Les Grandes Jorasses


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Sport climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 13, 2012 - 02:59pm PT
"If Mont Blanc is the King of the Alps, then the Grandes Jorasses is the dark and shady counterpart. It's a north face that defines all north faces: a sweep of steep granite that stretches for over a kilometre in length and rises 1200 meter high that sucks in the alpinists gaze. It's not the sheer size of the thing but also the quality and huge variation in climbing that makes this peak such a target for seasoned alpinists" (Jonathan Griffith in Climb 22)

The first ascent of the highest peak of the mountain (Pointe Walker) was by Horace Walker with guides Melchior Anderegg, Johann Jaun and Julien Grange on 30 June 1868. The second-highest peak on the mountain (Pointe Whymper, 4,184 m; 13,727 ft) was first climbed by Edward Whymper, Christian Almer, Michel Croz and Franz Biner on June 24, 1865, using what has become the normal route of ascent and the one followed by Walker's party in 1868.

The summits on the mountain are the following:
 Pointe Croz (4,110 m; 13,484 ft) – named after Michel Croz, a guide from Chamonix
 Pointe Elena (4,045 m; 13,271 ft) – named after Princess Elena of Savoy
 Pointe Margherita (4,065 m; 13,337) – named after Queen Margherita of Savoy, wife of King Umberto I of Italy
 Pointe Walker (4,208 m; 13,806 ft) – named after Horace Walker, who made the first ascent of the mountain
 Pointe Whymper (4,184 m; 13,727 ft) – named after Edward Whymper, who made the first ascent of this, the second-highest summit
 Pointe Young (3,996 m; 13,110 ft) – named after Geoffrey Winthrop Young

