/ Chamonix when wet
So I'm heading to Chamonix next week and looking at the weather forecast, it's not looking great. I know that we're a fair few days out, and it might do a complete U turn and bless us with some wonderful dry days. Just in case it doesn't, does anyone have any recommendations of quick drying crags, or crags that stay dry in the rain?
We have a car, so we're willing to travel a bit to get out on the rock.
Also suggestions for cafes and bars to sulk in if we don't get to climb.
I can recommend bars.... Big Mountain have a tap room right in the centre, microbrasserie de chamonix do a smaller range of beers but decent food.
And someone is bound to suggest going through the tunnel.. we went to Corma di Machaby a few years ago and stayed at the hostel above the crag. Great food there.
Mbc cham went to seed several years ago. Beer went worse. Service random between abysmal and decent. Food variable. Prices consistently expensive.
I didn't go there this year so its possible, Big Mountain came on recommendation of the brewers former employers here in Edinburgh.
We spent a whole wet day in a spa last year (which we felt our knackered bodies thoroughly deserved). €40 well spent, included a buffet.
For valley cragging Les Gaillands is quick to dry, Servoz is steep enough to keep some lines dry and there is also a steep section at the Thermal Park. Some of the Aiguilles Rouges routes go well in rain and big boots. If there is more than a day or so of rain I tend to head to Italy, Finale is a great option.
Unless you have accommodation already booked I would seriously consider driving a bit further south to Ailefroide in the Ecrins for the week instead! There are a gazillion superb climbs in the valley and the forecast looks pretty good for next week...
We've done this on a couple of trips and it's worked really well. I'm sure I read somewhere that the area around Briancon/Ailefroide is the driest in the Alps with 300+ days of sunshine per year. You can see this in in the way it looks; much drier Mediterranean type vegetation than the bright green around Chamonix.
Les Cheserys above Argentiere is slabby and South facing, so it dries really quickly. Good routes up to 5-6 pitches, mainly in the 4c-6a range.
Going further south is always an option. Maybe go through the tunnel, and down the Italian side of the alps. Another 2 1/2 hours will get you to Cuneo and the maritime alps. You should have good weather, and the Remondino hut is fabulous (not stayed at Bolzano). Great climbing on Corno Stella, Mont Argentera and Cima di Nasta above.
I don't think that MBC is that bad - it's always very busy, which is a good sign (and I know lots of locals who go there regularly). Big Mountain and Beer O'Clock are also fine.
Base Jumper Tom Erik Heimen and trail runner Kilian Jornet "race" up & down the iconic Romsdalshorn (1550m) in Norway.