac Blanc.  You get some cracking views from them and if you're lucky a Mont Blanc reflection. The final 100m or so up to Lac Blanc is in snow. Watch what's coming down from above,  folk bum sliding with not much thought for people below! I survived the bodies hurling down around me and mingled with the masses up at Lac Blanc. Most folk who go to Lac Blanc head up from the top of the Flegere cablecar.  It's always amusing watching folk still heading up late afternoon. Presumerbly they are hoping to catch the last car down. Do they all make it? One of life's mysteries!  Another brilliant day.

LAC BLANC VIA THE LADDERS


GRAND BALCON NORD

2018/06/22 19:38

Les Drus

Mer de Glace & North Face Grandes Jorasses 

Chamonix & Aiguille Rouge 
Les Drus & Mer de Glace 

Views on every corner! 

Quiet by late afternoon 
Chamonix makes a great base for some fabulous day walks. You could quite happily spend a week here for a walking holiday.  One of the finest outings is The Grand Balcon Nord.  This high level traverse above the Chamonix Valley can be made even easier by using the cablecar and Col railway at either end, making it even easier!  You have to earn your views surely? Well signed trails go through the forest from town and traverses high above the valley floor, at an altitude of 2000-2300m. There was cloud on the mountains this morning but this lifted by mid-day to leave another beautiful, hot day. The walk is best done from SW to NE. If you start late like me then you get stunning late afternoon light on Les Drus.  Les Drus OS a huge pinnacle of rock, a mountain shaped mountain ! Many a climber has had Epic's over the years on this famous chunk of granite. On this walk you can stroll along with hands in pockets and marvel at it's beauty. The classic view from 'Signal Forbes' high above the Mer de Glace is stunning.  You then drop down in long zig- zags to the Montenvers railway and the hardest of sightseers.  Thankfully it's quiet just now. If times getting on you can catch the amazing cog railway back down
 But that's cheating !

GRAND BALCON NORD


SUMMER SOLSTICE FINISH ON THE TMB

2018/06/21 17:00

Happy team on Col de Balme 
In the snow again 
Nearing the Col 
Refuge Col de Balme ferme, we can eat in peace
Meadows of Globeflower & Mont Blanc 
Beers to celebrate the finish 

Final day of the TMB for the Chang family. Six days of fantastic mountain walking around Mont Blanc. We finished as we started, in glorious hot sunshine. The last day over the Col de Balme is a short one with fabulous views on the top of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix Valley. A very quiet trail today. Nice without the crowds. A great time to walk the Tour du Mont Blanc. Beautiful meadows of Globeflower on the col, a nice foreground to the distant big Alpine peaks. A well earned cold beer down at Le Tour to finish. This week I have been guiding for Mont Blanc Treks .

SUMMER SOLSTICE FINISH ON THE TMB


BOVINE

2018/06/20 17:27


Martigny and the Rhone Valley
Bovine window flowers
Out of the trees
High above The Rhone 
Alpenrose
Grand Combin 
Penultimate day on this short, 6 day 'best of' TMB. Another brilliant weather day.  Hot sun and blue skies. The 'Bovine Route is no where near has  spectacular alternative to the Fenetre Arppette Route. Looks like there has been some large rockfall /avalanches over the winter. The trail that runs down from the Bisse at Col de Forclaz to Trient has been wiped out. The remaining path is closed.


BOVINE


TMB DAY 4, VAL FERRET - LA FOULY

2018/06/19 22:25

The team and Grandes Jorasses 

Beautiful clear skies 
Switzerland here we come
Tackling the snow on the Swiss side
Easy snow
Mont Dolent
Trumpet Gentian
Grand Combin in the distance 

The beautiful Val Venny & Grandes Jorasses 
Glorious blue skies all day again today. Over to Switzerland via the Grand Col Ferret,  the highest col on the TMB . Some big areas of snow on the Swiss side of the col. The Italian side the is only a few very small sections. Another brilliant effort by the team.

TMB DAY 4, VAL FERRET - LA FOULY


TMB LES CHAPIEUX TO COURMAYEUR

2018/06/18 16:48

Descending into Italy 
Coming up from France! 
Plenty of snow 
Alpine Pasque Flower emerging from the snows
Track to Elisabetta Refugio
Border celebrations 
The beautiful Val Venny
Another glorious day on our third day of the TMB from Les Chapieux to Courmayeur. Over the Col de la Seigne into Italy. The Italian side of the col has huge amounts of snow, all the way down to the access track for the Elisabetta Refugio. Great fun in the snow again. The Chang family getting used to Alpine summer snow conditions and walking in the white stuff.

TMB LES CHAPIEUX TO COURMAYEUR


TMB DAY 2. LES CONTIMENES TO LES CHAPIEUX

2018/06/17 21:29

Up towards Col de Bonnhomme 

Col de Bonnhomme 

Snow fun

Change in weather on the traverse 
We love snow
Day two on the TMB with the lovely Chang family. More snow fun on the Bonnhomme.  Change from hot sun to cool and cloudy on the traverse to the Col de Croix de Bonnhomme.  Great to see the ibex in the snow. Rain on the last hour into Les Chapieux .

