Setting off at 8am with Ally Hurst again, this time it was sunshine all day! First bin up the Midi we were hoping to climb the Serac Gully on the Mont Blanc du Tacul, after Ally saw it looked in good condition a couple days before.
There is now a good sized track down the arete so we made to the start of the climb by 9:30. We then noticed that there were no obvious belays so Ally had to set one up before starting the first pitch, things were looking good.
Ally on the first pitch.
This route is much smaller than the Chere which I climbed with Ally two weeks ago and was a real test of my climbing skills. It was a very narrow gully with thin ice and not much protection, Ally managed to place a few wires, cams and screws in whatever he could find as a lot of the ice was breaking off with one hit of the axe. This resulted in quite a timely climb despite us not actually gaining much height, and me getting pelted with falling ice for most of the climb!
After I came up the first pitch we noticed that the second, crux pitch was looking a little bare higher up, and with a hard move to start I didn’t feel comfortable having a go.
Ally tried to go up, to see how it was and made it up most of the pitch before he decided that it would take too long and it was getting very tricky. He made it up to some cord that was already there with a crab on so we decided to rap back down using that. In the picture below you can see how far he made it!
One 60m rap back down to the snow and we had a nice bit of lunch before heading back up the Midi, as usual I was a bit behind Ally but he did summit Mt Blanc last week so is more acclimatised, my excuse! I finally made it back up for the 2:15 bin, home for a rest and Ally off to work.
Want to come and have another go but need a full day to work it out!
Thanks to Ally Hurst for another good climb off the Midi.