Building the base
Team: Arnette Wong, Brian Bian Ningyang, Ernest Quah, Jason Feng, Keith Ong, Kong Xieheng, Nicholas Chee, Ong Siong Hwai, Samie Vu, Teshil Gangaram
Climbs: Aiguille Grands Montets (East Ridge), Aiguille du Tour (Arete de la Table), Refuge des Cosmiques (Arete a Laurence), Aiguillle de l'Index (Southeast Ridge), Petit Flambeau (Northeast Ridge), Aiguille de Rochefort (Rochefort Ridge - DNS), Dent du Geant (Southwest Face), Aiguilles Marbrees (Traverse), Aiguille du Midi (Cosmiques Ridge), Clocher de Planpraz (Clocher-Clochetons Traverse)
This trip report was written by Teshil so I here is Teshil himself. This was his first time joining our team.
It was an amazing week of leading and following in a roped team. We were navigating mostly rock faces as the snow was pretty little this year. However, the day didn't start well. As I wore my crampons, I tripped on my legs and hit my lips onto my ice axe. I was amazed as to how clumsy I could be on flat ground! Luckily it was a small cut but I had a swollen cheek for the rest of the day.
The first team I was roped in was composed of Nick, Samie and Brian. Nick was leading up the ridge to Aiguille des Grand Montets (PD) in a very fast and efficient manner. It was my first time climbing at high altitude with him and it was great to pick up some tips from him.
Photo on the right: Teshil
Next route was Aiguille Du tour via arrete de la Table (AD) as it was mostly rock. Staying in the same rope team, I had the opportunity to swap lead from time to time with Nick. We spend some time on the table as the 3rd rope team were trying some harder routes up as they accidentally detour off the easy route.
As we were on the summit ridge, half of our body was in Switzerland, while the other half was in France; that was a pretty cool country border to walk on!
Photo on the left: Relaxing on the Table
The next trip up, we went to Aiguille de líndex for some multi pitch (6/7 pitches, 5a with 3 abseils down). As weather was bad above the snow line, there was a crowd on that classic route. We also took a multipass to go up Aiguille Du Midi, walked down the famous Alpinist ridge to do the short Arrete a Laurence (PD+). I was roped up with Xieheng and Jason.
Photo on the right: Teshil
THE LAST FEW ROUTES
Nick, Samie and Jason carried on with Dent Du Geant (the background photo at the top of this page).
The rest of us then did the Aiguille Marbrees(PD) instead. Nick's team came back very late in the evening all exhausted! The next day, we decided to scrap our initial plan of bivouac-ing out for the Kuffner ridge as that would require an extra day and more money for the Aiguille Du Midi cable car. We then went for the classic route of Cosmique Arrete (AD). From the cable car station, Brian lead Xieheng and I through the classic and crowded climb back to the cable car station where tourists clapped as we made our exit from the route.
Photo on the right: Brian led the crux on Cosmique Arrete
With one extra day to spare, I managed to convince Xieheng and Keith to join me on Clocher de pranpaz: clocher de crochetons traverse (AD+). I was happy that they allowed me to lead all the section of this amazing traverse that has a section of lasso and tyrolean traverse. I have done few tyrolean traverse across rivers but I always wanted to set up one during a climb! Keith's amazing lasso skills allowed us to make this tyrolean traverse successful! It was a long one hour duration for the three of us to setup the tyrolean, cross the void and clean the system but it was such a rewarding feeling.
Photo on the left: Teshil