For most new moms, the challenge of raising a newborn is enough. But for First Ascent guide Caroline George, a little time away from the baby and a few more hours of nightly sleep provided the opportunity to escape with the ladies from Chicks with Picks to go find some summer ice in Chamonix. After taking a little maternity leave, she picked the Profit-Perroux route for her return to work , dropping in with the classic rappel off the bridge on top of the Aiguille du Midi while dad was providing child care in the valley below. Raising a child is always an experience, but for Caroline, a little time back at work, and some time on the ice with the girls, provided the recharge every new mom needs. Posted below is her gallery of the climb. -EB Editor
Images and Captions by Caroline George
Cheryl and Amy are two ice climbing lovers that I met over the years while guiding at Chicks with Picks down in Ouray, Colorado. When they contacted me for a fun adventure in the Alps, I was excited to take them out and knew that their preference would be for… well… ice climbing. But where do you find ice in June?
Lucky for me, this past spring has been quite rainy (read, snowy in the mountains) and I figured that the Profit-Perroux goulotte (ice runnel) would still be in condition. So despite spiking temperatures in Chamonix, we took the lift up to the Aiguille du Midi and geared up on the Passerelle (bridge) that connects the two sections of the Aiguille du Midi lift station. Six rappels took us to the base of 250m long climb, which offers a mix of snow, rock and ice and finished up the classic Cosmiques Ridge.
The breathtaking free-hanging rappel off of the Passerelle on the Aiguille du Midi.
View to the Passerelle we rapped down from. Amy rapping down the Cunningham couloir. This couloir gets skied in the winter and connects with the classic Glacier Rond run.
Amy and Cheryl climbing so oh so perfect Chamonix ice.
Tight quarters at the first anchor.
Amy and Cheryl cruising up the route.
Amy climbing the last pitch, which goes at M4 with a little rocky step. The route meets the Cosmiques Ridge, which we climbed to the top of the Aiguille du Midi.
So much for bluebird weather! After the crux on the Cosmiques Ridge.
Summit Shot: the perk to bad weather is that we had the summit to ourselves. Usually, this terrace is covered to visitors that take picture of people climbing the last section of the Cosmiques Ridge.
Caroline George, somewhere on the route.
Caroline about to step into the void.
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