The North Face

 Éperon Croz : Martin Meier et Rudolf Peters, 1935
 Éperon Walker : Riccardo Cassin, Luigi Esposito et ugo Tizzoni, du 4 au 6 août 1938
 Éperon Marguerite: Jean Couzy et René Desmaison, du 5 au 6 août 1958
 Voie Cavalleri-Mellano ou Éperon nord-ouest : Enrico Cavalieri et Andre Mellano, les 13 et 14 août 1958
 Bonatti-Vaucher : Walter Bonatti et Michel Vaucher, du 6 au 9 août 1964 (ED, VI, A3)
 Le Linceul : René Desmaison et Robert Flematti, du 17 au 25 janvier 1968
 Voie Polonaise directe : H. Furmanik, K. Zdztowieki et A. Heinrich, du 29 au 30 août 1968
 Voie Polonaise 70 : Jacek Poreba, Wojtek Wroz et Eugenius Chrobak, du 24 au 25 juillet 1970
 Couloir central ou couloir japonais : Toku Nakano, Hideo Miyazaki, Kazuhide Seito, Yashuo Kato et Yashuo Kande, du 19 au 29 mars 1972 (ED-, 70º, Vº, A1)
 Voie Gousseault : René Desmaison, Giorgio Bertone et Michel Claret, du 10 au 17 janvier 1973
 Directe de l'Amitié : Louis Audoubert, Michel Feuillarde, Marc Galy et Yannick Seigneur, du 19 au 27 janvier 1974
 Voie Polonaise 75 Wojciech Kurtyka, Jerzy Kukuczka et Lukaszewski, du 3 au 4 août 1975
 Petite McIntyre ou Goulotte McIntyre de gauche : Alex McIntyre, Tim Rhodes et William Todd, juin 1976
 Voie Yougoslave : Janez Gradisar et Igor Herzog, du 4 au 6 août 1976
 Goulottes Mc Intyre-Colton : Nick Colton et Alex MacIntyre du 6 au 7 août 1976 (EX, VI, A1, 90º)
 Scala di Seta : Smith et Sorenson, 1977
 Voie Slovène : Vanja Matijevec, Joze Zupan, Iado Vidimar et Frank Knez, du 17 au 18 juillet 1977
 Rolling Stones : Rutil, Prochaska, Slechta et Svejda, du 24 au 29 juillet 1979
 Knez-Skok : F. Knez et J. Skok, du 23 au 24 août 1980
 Magic Line Christophe Profit et Dominique Radigue, 1983 - départ de gauche du Linceul et sortie directe (ouverte par Hervé Sachetat et Dominique Séguier les 21 et 22 janvier 1983)
 Voie Espagnole : Pedro Pablo González et Paco Aguado, 1983
 Coulée douce : Philippe Delmas et Godefroy Perroux, le 7 septembre 1985 (D, 60°,400m)
 No Siesta, Stanislav Glejdura et Jan Porvaznik, du 21 au 23 juillet 1986 (ED+, 6a, A2, 90ª)
 Extreme Dream : Jean-Marc Boivin et Gérard Vionet-Fuasset, du 29 au 30 décembre 1987
 Directissime Gabarrou Hervé Bouvard et Patrick Gabarrou du 27 juin au 1er juillet 1986 (ABO inf, 7a, A2)
 Manitua : Slavko Sveticic, du 8 au 10 juillet 1991 (ED, 70º, 6c, A3+.) Onsight and solo.
 Cristal Palace : Ivano Ghirardini, du 16 au 17 août 1991
 L'Enfant et la Colombe, Marc Batard, du 29 décembre au 6 janvier 1992 (V+, A2)
 Le Chemin des Etoiles : Jean-Christophe Lafaille, du 23 au 25 avril 1992
 Gabarrou-Appertet : Christian Appertet et Patrick Gabarrou, du 19 au 21 juillet 1992
 Alexis Patrick Gabarrou et Benoît Robert du 23 au 25 juillet 1993
 Rêve éphémère d'alpiniste, Ivano Ghirardini, du 23 au 24 juin 1994
 Michto : Aubert et Jean-Christophe Lafaille, hiver 1997
 Eldorado : Valery Babanov, du 16 au 27 juillet 1999 (ED+ 80º, A3/A4, 6b)
 Décalage : Jean-Christophe Lafaille, 8 jours en avril 1999
 La Belle Hélène : Andy Parkin, 1999
 A Leï : Patrick Gabarrou, Philippe Batoux et Benoit Robert, 2003
 Voie Desecures-Robach : Desecures et Robach - 2003
 Ma-Ika : Sokolowski et Wlodarczak, 2004
 Le Nez : Mauro "Bubu" Bole et Mario Cortese, 10 jours de juillet à septembre 2005
 Heidi : Philippe Batoux, Christophe Dumarest et Patrick Gabarrou, 2005
 Hugues d'en haut : Patrick Gabarrou et Coranotte, le 22 septembre 2008

Source: Wikipedia

Oct 13, 2012 - 03:14pm PT

Social climber
Oct 13, 2012 - 03:48pm PT
That is climbing porn. No two ways about it.

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Oct 13, 2012 - 03:51pm PT
One of my good friends and climbing partners, bitd, Dave Stutzman (RIP) told me this hair raising story about his ascent of the Cassin Route/Walker Spur (Esperon Walker/the red line in that pic) back in the early 70's!

Evidently they were somewhere around or past the halfway point and the weather started to deteriorate rapidly. Climber's below were bailing and choppers were snatching those above them, that had managed to summit, off the top. They pressed on, didn't have a choice, and then things got really wicked.

Around three quarters of the way they encounter a Spanish team (2) who had given up. They let them tie in and follow (rescued them). At that point I asked Dave "Did they know any english?" Dave's brow furrowed as he reflected back for a moment. Suddenly his face lights up, a smile breaks out and he says, "Yeah, they new one word at least, HELLLLLLLP!" lol

So it turns out to be this huge killer storm and everyone expected them to be statistics. They couldn't be pulled off the summit either, but managed to make the descent on their own. And the storm continued on for days afterwards. There was a lot more to it, starting with spindrift avie's and then getting pelted by heavier stuff, bone chilling and finger numbing cold, etc.! But the main jest of it...they survived by the skin of their teeth. Particularly the Spaniards, cuz apparently they would have definitely perished had they not continued on!