TMB DAY 2. LES CONTIMENES TO LES CHAPIEUX


TMB AND ANOTHER ALPINE GUIDING SEASON

2018/06/16 21:26

Snow on the approach to the Col de Tricot 
Domes de Miage and the Family
Alpine Pasque Flower

The ascent up to the Col de Tricot

My Alpine guiding  season has started again. Another summer in the Alps guiding groups from all over the world in fantastic locations. This year I have 3 trips working for Mont Blanc Treks again. A brilliant small company based in The Chamonix Valley.  Today was the first day of a Tour du Mont Blanc. This is an 'Highlights' 6 day trek taking in all the finest days. I have a lovely family from Singapore out this week. Today's Route from Les Houches to Les Contimenes.  Lovely clear morning,  cloudy later. Like most early season treks, there is still some big stretches of snow on the trail. Only a wee bit on the approach to Col de Tricot .

TMB AND ANOTHER ALPINE GUIDING SEASON


NAVIGATION COURSE, FESHIE HILLS

2018/06/13 09:03

Terry with some accurate compass work

80% map reading 

Great conditions for Navigation 
Return client, Terry was out with me today on a one day navigation course.  Terry has already been on a winter course with me and thought it was time he focused on the no.1 hill skill, navigation . Perfect conditions for it. Cloud on the tops, strong wind and some rain thrown in for good measure. We went on the Feshie hills around Carn Ban Mor and Sgor Gaoithe.  All the hills in this area are perfect terrain for Navigation.  Featureless and mostly pathless high up, apart from the Munro summits. By the end of the day Terry had mastered the compass but more importantly good map and ground reading skills which form 80% of navigating in the mountains.  What a change in the weather.  First time in weeks we were wearing waterproofs,  fleeces, hats and gloves!

NAVIGATION COURSE, FESHIE HILLS


FEITHE BUIDHE SLABS

2018/06/11 21:28

Feithe Buidhe Slabs
Another tight squeeze
Scrambling slabs
More of these than humans
Plenty Snow Bunting too
Thick
Cow-wheat
Saxifrages love it here
Here today, gone tomorrow?
Climbing
Great spot for scrambling
Not as much snow as 2013
A slow change in the weather pattern at the moment. Gone is the heat and clear skies of the last 3 weeks or so, replaced with more cloud and cooler temperatures. Today the cloud base was around 500m. A gloomy mountainside this morning but by mid day it lifted above most summits in The Cairngorms. It kept the hills quiet anyway. Saw no one all morning and most of the day. The Feithe Buidhe slabs down towards Loch Avon are a magical place. A wonderful, scenic and impressive area with a sense of wild and remote. In the Spring/Summer of 2013 we had far more large area of snow patches lingering through till about August. That winter saw huge amounts of snow and the winter continued right through till mid May. This left a good depth on the remaining snow. Not this year. The slabs that run down from the plateau to Loch Avon cling onto snow for prolonged periods. The nature of the terrain underneath usually creates quite impressive 'snow tunnels'. Today there was just one and a very tight squeeze it was. Still worth investigating. It's a great spot for scrambling so a fun way back up to the plateau. Plenty of ptarmigan in the area and some wonderful snow buntings singing away throughout the day.
Get ready for a big change on Thursday. Lots of rain and high winds on the tops. So was that summer?

FEITHE BUIDHE SLABS


SNOW TUNNEL SEASON

2018/06/08 22:53

Braeriach & Loch Einaich

Snow tunnels starting to form, Carn Ban Mor

Summit Sgurr Gaoithe
Green plateau
I had a bike ride and wander up onto the Glen Feshie hills today. Main objective was to look for and photograph the Dotterel. No luck all day despite roaming around the well known areas that these lovely ground nesting, migratory birds frequent. Not even any ptarmigan seen. A couple of snow buntings seen in the distant depths of the corries. Good excuse for walking over the many summits and plateaux of these hills. I had a peak down at one of the existing snow patches in Carn Ban Mor's corries. The snow tunnels that form when running burns or melting takes place can be quite dramatic. The Spring/summer of 2013 was a good year for these, due to the vast volume of snow we had that winter. That year they were so huge you could walk in and stand up in a lot of them. Not at the moment, a wet crawl and maybe you could wriggle up the one I went to. It was another hot and sticky day but a tad cooler on the tops than of late. More cloud cover than the last few weeks! Looks like we may just about eek out a couple of more hot and sunny days but a threat of showers are on the way this weekend. It was good while it lasted! A fabulous spell of very hot weather. I can't remember the last time I wore waterproofs!
Carn Ban Mor's snowpatch

SNOW TUNNEL SEASON


FAMILY WALKING IN THE CAIRNGORMS

2018/06/07 22:11


Northern Corries walk

From 5 to 75, walking for all ages

Paddling in Coire an Lochain 

Lingering snowfields in the coire

Mother & Son

Too hot for this 

Not a bad Pic-nic spot
A lovely family from the USA out with me today for a taste of walking in The Cairngorms. We had a leisurely wander to Coire an Lochain where we had a pic-nic. Along the way the New York family learnt a little of the environment, geology and wildlife of these mountains. This lovely, easy walk is ideal for anyone and any age. As Brandon, age 5 and Rich at 75 years young proved. Another beautiful weather day. Hot wall to wall sun, hardly any wind and clear skies. Looking like a change in the weather come Saturday as this prolonged high pressure system moves away.

