Capucino Grande

 

Capucino Grande, please…

When we woke up at three o’clock and look at the Bojan’s bed, it was empty. Where the f*** is that crazy guy. We were lucky when we saw him lying on the floor in front of our door. Yeah its true that our roommates were maybe two winter sleeping grizzlies, their inhuman snoring was crazy

Quick breakfast and let’s go. We still didn’t know if it will be possible to climb our goal – Grand Capucin. Because the wind and weather forecast wasn’t the best, we decided to change our plans a little bit and instead of the Bonatti’s route we decided for the shorter Swiss route (TD+, 6b A0, 300m).

Head lamps on and we started walking in freezing cold night, starry sky and kinda strong wind still. When we got closer the wall, wind wasn’t so breezy  anymore and we decided to go there and give a try.

In the wall the temperatures were low and we were waiting for the sun for a long time. Respect for guys (Asper, Bron, Grossi, Morel) which in 1956 went with courage for this wall. For sure they were inspired by Bonatti, which in 1951 found this perfect piece of granite interesting and made there the first beatiful and strenuous line.

Our ascent was much faster than firstascentist’s for sure, but with modern equipment it is not surprising at all. After few metres in crampons we left our ice stuff on the ledge and continued just in boots next two or three pitches, then we start climbing just in climbing shoes and after 4 hours we reached the summit of Grand Capucin.

We liked the most the third and seven pitch which are really nice thin cracks and it was a  pleasure to climb them.

So after we enjoyed the summit view and took some photos, we started the abseiling quickly because the wind was getting stronger.

It was perfect trip with perfect guys and our video shows you that I’m right 😉

Climbers: Luca Blanchet, Milos Kalab, Bojan Hribernik
Text: Milos Kalab
Video: Bojan Hribernik

Chamonix – back for more

One week in Cham per year is definitely not enough. Climbing potential of this place is so huge that you could probably spend your whole life there and you wouldn’t be able to climb all the routes. So when leaving the town in the beginning of July, after 4th stage of The Mountain Academy, I knew I would come back. I just needed to wait for the right moment 🙂 And the right moment came in August. Together with my friend Tomek we came for 10 days with our heads full of dreams and names of big routes. Although weather was marvellous in previous weeks it deteriorated soon after we arrived. We got drenched to the bone already on the approach to Envers des Aguilles. Another storm hit during our warm-up route on Tour Verte. Then there was another one accompanied by some minor showers… Luckily a weather window appeared exactly when needed so we could send our main goal for the week – Republique Bananiere on Aguille de la Republique. The route is magnificent and a real must – 700 metres of climbing (25 pitches) on perfect granite, taking mostly impressive corners, cracks and some technical slabs! Cold bivy on the rocky ledge, starry sky above our heads and amazing sunrise over the Drus and Aguille Verte also made it unforgettable experience…

Beautiful sunrise over Grandes Jorasses

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Grand Cornier – a one day trip?

During our week of TMAC in Zinal, Cabane de Grand Mountet, just next to the Dent Blanche, there was this very interessting looking ridge of Grand Cornier. That’s where I decided that this was a ridge I would like to climb once.

So this weekend with a friend of mine we decided to go for it. So we started in Ferpecle on Saturday morning at around 10am. Walking up and up…always looking at the amazing Dent Blanche, I climbed last summer. On the way to the bivouc du col de la Dent Blanche we were stopping for a little rest and had a look on the map. That’s where we realized that we were acutally on the patch which was supposed to go from the valley directly to the summit. With some friends of ours, just walking behind us, we decided that we could go directly to the summit instead of going to the bivouc. So this was the plan…

Walking, climbing, scrambling, passing some huge crevasses…we were on the way to the summit. After around 2100 high meters, 7 hours from the bus station, with 4l of water and lunch for 2 days in the backpack we arrived finally very happy on the summit.