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 13, 2012 - 04:56pm PT
Allons enfants de les montagnes, le jour de gloire est arrive!
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Oct 13, 2012 - 06:20pm PT
I have the Washburn photo over one of my mantelpieces.

Read Bonatti's account of '64.
Their ropes were cut by rockfall in 5 places and tied back together.
The leader had to fourth class while the second carried both packs!!!!!
steve shea

Oct 13, 2012 - 07:39pm PT
I spent eight days at the Leschaux hut in autumn 78. The guardian had just vacated for the season leaving behind a treasure in tomme de savoie, eggs and cheap vin rouge. Had plans for the Walker but instead ate, hunted crystals and drank the vino. The weather was great. When the goods ran out went for the Colton/Macyntre. Descended to Entreves and Maison di Phillipo, on Chouinards suggestion, for more food. The Grand Boeuff on sunday eve was out of this world. The largest bowl of grappa I have ever seen concluded the meal. Second best, no third best tour I had in five years in the Massif Du Mt Blanc. First was on the Italian side of the Monte Bianco but another story. SS

Sport climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 13, 2012 - 07:49pm PT
An earlier Grandes Jorasses thread: http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=745785

"Grandes Jorasses. Sperone Walker" by Alessandro Gogna. http://www.libreriadellanatura.com/grandes-jorasses-sperone-walker.html

5 places? Is that how the legend goes?

Oct 13, 2012 - 10:05pm PT

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Oct 14, 2012 - 02:35am PT

Jubilant after compleating the Walker Spur ~ 8/7/38

Sport climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 14, 2012 - 04:30am PT
Climbing the Walker Spur
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Climbing Le Linceul
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Climbing the Colton MacIntyre
[Click to View YouTube Video]

Sport climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 14, 2012 - 04:45am PT
The risk
[Click to View YouTube Video]

Sport climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 14, 2012 - 04:50am PT
La traversée Rochefort Jorasses
[Click to View YouTube Video]

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Oct 14, 2012 - 05:00am PT
GDavis - That is climbing porn. No two ways about it.

Man, you took the words right out of my mouth, and the thoughts right out of my head. Particularly after watching the above vids! I wish I would have moved to Cham and focused on alpinism. Had spent a lot more time in the high country & Canadian Rockies preparing to go to the Alps, rather then rockclimbing as a be all and end all.

I initially got interested in climbing by reading 'The White Spider' and 'Starlight & Storm'! Now I wish I would have focused on that (alpinism). So much cooler, imo!

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 14, 2012 - 08:05am PT

Thanks for your posts.
Video really gives a sense of what it is like up there.
It was also great to hear French again along with the climbing.
steve shea

Oct 14, 2012 - 12:33pm PT
Yes, thanks for the vid's. Funny, I just reread Gervasutti's Climbs this week. He was in the mix for the Walker as well but missed it by a day and ended up doing the East Face. The Colton/MacIntyre is a great climb. harder than the Eiger IMHO, but not as long or commiting. I lived in the region a long time and have few regrets about not doing certain routes. But the Walker is one. I thought I'd save it, that I'd always have the chance. But time got away from me. Maybe it's not too late... Yeah man, the White Spider, Entre Terre et Ciel, Buhl, Bonaitti, Gervasutti, Terray those were the reads that got my attention. Yosemite and rock climbing was just a stepping stone. Groupe de Haute Montagne heli rescue pilots are among the best anywhere

Sport climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 14, 2012 - 01:07pm PT

They've got "their own" book: L'epopee du secours dans le massif du Mont-Blanc.
Dave Davis

Social climber
Seattle, WA
Oct 14, 2012 - 04:21pm PT
Great videos-thanks!Did the Walker in an icy late Sept. with my friend Mike Hill many moons ago. Other than the unplanned bivy, the crowds were non existent and the weather was magnificent. One of my all-time favorite climbs.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 14, 2012 - 04:27pm PT
Where do they keep the giraffes, anyway?

Sport climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 14, 2012 - 04:50pm PT
Mighty Hiker
I'm not sure why you ask, but if you're thinking of Canadian giraffes, I think they're mostly kept in the refrigerator to cool them down.
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