A Second Taste of Mello

So Im writing this long overdue post whilst back in Scotland, but Im pretty sure nobody was on tenterhooks for the next installment, so my challenge is just to remember what went on!

So a long time ago, in a european country far, far away….I had made an arrangement to meet up with the very psyched Greg, formerly of Edinburgh, now a resident and climber of New Zealand rock and ice. He hitched his way down from Strasbourg and I picked him up in a town just down the valley from Mello. Continue reading “A Second Taste of Mello”

A Mellow Introduction to Mello

So by a fortunate coincedence, I happened to be crossing paths with Ed, climbing partner of old from Scotland. He on his route home from Croatia/Dolomites in his very shiny new VW conversion, and me still working my way eastwards. So I drove over the pass from Briancon to Valle Susa and across the hot piedmont, and to the granite paradise of Val di Mello. Continue reading “A Mellow Introduction to Mello”

The Loneliness (or not) of the Long-Distance Soloist

So by some hefty slab of irony, I found myself in the most densely climber-populated area of my trip so far, and yet without a partner. Ailefroide is a busy, commericalised climbing area in the Ecrins, with most of the visible valley floor taken by a huge campsite. It has the scale of a festival, but without any music. Continue reading “The Loneliness (or not) of the Long-Distance Soloist”

My, What a Big Tooth you have!

Im down in the flatlands, having bade farewell to the Pyrenees. The long hot drive over to the Ecrins, and again avoiding the peage tolls wherever possible.

I had met up with Emily in Seu d’Urgell and driven through Andora, which is a weird place. More petrol stations than I had seen in such a small place anywhere in the world. Cheap fuel though! We passed over the Pas de la Casa and dropped down into the french Ariege, Ax-les-Thermes and Orlu, home of the iconic Dent D’Orlu – the Tooth of the Wolf Continue reading “My, What a Big Tooth you have!”

A break from the large – Cavallers

So, my original intention after the Picos was to go to Ordessa / Monte Perdido and keep on with the big limestone. And indeed Seb and I met possibly the most enthusiastic spanish climber ever, Viti, who was headed in that direction. But by that time I had a very friendly invite from Lee to visit Cavallers, an area I had not previously heard of, but seemed to have a reputation for very high quality granite. So I bade Seb farewell in Santander, and off I went to hone my rusty granite skills. Continue reading “A break from the large – Cavallers”