The descent was just nice, with the sunset on the glacier we arrived to the Cabane de Moiry. After some beverages we were hitting the last bit of the day direction down to the vally with our headtorches.

Traverse of Grand Cornier, SW-ridge up and NW-ridge down in 12 hours. What an amazing and unique mountain experience!

Thanks to Steffi and Janick, Michi, Fridli, Dominik, Ivo

on our way up, Dent Blanche

SW-ridge with Dent Blanche

Michi enjoying the Spaghettis from my mum (which were supposed for the bivouc)

Just happy

Steffi…yeah, you are a amazing climbing mate!!!

sunset atmosphere on the glacier

Bonatti-Tabou on Chandelle du Tacul

After tasting the Chamonix-granit in our last week of the MAC, I wanted to get more of if. As Sang and Seb enthused about the Bonatti-Tabou rout on Chandelle du Tacul we went for it! And they were so right!!! 🙂

the amazing 6b+-pitch

Luca in Bonatti-Tabou

Luca on the traverse

direction to Mt.Blanc

on the top with the Grand Capucin in the background

chamonix in b&w

‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ they say. Well, here’s a small sample of my favourite black and white photos from last stage of Mountain Academy. Enjoy!

Approaching Petit Charmoz. Surrounded by mysterious and scary peaks

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little yosemite in cham

For the last two days of climbing in Cham I teamed up with our newbie Charlie 🙂 Initially we wanted to do a route on Dent du Geant  and then famous Rochefort ridge on the next day. Unfortunately weather forecast wasn’t good – a very strong wind basically made any high altitude activity impossible. Climbing a needle as tall as Dent du Geant would be a bit of Patagonia experience. Feeling not so ready for this we decided to change our decision and we chose an area called Envers des Aiguilles. In French it means ‘the other side of the needles’ which is quite funny cause I always thought that Courmayeur was on the other side of Cham… 😉

no need to rope up on this flat and not-so-cracky part of mer de glace

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arrival in chamonix

finally everyone arrived alright in chamonix – the 8 usual suspects, minus one – florian has engagements with his mountain guide schoold this week which prevents him from joining us, so we have a new addition to the team. charles “charlie” jefferson from the uk and a lucky winner from a store competition in france, nicolas wioland for a couple of days. they both get to join us kitted out with all the gear needed.

the weather forecast was showing rain for monday, so upon arrival yesterday we quickly set up the camp and sorted out the kit before dinner. the plan was to go over to the italian side of mt. blanc as with bad weather in chamonix, it’s quite often the case that there is completely different on the other side. and sure enough, waking up from the noise of the rain pattering on the tent this morning we’ll now get some warm breakfast, pack up and head over to italy!

and the winner of a ticket to the academy in Chamonix is…

Charles Jefferson – congratulations!

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and what you think the Mountain Academy can give you?

“I currently live in Sheffield, UK and grew up in Wilton, Conneticut on the east coast of the US and was involved in outdoor activities as a child; a bit of mountain biking, walking, and some climbing but nothing really stuck. This continued
throughout university however at that time my main sport was fencing. I lived and breathed
it, eventually becoming a coach in and after university. I found myself bored with it,
constantly staring out the window wanting to be outside. I soon started going to my local
climbing wall more and more after work and made some friends with climbers.

I believe that if you have a passion for something you will be successful in it. The position on this course will give me the opportunity to enhance my skills in alpine conditions, be one hell of a great time, and lead onto future adventures. Part of my job is helping people understand how kit works and this opportunity will also help me in m professional life.

Super pysched about the trip!!”

Stage 4 – back to the roots

Snow and rock – the origins of Alpinism!

Chamonix – the Mecca of alpine climbing!

Mont Blanc range – a historical place where routes opened with Alpenstock and nails meet extreme lines climbed freely only recently!

Sounds attractive? I bet it does 🙂 This is where we’re going for the 4th stage of Mountain Academy and you can also be the part of it. Now for the details:

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