The Sorcerer, Ghost Valley

The Sorcerer, Ghost Valley

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Valeille today

Woke up to a beautiful morning today and an overnight temperature of minus 16.

We drove up to Lillaz & walked into Valeille, which felt super cold down in the valley bottom.
I decided to change my initial plan & climb a route on the east side of the valley getting the morning sun after the super cold overnight temps. 

The view north up into Valeille, walking in from Lillaz

I love these signs, keeping us of the ski de fonde tracks & on the straight & narrow!

One of the first routes in Valeille on the west side - Lillaz Gully

The classic Lillaz Gully looked in great condition today, with a team climbing the route yesterday, putting in a good track up to the base of the first pitch.

On the west side of Valeille - a team on Stella Artice which looked great, with Inachevee Conception on the right

A climber enjoying the 2nd pitch of Stella Artice

Tuborg, the first ice route on the righthand (east) side of the valley as you walk in from Lillaz, which looked in great condition

Il Candelabro di Coyote which again looked in very good condition, with it looking fatter than I've seen it for a long time. The route is the 2nd line you pass when walking in from Lillaz on the righthand (east) side of the valley after Tuborg.

The classic Cold Couloir on the opposite (west) side of the valley to Tuborg, Coyote and the route which we climbed today was Chandelle Levure.

Cold Couloir's a fantastic route which is long and has a big mountain route feel about it.
It's a long day finishing in a huge bowl high on the mountain, which is the main feed for the route and the cause of many accidents. The bowl/catchment regularly fills with snow, which then releases down the route, hence the huge avalanche cone you regularly see at the bottom.
Be careful, but done in the right conditions, it's one of the best routes at it's grade.

Another shot of Stella Artice to also show you the feed from above the route.

Chandelle Levure which is the next route along from Il Candelabro del Coyote

We had fantastic conditions on the route today & this is Jesper seconding the first pitch of Chandelle Levure

Jesper abseiling the 3rd steeper pitch of Chandelle Levure 

Me enjoying the sun & great climbing today!

A great Panorama looking across to the routes on the other side of the valley - Cold Couloir just right of centre & Stella Artice seen on the left.

You've got to love the climbing here.


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