SMG Alps 2011 Post #11 Martigny

With yet another grim forecast, tired legs, and only a couple of days left in our trip we decided to get to lower elevation and the possibility of some rock climbing.  We drove from Sass Grund to Martigny.  Martigny is a French speaking part of Switzerland and riddled with culture and history.  From Roman ruins to a museum dedicated to St. Bernhard dogs, the city is diverse to say the least.  After checking into the hotel we drove to some single pitch climbing right off the road.  Despite the sprinkles or rain we were able to climb 5 fun pitches before calling it a day.  It rained all night and the next morning we weren’t sure we would be able to find dry rock.  After a quick stop to get Tony and Mich their train tickets for the next day we drove to the trailhead.  The approach drive included some of the narrowest and steepest roads yet.  At one point Bastien told me, “Narrow and steep coming up, keep going!”.  The road went up to the left and through two buildings on what seemed to be an impossibly steep road.  After some tire spinning and clutch smoking I was able to get up the road.  This brought us to the trailhead and a 45min descent to the start of the climb.  If felt like we were in the jungle as we descended through dense vegetation, creeks, and waterfalls.  The trail eventually led us to the start of our climb, a five pitch 6a+ translated to Marvelous Not.  The climb was sustained and interesting the entire way.  We had great views of the valley and finished the last pitch as the rain began to start yet again.  We drove back to the hotel and said thanks and goodbye to Bastien.  What I trip!  Thanks to Tony and Mich for being so flexable and to Bastien for all the local logistics.  We didn’t stick to our original itinerary but we made some damn good lemonade out of the lemons the weather gave us.  
Sass Grund

Single Pitch Climbing

The multi pitch venue.

On the approach.

Tony starting up Pitch 2.

Mitch jamming his way up the corner on Pitch 2.

Mich with a great view of the valley behind.

My Evolv chalk bag with Mich in the background.

Tony starting up Pitch 5.

Mich on the last pitch.

Back to the car.

The Roman Colosseum in Martigny.

The Saint Bernard Museum.

And, we’re done! Whew.

 

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