MONT BLANC MASSIF

Posted on: December 1, 2002


Divine Providence (5.12d, 900m, Gabarrou-Marsigny, 1984), which takes the center of the Red Shield on the east face of the Grand Pilier d'Angle (4243m), Mont Blanc, has been dubbed "the hardest route in the Mont Blanc Range" due to its high technical difficulties, its altitude and its committing and serious location. The route is 900 meters to the top of the pillar followed by another ca. 600 meters to the summit. On July 27-28, Denis Burdet and Nicolas Zambetti (Switzerland) on-sighted the route at 5.12c. "[Nicolas] let me climb all the hard pitches and we shared the others," noted Burdet. Though every pitch of the route had been climbed free previously, it was the first time the route was freed in its entirety by the same party.

On June 15, in the Argentiere basin, Thomas Schonz and Gabriel Voide (Switzerland) climbed a new line, Mama Mia (ED1: V/5+ 5.9, ca. 800m), up the north-northwest spur of Les Courtes (3856m) in eight hours. The route climbs more or less up the middle of the rocky buttress, following a line of thin goulottes that rise directly to the apex of the buttress.

— Eddie Sender, USA

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