Friday, 21 May 2010

Petite Ciamarella - North face Direct

Day 2 of our Maurienne trip.

After a lazy afternoon and an early night it was another 5 a.m. start to head for the Petite Ciamarella.
For the first time in weeks the skies were clear from the word go which made a pleasant change. The summit is centre in the picture below, with the normal route skirting left before traversing back right to the summit. The line of descent was by the 'Face Nord Direct' dropping straight from the summit to the cliffs below before following a ramp-line through the cliffs, giving the most direct descent from the summit.

On the way up, approaching the mid-height seracs:

View north into the Vanoise - Mt Pourri on the left, Grande Sassiere & Tsanteleina on the right, with Mt Blanc behind:

The summit in sight:

Grande Ciamarella through a breche on the summit ridge. The North face dropping left (and currently very icy):

Not far now:

Looking across at yesterday's line on the Albaron:

A quick scramble was needed to get onto the summit block....Greg trying the direct (and overhanging) variation:

Petite Ciamarella summit:

Perfect snow on the upper shoulder, chalky, grippy, smooth...

Looking back at the line from below. Following the shoulder gives the best fall-line from the summit, and despite a slightly crusty ramp-line the Direct avoids having to traverse hard right or left as per the standard descents...:

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