Beginner to Intermediate 1 day climbs in the Alps

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shock259
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Beginner to Intermediate 1 day climbs in the Alps

Post by shock259 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:16 pm

Hi all,

A friend and I are taking a trip to Chamonix and attempting Mont Blanc at the end of August. We will end up having about 2 extra days at the end of the trip, and we wanted to try and summit something else in the Alps while we are in the area. In terms of logistics, we will only be able to do a 1 day trip (factoring in transportation, flights, etc.). We would be going unguided. We have experience on glaciated terrain and extensive winter 14er experience, but would like to stick to a relatively low difficulty climb given that we will be unguided and in a foreign country. Ideally the trailhead/cable car/starting point would be accessible via public transportation, as we would like to avoid renting a car.

Does anyone have any recommendations? I pulled up the Wessmies and Breithorn as potential options. Continuing to dig around, but thought I would see if anyone here has any peaks that they have enjoyed that would fit the bill.

Thank you!
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Conor
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Re: Beginner to Intermediate 1 day climbs in the Alps

Post by Conor » Sat Jul 20, 2019 3:28 pm

Just got off the Eiger and Monch. Monch is a good 3-4 hour climb that packs a lot of bang for the buck - scrambling (boots and crampons), easy outing, and an exciting snow ridge. You can even stay at Monchjochhutte. Be aware, train ticket from grindelwald to "top of europe" is just over 200 chf roundtrip.
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Im sure there are plenty of options in Cham. What grade are you looking to stay at or below?
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Re: Beginner to Intermediate 1 day climbs in the Alps

Post by shock259 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:48 pm

Incredible pic! That's beautiful. Monch looks like a fantastic option.

In terms of difficulty, I never quite know the systems. "PD" up to "AD" should be fine. We've done Rainier and a few similar climbs. For 14ers, Class 3. For what it's worth, Monch looks like the perfect level of difficulty.
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Re: Beginner to Intermediate 1 day climbs in the Alps

Post by Scott P » Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:29 pm

The Aiguilles Crochues Traverse is not that far from Chamomix. The standard route is PD, the traverse is AD.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.
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Re: Beginner to Intermediate 1 day climbs in the Alps

Post by seano » Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:40 pm

shock259 wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:48 pm
In terms of difficulty, I never quite know the systems. "PD" up to "AD" should be fine. We've done Rainier and a few similar climbs. For 14ers, Class 3.
AD can be quite a bit harder than Colorado class 3, e.g. the Hornli Ridge on the Matterhorn is class 5, but AD-. Depending upon how you climb Mont Blanc, you could do Mont Maudit and Mont Blanc du Tacul from the Aiguille tram, which are both moderate snow/glacier climbs. Another option would be to go through the tunnel to Courmayeur and do Grand Paradiso. I'm not sure how the public transit would work, though.
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Re: Beginner to Intermediate 1 day climbs in the Alps

Post by Scott P » Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:16 pm

seano wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:40 pm
shock259 wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:48 pm
In terms of difficulty, I never quite know the systems. "PD" up to "AD" should be fine. We've done Rainier and a few similar climbs. For 14ers, Class 3.
AD can be quite a bit harder than Colorado class 3, e.g. the Hornli Ridge on the Matterhorn is class 5, but AD-.
This is true. Even PD climbs often have class 5 sections.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.
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Re: Beginner to Intermediate 1 day climbs in the Alps

Post by Conor » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:07 pm

I would also echo what others are saying about the grades. I don't actually know what Monch is rated at, i would assume PD/PD-. I would guess it is "colorado class 4" at the rock step. It seems like a good route to build rope handling, scrambling (boots and pons) and a cat walk which screws with your head. Different from colorado, you will have the stakes which you can belay from, throw a few wraps around etc. Downside is you'll be in cham and have to travel to the bernese alps. Also, its spendy. But, it's been my favorite place so far.

For a bit of color, below is a pic of the crux on cosmiques arete which is an ad climb. It's a 5.6 headwall with stepped out crampon marks. When i think of ad, i think you should be climbing up to 5.7 (thru french grade 4) in boots and/or crampons. Some routes may offer less technical climbing.
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shock259
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Re: Beginner to Intermediate 1 day climbs in the Alps

Post by shock259 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:09 am

Thanks everyone! Definitely PD, then. :-D

Will look into Aiguilles Crochues Traverse
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