Sep 30, 2019

Moby Dick - Aig de Mesure

Aig de Mesure to the left

Want to get away from the crowds and looking for a nice steep route on solid Gneiss, here is one:
Moby Dick on Aiguille de Mesure!
Put up 2002 by mr Piola, with friends, its again a solid Piola route. But this one is well bolted with not to many run outs. Even on the easier pitches


After col des Montets continue towards le Buet. Just before the village there are a few parking spots on the right.
Take the first left (horizontal forest road that goes to the waterfall in Bérard), or park in the parking lot opposite (S 1365 m). Take this road for about 500 m. Then take a narrow path to the left (indicated Praz Torrent unfortunately invisible from the road).
This path leads to the head of Praz Torrent (point 1803 m). Continue towards the homonymous needles, then before the path really straighten (cairn next to a very large block), leave it to engage left in the Combe de l'Encrenaz towards the pass of the same name. Climb it back to the best (cairns and chamois). Pass near a bivouac then a large fractured block characteristic. Cross then the scree to join the opposite wall

Time 2h

The start is located roughly in line with the spilling area with roofs in a pretty colored wall.
The original departure is the one on the left. A few meters to the right is a variant for L1 / L2

The original quotations are 6a +, 6b +, 6b +, 6c, 6c +, 7b, 6c +, 6a, 6c +

2x50m rope
11 QD´s
Crampons might be good in the early summer

Take care on the rappels, some are quite airy...

Sep 8, 2019

Voie Bonatti Mazeaud - Petites Jorasses

Beautiful climbing on fabulous rock in a grandiose and solitary environment - Voie Bonatti Mazeaud on Petites Jorasses

Once you have arrived in Courmayeur you enter Val Ferret and continue the road up to Lavachey. Parking the car near the large picnic area in Fréboudze 1650m.
Its Italy, so always start with a good warm up!
Cross the stream with the wooden bridge and follow the path that goes slightly uphill until it meets the stream that descends from the Frébourze Valley. A good marked path.
Now go up the right side of the valley and the stream, follow the meadows until you find little cairns and yellow marks that lead to an area equipped with fixed ropes, a short section of easy scrambling. Once you reach the upper part of the valley, always following the yellow marks and the numerous cairns, you go to the left, alternating between snowfields and stretches of debris. A last short stretch equipped leads to the comfortable Bivacco Gervasutti 2835m. 
Attention because the conditions of access to the bivouac may vary depending on the season. (3h30 / 5h00 from the car) 

From the bivouac go down on the glacier proceeding towards the evident wall, which is reached in about 1h00. The route is variable depending on the conditions and time of the year.
The base of the route...
At a system of easy cracks and corners below the large dihedral that characterizes the climb

A bit og sac hauling after the 7a crux pitch
Anna following on the same...
Work out!

13 pitches of great climbing!

A good topo is hard to find. The most detailed topo is the one on the Danza Verticale website, since the old Piola topo isn't possible to find any more.
However there's no description of the upper part of the face in it. 
The first five/six/seven pitches are very obvious. Thereafter the routefinding becomes somewhat a little difficult. At the end of the corner of the crux pitch there is a belay. You must continue leftwards to the second belay a few meters further and not go straight up if you want to follow the original line (going straight up is also possible and not completely illogical but there is at least one very loose section). 
After that, a good route finding instinct will be at your benefit...

8-12 h

Two options:

  • normal route (north-east ridge to Col des Petites Jorasses) (take all glacier gear with you)
  • rappel using bolted belays: just before the South Ridge ends at the highest part of the face there are some belay anchors. Take the one with two bolts that is just on the east side of the ridge. A few steep (bolted) rappels take you to the easy angled slope. Find the next bolted rappel not too far from where the Bonatti route ended. Rappel further down the bolted belays that take you to the LEFT side of the Bonatti route when FACING DOWNWARDS. So you are not rappalling on the same route that you climbed. From the last anchor above the glacier a traversing rappel has to be made back to the first belay of the Bonatti (where you probably left your glacier gear). From here it's a short rappel to the glacier. 


Very beautiful climb, not crowded, in a wild environment. Bivacco Gervasutti is very well equiped and worth a visit by itself.
Take care with your equipment if you leave any at the bivack or at the base of the route. We had one back pack stolen, but its a demo and its only one made of this kind so it will be easy to recognize :-)

Set of cams BD #05 - 3 (double of 0.5 to 1)
Set of Aliens Green-Red
Small set of wires, small sizes good
2x50m rope

Picture from Piola Topo...the nowadays stolen one :-(

External link