Van Update and Alpine Plans

Apologies for the rather long post. I seem to have quite a bit to catch up on. 

Iv been working flat out (with quite a bit of help from my dad) on the van for the past couple of weeks. The conversion is getting close to completion. Its very exciting,

Milestones in the last few days have been getting the axillary battery charging system system working (took me ages to figure out that a bad earth connection was the cause of the problem) and fitting the top surfaces to the bed. 

The massive deep cycle auxiliary battery on loan from Trystan 

I leave for Chamonix in less than two weeks, I have stepped up the training and alpine psyche (guide book reading). The plan is to spend a couple of weeks alpine climbing in Chamonix and a couple of weeks exploring, rock climbing, sport climbing, chilling and via ferrata in the Briancon Ailefroide region in the Ecrins, with the possibility of a few days chilling in the south of France. 

The Chamonix portion of the trip will probably be the most intense, alpine route wise . The hit list so far conditions and weather dependant is (in order of level of psychness): Frendo Spur, Cordier Pillar on the Grands Charmoz, Rebuffet route on South face of the Aig du Midi and possibly if conditions allow the Kuffner arête on Mont Maudit. Any Route comments/suggestions would be welcomed.

Cragging wise I have not been climbing as much as I would like to due to van commitments. I did manage to fit in a couple of days with Andy psyche, Literally the most psyched person for climbing and life I have ever met. Last week we went to LPT to attempt a redpoint of the classic 8a Muscle Beach. I managed to link the route in two of three section. I was very impressed with the quality of the climbing and am psyched to go back. 

Today we got out for a trad climbing day. I took Andy along the Hylldrem Girdle which is quite an experience if its your first time on it. 


Then we did Kestrel Cracks in Tremadog where I found an in-situ nut (literally!) Very cool.

After topping out I went to have a look at the Neb Direct, a classic jamming pitch but time was running out. Am psyched to give it a go sometime. Iv heard it has a bit of a reputation for being rather brutal! I am of the opinion that it can only help improve my far from perfect jamming technique. Will report back...