The month of June is usually an ideal time for classic rock and snow Alpine climbing and ski touring and what better place than around the famous mountain town of Chamonix, France.
Here in the shadow of Mont Blanc, Francoise Call is organizing the Chamonix Mountain Festival (1 June – 7 June 2013) which she hopes will attract climbers from around the world who have only one thing on their mind, to climb, climb and climb.
Not surprisingly, the programme is centred on making sure that’s what happens.
A team of volunteers from French Alpine Club and the Alpine Club stand ready to help mountaineers match up with others if they are alone, give suggestions on what routes to climb, and most importantly keep them abreast of current conditions.
“There’s no age limit and there’s no grade limit,” said Call. “This meet is open to climbers and mountaineers of all levels – stars and scramblers.”
Asked about what motivated her to organize the event, Call said: “Chamonix is often viewed as elitist and expensive. We want make it accessible for all mountain enthusiasts, whatever climbing grade they are. This is why the Alpine Club, the BMC and Camptocamp are supporting us.”
As well, festival organizers are have lined up interesting speakers and evening events such as the launch of a film on the Drus featuring Andy Parkin and Steve House. There will also be equipment trials and the combined accommodation, food and lift pass costs only 60 Euros per day.
The lift pass allows participants to use the Aiguille du Midi cable car which gives you access to higher altitude routes and large choice of rock climbing routes from the mid-station, on the Aiguilles de Chamonix, and the Montenvers train, which gives you access to all the routes around the Mer de Glace, the Grandes and Petites Jorasses area, the Dru, the Couvercle Hut and much more.
The event is endorsed by the Alpine Club, the British Mountaineering Council, Chamonix town hall and the UCPA, a state organisation founded after the World War II to get town kids to have cheap sport holidays in the fresh air.