Dôme du Goûter, June 4 2009

10/07/2009 13:16 #486 da Pier Luigi Salza
Dôme du Goûter 4306, "pas de problèmes".


He arrives in June, with the ski mountaineering season still in full swing. Finally free from certain other commitments, I turn to the old dell'Aletschorn project. But enthusiasm fades when, after a few calls, I learn that the lower part of the route is no longer in a condition which means 3 hours walking between holes? So it occurs to me, as an alternative, to do with the Dôme du Goûter skis from the Grands Mulets, maybe going up the beautiful ridge North (the so-called Voie Royal), which I had spotted in the past and I always wanted to climb a sometime as an independent route from that of the White. The weather provides a window of good weather. Phone Grands Mulets: good conditions of Jonction, for the rest, says the Guardian, the route this year takes place uphill along the ridge north of the Dome (coincidence!) As the classical pathway, the same through the White the Petit and the Grand Plateau, if it does not downhill (!?). Happy to have found a "4000" still doable for skiing (although many of those who fail me) does not properly reflect the cryptic statement of the guardian, limiting the reasoning simple dichotomy "is passed or not passed, it does or does not if you pass you go and just ". Rather questioning the guides of Chamonix, which simply means that they do not go up that way anymore, preferring the surest way of Cosmiques. It objects that the refuge manager believes the classical pathway in good condition and wonder why their abandonment. I take some reticence in the general reference to the seracs. Finally, cut short by inviting me to hear the Office of Haute Montagne Chamoinix. Here I confirm that the conditions of the tour from the Grands Mulets are currently "fair", with the ascent of the North Dome crest and descent from the classical pathway. The fact remains that the 1300 vertical meters should be climbed partly shoulders skiing. Contact Paul, enthusiastic and helpful, and we agree to leave Wednesday 3, as from Friday, is expected to return the instability.

1 Day. Zealous as ever, come to Chamonix with great anticipation, so much so that, mounted an alarm clock, we hit a half-hour nap in the car. We go up to 8,20 with the second cabin, and to 8,40 start from Pian de l'Aiguille. After several gava and buta arrive at Jonction and although everything is properly closed, we bind ourselves (at least in this way Paul can not mollarmi with one of his escapes in view of the finish line) and the cross.
On the slope under the shelter we meet three French who come down brushing of great vigor, fresh as roses, fresh from himself Blanc. We ask them how the descent and tell us to do (surprise!) Only a short double 12 meters, already equipped, under the Grand Plateau, "pas de problèmes". Once at the shelter, we find only the two young Frenchmen who joined us at the Jonction and then exceeded. What strange lack of crowds on days so beautiful and the road conditions so! I inquire to the caretaker about the double and he confirmed in the same terms, "pas de problèmes". Because the phone did not refer to double, the lowerators not have taken them. We ask the manager whether it is better not come down from the same route, but he says it is not convenient at all because we would find very bad snow. In any case there tranquilize.

2 Day. Departure at 4. Reached the shelf at the base of the classical pathway, we go up quite easily and knives ski the steep and exposed slopes that support the Dome crest and that stand directly against the sky, with the lights of Chamonix in the bottom of the steep valley below us . The enthusiasm is sky high. I can hardly hold Paul to "leash", taken from a sports frenzy. But in the end, the beginning of the true ridge itself, now to the first sun, chasing some kind of ghosts, blithely cross a solid bridge and climb a few meters along too much with your skis already on the steep slope where suddenly we find a thin layer of loose snow on a hard bottom. Impossible to recede. You have to pay for the mistake with an hour of tension, so we begin to replace the skis with crampons here where we are, trying not to slip and at the same time does not make us miss parts of the equipment, make us and everything to ice axes and the two ice screws that we brought. We can not fly and not to be missed (almost) nothing (Paul a glove, but he spares?). Then finally we climb the 150 m ridge, wide enough, in 40-45 °, followed by other 100 m less inclined, to climb optionally still in crampons.
In the upper reaches of the slopes become less steep and less exposed, within sight of the north of the beautiful White. Finally a long shift on open summit gobboni and quiet. We reach the summit of Dome after almost 7 h. beautiful descent over a span of winter snow until the end of the Grand Plateau, the expected "mauvais pas".
A blue double rope is anchored with a majong two lanyards passed two glasses of ice with a diameter of 10-15 cm each (!), Excavated in the blue serac that borders the narrow ledge of snow where you can ski. The twin rope runs on a short slope with steps and then disappears into the void. Further down you can see the opposite lip of the crevasse. "Pas de problèmes", but in the meantime we are preparing two boatmen means of two carabiners and safety prusik. sideways on the backpack skiing. Paul falls first. The rope curtains, passes with steps and suddenly disappears. They spend the minutes. He does not respond to my calls. Finally, after a while ', I see backpack and deposited on the lower lip skiing, then Paul responds cursing inconsultamente against a cliff. Now I do not think to go down in my turn. Somehow, I say presumptuously, if passed him, I will, too. Under the section with steps, and the overhanging serac, a few meters from the bottom (where the crevasse, to the fury of steps, it is open and must commute to reach the solid snow), my feet no longer touch the wall. Here, the weight of the lot, with skiing thrown sideways, and down climbing harness combine to bring rapidly to a dangerous tilt to the next rollover. So much for the "but come on, somehow we go down, let us take off only in a hurry to here"! Fortunately Paul has managed to turn not to tip over and now, from his precarious position, he somehow manages to bilanciarmi ski and avoid me the worst. I would stay hanging upside down like a salami until the arrival of any rescue from above. So, in that strange horizontal position, with twisted rope in knots, centimeter by centimeter gain a solid point, I straighten up, abandon the rope and both run away on the quell'infido funnel with half open crevasse and ricalziamo skis.
We put a little 'to take back, legs well softer than it would be reasonable to expect as a simple consequence of fatigue. The rest is not history, not even pass the Petit Plateau under the dreaded seracs of the Dome.
16 us to the cable car. We spent hours 12 beautiful, always alone, for a time a little 'company would do us a great pleasure. I neglect the comments on the grandeur of the environment and the spectacular foreshortenings. The ascent route, compared to the classical pathway, as well as technically more interesting, represents an exceptional balcony "above" the immense and wild ice flow of Bosson and Taconnaz and great crest of Cosmiques.

For a few days I did not watch bulletins, I have not thought about how to manage some goal ?. and I celebrated 50 (*)!

(*) The Dôme du Goûter is my 50 ° "4000".

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