/ What to do in Lillaz/Cogne if weather too warm

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TomHall2016 18 Feb 2019

Myself and a couple of guys are heading off to Lillaz/Cogne this weekend for ice climbing. Unfortunately, the weather forecast is looking very warm. 

Does anyone have any recommendations to what do if the ice is out? 

We don't want to waste the trip, are keen for mountaineering and we're able to travel about, to Chamonix for example. 

Cheers!

Harrison_Connie 18 Feb 2019
In reply to TomHall2016:

Go to the pub? :D

Post edited at 13:06
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Harrison_Connie 18 Feb 2019
In reply to TomHall2016:

Other than spending all your money in the pub, it would be worth checking out routes accessible from the Torino hut on the Italian side of the Mont Blanc Massif, this can be accessed from Entreves just up the road from Courmayeur. 

Mountaineering routes on the Aiguille d'Entreves & Aiguille Marbrees might be a good option, if conditions are right. Being February, you will most likely need skis to cross the Glaciers, however you might be able to get away with snowshoes for routes within short proximity of the hut / lift station.

On the Chamonix side, via the Aiguille du Midi, it might be possible to do a traverse of the Arete des Cosmiques, this had a major rock fall back in the summer, effecting the route, I have heard its being done now despite this, I would double check though.  Again, you would probably want skis or snowshoes.

Post edited at 13:30
smithaldo 18 Feb 2019
In reply to TomHall2016: the climbs on the shady side will surely be fine? 

It needs to be proper warm to melt those doesn’t it? What sort of temps are forecast? 

TomHall2016 18 Feb 2019
In reply to smithaldo:

We're looking at daytime temps in the valley in the excess of 10C, with night time temps of -1C. 

Not good.. 

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kevin stephens 18 Feb 2019
In reply to TomHall2016:

Go skiing or learn to ski, a most under rated (by many Brits) mountaineering skill. From Cogne you can walk or ski tour to the summit of Gran Paradiso, a non technical 4,000 m summit 

Post edited at 16:45
patsaunders 18 Feb 2019
In reply to TomHall2016:

Loads of dry tooling around Lillaz and Cogne

HardenClimber 18 Feb 2019
In reply to TomHall2016:

If there is still some snow...

A day downhill skiing at Cogne....a nice little piste. Gear hire in the town.

Enjoyed that & not too pricey.

smithaldo 18 Feb 2019
In reply to TomHall2016: I’m no expert but from experience I would suggest that will be totally fine. Most likely it will build Ice very rapidly on the side that things like tutto relitivo are on  in the lillaz valley. Something like lillaz gully or the big sheet of ice to the right (looking up) of lau bij which is a lot higher might be a good shout as well. Lilaz cascade will get melted very quickly but there should still be plenty to go at. 

Its sun and rain that melts ice really quickly, as anyone who has climbed on the Ben in April in 16 odd degrees c will testify  

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John Cuthbert 18 Feb 2019
In reply to TomHall2016:

There is lots of amazing sunny rock climbing in the Val d'Aosta. Check out the 'Mani Nude 2' guidebook.

JC

kevin stephens 19 Feb 2019
In reply to smithaldo:

Hmmmm I had to be rescued by helicopter after a melting icefall collapsed on me at Cogne

HardenClimber 19 Feb 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

Yes...

Note quite 'done that', but it can be quite sobering to look at a pile of ice blocks where you were climbing 48 hours before.

Last year there were fatalities from collaping ice falls in the valley up from Cogne.

Post edited at 07:17
tjdodd 19 Feb 2019
In reply to smithaldo:

"Its sun and rain that melts ice really quickly, as anyone who has climbed on the Ben in April in 16 odd degrees c will testify."

As has been said, rapid rises in temperature have led to fatalities on water ice in the Alps.  It is the water running behind the ice that is one of the big dangers.  Higher temperatures lead to more water flow which can lead to the ice detaching from the rock.  There is also a big risk with ice screws melting out (as Will Gadd suffered recently).  I would not risk ice climbing with the temperature rising so much unless you are really experienced with the conditions in the area.

Tommy Harris 19 Feb 2019
In reply to TomHall2016:

Plenty of Dry tooling if your into it..

Haston Cave

I also have another topo for a new area with a bigger scale of grades if you want it, although I haven't been there yet.

TomHall2016 19 Feb 2019
In reply to Tommy Harris:

Yes please. Could you send it to hall.thomas.ian@gmail.com? Cheers mate 

Martin Bennett 19 Feb 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

> Hmmmm I had to be rescued by helicopter after a melting icefall collapsed on me at Cogne

And I have the photos to prove it!

Made for a very entertaining few hours for the rest of us what with getting you down to the ground, admiring the expertise of the para medics as well as the heli pilot as he winched you up, buying the rescuing guides a beer in the Bar Licone, then visiting you in Aosta Royal Infirmary! Thanks for a memorable day Kev.

phizz4 19 Feb 2019
In reply to TomHall2016:

Lillaz Cascade was melting very quickly last Friday. The top of the first pitch was a 60 cm wide hole down which a vigorous stream was heading behind the icefall. The upper pitches were still in but going fast. However, Lillaz Gully looked OK, Cold Couloir had plenty of ice, Lau Bijou was still in. Go high and north facing. Valmiama was in on Thursday, Thoule looked OK, but the one to the right was going fast. Almost everything at Grauson was incomplete at the top.

climber34neil 19 Feb 2019
In reply to TomHall2016:

Go to the zoo! 

climber34neil 19 Feb 2019
Tommy Harris 19 Feb 2019
In reply to TomHall2016:

Are you on Facebook?

If so this link should bring it up..

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2223377194589309&id=1408980406028996

smithaldo 20 Feb 2019
In reply to Tommy Harris: ha, from that picture that is one place I wouldn’t want to be at plus 10 degrees with all those daggers about!!! 

I think my original post was maybe misunderstood. Basically there will be stuff to do but just be sensible with route choice. Avoid free standing/pillars most likely. 

Lilaz gully would surely be totally fine? Maybe a little drippy but it would take a lot warmer for alot longer to kill that?

These aren’t massive waterfalls like formes du chaos so any increased water flow behind surely won’t be an issue like it says by someone else  

and a rise from -1 to 10 through the day and night will be fine? It isn’t that much of a rapid rise and I’ve def been climbing in cogne in warmer with no problems .

what route collapsed on you Kevin... let me guess, after all I’ve said lillaz gully 😂

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wjcdean 26 Feb 2019
In reply to TomHall2016: 

Not sure if this has been mentioned alreadya butbwe skiied at Pila when we were there a few years ago and had enough of being terrified. It's about an hour's drive and there is plenty of pisted to keep you busy for a day (50km or so).

kit hire is by the main lift

Wee Davie 26 Feb 2019
In reply to smithaldo:

A group of us went to Rjukan maybe 2007 and had fohn winds with temps up around the 10 degree mark.  We did a good few routes out of desperation and it was some of the most frightening climbing I've ever done. I particularly remember climbing a booming, hollow, eggshell top pitch to a WI4 in the gorge and really felt like I was going to die.  Then we went ski- ing. 

Post edited at 21:59
LakesWinter 26 Feb 2019
In reply to TomHall2016:

We skied at La Thuile the other day, which was superb - probably better than Pila, although Pila was also very good.

Certain routes seemed ok with an early start, providing there had been enough of a frost at night. Think north facing/NW facing and no real hanging structures above...


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