On Saturday I teamed up with Aymeric Clouet, a French climber whom I met in Patagonia this winter and last. We caught the third bin up the Grands Montets telepherique and headed to the North Face of Les Doites to climb the Colton-Brooks route. Conditions were not amazing but were not bad either, with some sections of good, white, alpine ice, and some sections of old, brittle ice. Skis made the descent down the Talefre Glacier much faster, but we weren't nearly fast enough to catch the train down from Montenvers, and thus had to go down the "James Bond" trail, which is currently ski-able about 2/3 of the way to Chamonix.
Aymeric on the first real pitch, a little ways above the bergshrund:
A thin, traversing section above the main icefield, below the upper gully:
Aymeric at a belay in the upper gully:
Arriving at the summit ridge:
Setting the first rap; Mont Blanc behind: