Friday, 19 July 2019

TMB REACHES ITALY

Monte Bianco reflections 

Val Veny 

Plenty of Marmots 

Meadows of Alpine Kidney Vetch 

Italy awaits 

Monte Bianco from Col de la Seigne 

Aiguille de Glacier 

Grandes Jorasses & flowers 

Monte Bianco from the high level traverse 

Crossing into Italy 

Monte Bianco and Val Veny 

Tre de la Tete
An early start from Les Mottes to beat the heat.  Beautiful temperatures and we were on the Col de la Seigne for 10am. The walk over the Col into Italy always gives plenty of Marmots to watch and photograph. Some nice close up characters today. The finest part of this section comes in the afternoon. After descending a fair way down to Lac Combal,  it's another ascent of 700m to gain the high level traverse path above Val Veny. Not to be missed as it is one of the finest sections of the entire TMB. We were treated to glorious views.  Another very hot afternoon. Ice cream  in Courmayeur though.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

THREE COL DAY

Snow on the approach to Bonhomme 

Male Ibex cooling off

Nearing the Col de Bonhomme 

Round leaved Pennycress 

Between the Bonhomme's

Alpine Buttercup 

The descent off Col de Fours 

Waterfall Slabs

Alpine Toadflax 

The meadows below Fours 
The section of the TMB between Les Contimenes and Les Mottes is a big day out, crossing 3 high cols. In the heat it's even more tiring for some groups. A nice steady pace and no rushing about is the key in high temperatures. A great day to see Ibex. A whole heard of Male Ibex were seen on the snow patches below Col de Bonhomme. Kicking myself for leaving the telephoto lens and proper camera in the transfer baggage today! Guiding for www.alpinetreks.com this week.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

GOOD PACE ON THE TMB

Nearing Le Truic

Aiguille de Bionassay 

Always fun on the bridge 

The Saltire over Col de Tricot 

Lunch at Refuge Le Truic 

Col de Tricot 
Day two on this TMB for Alpine Treks.  My wee team of 4 folk go at a good pace. Today we had lunch at Refuge Le Truic.  A first for me in over 70 TMB's!  The usual spot at lunchtime in Chalet de Miage. As my group were on a rolled and it was mobbed at Miage,  we decided to mosey on up to the much more peaceful Refuge Le Truic.  Another very hot day, clear skies with a few harmless clouds drifting around.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

MIDSUMMER TOUR DU MONT BLANC






Start of another Tour du Mont Blanc today. With a small group of four folk from USA, Australia & Canada. Guiding again for Alpine Treks. The weather was gorgeous. Clear skies and hot weather, but not too hot. We headed round to the Col du Brevent. Much nicer and quieter way to ascend the Brevent. Looking like fine weather for several days to come, as per usual this summer.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

FINAL DAY IN VALSAVARENCHE & IBEX

Punte Foura 

Tresenta & Ciarforon peaks

Gran Paradiso, Tresenta & Ciarforon 
Fabulous views to the head of the Valsavarenche 

Grand crags

Alpine Rock Jasmin 

Spot the Ibex, how many?
Gran Collect 2832m

Piano del Nivolet 

Panoramic Gran Paradiso 
Final walk in the Valsavarenche today. Another beautiful clear skies morning and staying blue skies all day. Perfect for  some good landscape photography of the big peaks around the Gran Paradiso. I chose my last walk in the Hope of that elusive Ibex. I was sure a quiet area would hopefully give me an opportunity to observe these wonderful beasts of the high Alps. My walk took me to the high col of Gran Collet, at the top end of the Valsavarenche. A wonderful steep path winds up through rocky outcrops and to lovely grassy hollows. The ideal terrain for the ibex. I was in luck. A female and her four young were grazing high up in a hollow. I had the privilage of spending 40 minutes photographing them, they were totaly unbothered with me close by. Of course you can't photograph  wildlife with a mobile phone so stay tuned for the proper images later. In the afternoon I headed up to a very loose and rocky summit about 200m above the col.  It was similar terrain to a Cuillin summit on Skye. Fabulous views.
A b

Friday, 12 July 2019

THE FOOT OF GRAN PARADISO












Fabulous clarity of air today for another walk in the Gran Paradiso National Park. I took a wander up to the Refugio F.  Chabod which sits below the stunning face of Gran Paradiso,  the only 4000m peak which lies entire in Italy.  I wasn't alone on the path up. Plenty of climbers making their way up and down to  the refugio.  No cablecars here, thankfully.  I found peace and solitude beyond the hut and up on the moraines.  Perfect temperatures again today. A cool morning with some cloud building up over the summits by mid afternoon.