Don't You Love It When A Plan Works Out?

WRITTEN by CHRIS & ANNE ENSOLL

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.
Dwight D Eisenhower

Every Alpine season is different - different clients with different aspirations, different weather, different conditions. We always start off with a plan (despite what Eisenhower said) but always with the attitude that no plan survives contact with the enemy. Some years we don't achieve any of our major goals, and some years we tick them all off. This summer was an all-round success, with two Matterhorn ascents and one Mont Blanc ascent, plus numerous other lesser summits in just four weeks. 

 Rob and Ewan on the top of the Cosmiques Arete with Mont Blanc behind

Rob and Ewan on the top of the Cosmiques Arete with Mont Blanc behind

5th-11th July 2018

A 1:1 Matterhorn week, working for Adventure Consultants, with Kate from Australia.

Day 1: traverse of Aiguille de l'Index

 In the cloud on the Aiguille de l'Index

In the cloud on the Aiguille de l'Index

Day 2: through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy, ascent of the Aiguille Marbrées. Overnight in the Torino hut

Day 3: ascent of the Aiguille d'Entrèves, return to Chamonix

 Looking down the Mer de Glace from the Col d'Entreves

Looking down the Mer de Glace from the Col d'Entreves

Day 4: drive to Tasch, train to Zermatt, lift to Schwarzsee, walk to Hornli hut

 Walking up to the Hornli hut

Walking up to the Hornli hut

Day 5: ascent of the Matterhorn

 On the summit of the Matterhorn

On the summit of the Matterhorn

Day 6: rest day

Day 7: Godfrey Perroux route on Aiguille de l'Index

Kate then joined another Guide, Phil Ashby, for a further five days which included a successful summit attempt of the Eiger via the Mittellegi ridge.

16th-20th July 2018

A five-day intro week with four friends from the UK: Almaas, Jess, Mike & Pri. Their aim was to become independent alpinists, and they followed their time with us with a successful week doing some great routes.

Day 1: climbing in the Aiguilles Rouges and ascent of the Aiguille des Crochues

 Almaas on the Aiguille des Crochues

Almaas on the Aiguille des Crochues

Day 2: walk to the Albert Premier hut, glacier skills training, overnight in hut

Day 3: ascent of the Aiguille du Tour, return to valley

 Crossing the Col Superieur du Tour on to the Trient Plateau with the Aiguille du Chardonnet behind

Crossing the Col Superieur du Tour on to the Trient Plateau with the Aiguille du Chardonnet behind

 On the ascent of the Aiguille du Tour

On the ascent of the Aiguille du Tour

 Happy team descending from the Aiguille du Tour

Happy team descending from the Aiguille du Tour

Day 4: Aspirant Guide John Crook joins us. Jess has a rest day, while Mike, Almaas and Pri do Left Edge Route on Mont Blanc du Tacul with Chris and John. 

Day 5: Jess & Almaas climb the Arête des Papillons on the Plan de l'Aiguille with John. Pri & Mike have a rock coaching day at the Gaillands with Chris.

John continued the success theme by completing his training and becoming an International Mountain Guide the following week - fantastic!

22nd-31st July 2018

A 1:1 booking for nine days out of ten with Wendy Dodds from the UK, aiming to do the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. As the course developed, Wendy chose to have seven guided days rather than nine.

Day 1: traverse of Aiguille des Crochues (there & back)

Day 2: traverse of Point Lachenal from the Aiguille du Midi lift, return to valley

Day 3: ascent of Mont Blanc du Tacul, ascent of Arête à Laurence to get to the Cosmiques hut, and overnight in the hut

 Walking towards the Col du Midi en route to Mont Blanc du Tacul, with the Cosmiques hut on the right

Walking towards the Col du Midi en route to Mont Blanc du Tacul, with the Cosmiques hut on the right

 Looking towards Italy from the summit of Mont Blanc du Tacul

Looking towards Italy from the summit of Mont Blanc du Tacul

Day 4: ascent of the Cosmiques Arete, return to the valley

Day 5: drive to Tasch, take the train to Zermatt, take the lift to Schwarsee, and walk to the Hornli hut

Day 6: ascent of the Matterhorn and return to Chamonix

 On the summit of the Matterhorn

On the summit of the Matterhorn

Day 7: rest day

Day 8: rest day

Day 9: ascent of Mont Blanc from the Aiguille du Midi cable car and return to valley

 On the summit of Mont Blanc

On the summit of Mont Blanc

Day 10: rest day

2nd August 2018

A one day booking with two friends from the UK, Rob and Ewan, and we did the Cosmiques Arête.

 On the Cosmiques Arete

On the Cosmiques Arete