FAMILY WALKING IN THE CAIRNGORMS


THE LIVING MOUNTAIN

2018/06/06 22:27

Carole admiring the Loch Avon Basin
Lairig Ghru
Feithe Buidhe waterfalls
Coire an Lochain
Goat Track
Female ptarmigan
Silence, taking it all in

Sound recording
Boulders, Coire an t-Sneachda
Male ptarmigan
Globe Flower
Bliss
Just in the last few years the Nan Shepherd book 'The Living Mountain' has become critically acclaimed by many outdoor writers and outdoor folk in general.
In this masterpiece of nature writing, Nan Shepherd describes her journeys into the Cairngorm mountains of Scotland. There she encounters a world that can be breathtakingly beautiful at times and shockingly harsh at others. Her intense, poetic prose explores and records the rocks, rivers, creatures and hidden aspects of this remarkable landscape.
Shepherd spent a lifetime in search of the ‘essential nature’ of the Cairngorms; her quest led her to write this classic meditation on the magnificence of mountains, and on our imaginative relationship with the wild world around us. Composed during the Second World War, the manuscript of The Living Mountain lay untouched for more than thirty years before it was finally published.

Carole was out with me today in The Cairngorms to do some research into this book and to see, feel and hear these mountains that Nan Shepherd roamed across for much of her life. This research is part of Carole's MA in Art degree at Newcastle University. She couldn't have chosen a more perfect weather day.
We had a great walk around the areas that I personally think are the most scenic, quiet and 'wild' in The Northern Cairngorms. Armed with sound recording devices, GPros and photographic equipment to capture the essence of these wonderful hills. Carole came away at the end of the day with wonderful memories and a small insight into Nan Shepherd's world.

THE LIVING MOUNTAIN


ANGELS RIDGE UNDER A BLAZING SUN

2018/06/05 21:58

Sgor an Lochain Uaine from Angels Ridge

Garbh Coire Mor

Cairn Toul & Sgor an Lochain Uaine from Braeriach

Braeriach

Garbh Coire Mor

Angels Ridge & Garbh Coire Mor

Will it last this year?

Angels Ridge

Lairig Ghru
Garbh Coire shelter under repair
Braeriach and Garbh Coire
A beautiful clear skies day. The clarity of air superb. A grand day on Angels Ridge. This high, remote and seldom visited wee scramble is the finest way to gain the Munro summit of Sgor an Lochain Uaine (Angels Peak to some). Even with the bike ride in to the Lairig Ghru, it is still a long day. A long and fantastic day out. The lingering snows in the Garbh Coire Mor are one of the two patches of snow that remain all year round. Last year it disappeared for the first time in many years. Will it survive this year? The underfoot conditions still very dry, a pleasure to walk on! The rest of the week is the same, boring blue skies!

ANGELS RIDGE UNDER A BLAZING SUN


AN TEALLACH, HOT & SWEATY

2018/06/02 21:19

Corrag Buidhe cloud formation
Stuart getting stuck into the scrambling
Lots of this
Loch na Sealga
Scrambling galore
Deserted Corrag Buidhe pinnacles
Good here
Atmospheric
Nearly there
More
Toll an Lochain and Lord Barkeley's Seat
Sgurr Fiona from Lord Berkeley's Seat
Sgurr Fiona
The heat continued again, a very humid and still traverse of An Teallach. Stuart booked one day for the traverse including the Corrag Buidhe pinnacles, the classic route. With just 50 Munros for him to complete the round, these two on An Teallach ranked high on his favourite 3000ft mountains. The weather forecast leading up to today was constantly changing and being updated. The thunderstorms that have been drifting around most of the UK didn't reach the finest mountain on Earth. We had a completely dry and bright day. Very sticky and warm with a few midgies on the summits. We saw no one all the way from Corrie Hallie up to the summit of Sgurr Fiona. The Corrag Buidhe to ourselves! There were the An Teallach goats all over the mountain, were they following us? Views weren't extensive and the skis very hazy, even in the few brakes we had. The scrambling fun more than makes up for the lack of clear views. Stuart had already made a traverse of the Skye Cuillin and the Aonach Eagach so we moved quickly and were down at Dundonnell  in good time.

AN TEALLACH, HOT & SWEATY


1 / 2  >  >> 

Copyright © 2018 Tarmachan Mountaineering. All rights reserved
Website by Coire Creative