Yet another beautiful sunny day in the Chamonix valley so plans to conquer climb 7 in ‘100 Classic Chamonix Climbs’ was on the agenda; the Amone slab, Switzerland (TD). As we approached the little hamlet of L’Amone the 450m slab stood out clearly with a smooth light grey chute running down its centre, which was our route up.
During lunch, at the base, my climbing partner sensed my nervousness and offered to go for a walk instead. Comments like this tend to have the effect of a red rag to a bull; there was no way I was backing out now even if it did cross my mind for a second!
The slab was limestone and the route up was also a drain chute for excess water, smoothed by the regular downpours. The slab had also been baked by the sun and the combination made the rock fragile in places. The 12 pitch route had been bolted but there were frequent long run outs between the bolts and one bolt was now unusable having been squashed by a probable rock fall.
Climbing was steady on slim holds and smears from the base. The most enjoyable pitches were nearer the top as the rock formation became more interesting, although wet in places and frequently fragile. The view from the top was stunning but the 2-3 hour climb had taken 4 hrs and we still had to get back down so after a brief look we started the descent.
The descent was steep but chains were placed along the majority of the route down. A very enjoyable, although scary, day out! A big thank you to my climbing partner, Russell- a great lead!!!