Part 1 of 2 videos - The Frendo Spur is an alpine classic, mixed climb of rock and ice, on the north face of the Aiguille du Midi.
With 1200 metres of height and over 1.5 kilometres of climbing, it's length and difficulty are often underestimated. It's a long route requiring settled weather and the right snow and ice conditions to climb, as once committed retreat is almost impossible.
For the average Alpinist the route is exhausting and climbed over two days, carrying bivouac equipment in addition to rock and ice climbing gear. Usually day one is spent on the lower rock section and after a bivouac the the long exposed upper snow arête is climbed on the second day. Depending on the snow conditions the upper section can vary from good snow at the end of winter to bulletproof hard grey ice later on in the year.
In the next video the Frendo Spur (part 2 of 2) we are unfortunate to experience the hard grey ice!!
Many thanks to my climbing partner Fi Chappell and our Romanian friends Vali, Octavia and Catalin for some great photo's - several which have been used in the video.
Octavia's photo album can be seen at picasaweb.google.com/116734182185530304205/2012080809MontBlancFrendoSpurCuValiSiCuOctavian
The music is from Mike Oldfield's album 'Music Of The Spheres - Harbinger'