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Questions from members

Blanc from the Col du Midi

I read in your description of the normal routes to White Forum.
I would like to be able to access the report via the Col du Midi Luca Melindo, mentioned in the report but I can not find the site.
I would also advice about the journey period this way: the last week of August and 'too late?
Thank you

Nicoletta Perego

The report of the find Luca melindo here, Within this same section.

On time, here is the opinion of Pier Mattiel:

"It depends of course on the age and From manual, however, especially in recent years, I have seen more ice live in early July at the end of August, this is because in June is often a hot exalted that melts above 4200 meters; in August the weather is not stable on average, with strong thunderstorms and even disturbances which discharge snow top.
Anyway I must say that the Trois Mont Blanc I have also made in late September with the condition more than perfect. "

Pier Mattiel

Crossing the Aiguille du Diable

Practical mountaineering fifteen years but only recently I have dedicated myself to mountaineering classic high altitude. I climbed so far twenty 4000 and I would like in the next season to add to these others to soon join the CLUB 4000. In particular I plan the west ridge traverse of Jorasses and the crossing of the Aiguilles du Diable.
Meanwhile, I'm documenting, and therefore would like to know - if possible - what are the climbers who have conquered the first of these ridges and when their conquest took place. I would also like to have some technical information about it.
Thanks for the info that I want to give you and best regards.

Mario Fornasetti

I answer you questions:
First let a pignolesca terminological clarification, of course very personal:
the terms "conquest", "Conqueror", "conquered" seem to me entirely out of place in the Mountaineers' language. I know that, unfortunately, are very common in mountain literature; so cold I can think of some famous book titles, from "The conquest of the Matterhorn" Whymper, to "A la conquête de la montagne" Irving, in "The Conquest du Mont Blanc" Ballu, in "The Conquerors useless "to Terray, a" discovery and conquest of the Alps "of Garobbio, etc.etc.
I suggest in this regard the godevolissima reading an amusing book by Ernst Bowman, recently translated and published in Italy which, incidentally, has the title "The KO wins."
To say nothing of rhetoric and silly expressions including, alas !, there is also that "... battle against the Alps ..." Guido Rey that we find on our cards CAI
Let these terms and expressions to the military lexicon. We do not suit: we mountaineers, even when we reach first a peak or walk along a path in the "front" (absolute, solitary, winter, etc.), not we conquer anything: we just go up, go down and try to bring home Pellacchia. Do not you think?
But, after this philosophical disquisition, I try to answer your questions:
- First of all it is great your program to enrich your collection of 4000 with these two beautiful ridge crossings that can not miss the curriculum of a lover of the climbs at high altitude, is or is not a collector of 4000;
- Both are very profitable from the point of view of 4000 to be added to the series: 7 the west of Jorasses (excluding the Giant's Tooth is worth a climb to himself), and 6 with Aiguilles du Diable and Mont Blanc du Tacul;
- If you just want to know the names of the first ascenders and dates of first ascents, you can consult the phone book "Date and protagonists of the first ascent" of our site;
- If, as I think, want to trace the history of these crossings you should always read the valid Vallot guides, and, to the Aiguilles du Diable, the incomparable Mont Blanc Guide, vol.1 ° of the late Guido Buscaini (this is in my opinion, the most beautiful and comprehensive guide that so far has been completed in Europe);
- For the history of the first ascents of the Aiguilles du Diable we suggest reading the autobiographical book "Vocation Alpine" the main protagonist, the great leader of Chamonix Armand Charlet;
- The judgment of these two beautiful and spectacular crossings are summarized as follows:
West of Jorasses: "magnificent high-altitude crossing" (Rebuffat)
Aiguilles du Diable: "beautiful hike" (Rebuffat)
"c'est sans doute l'une des plus belles courses de la chaine du Mont Blanc Elle se déroule dans un cadre d'une grandeur exceptionnelle" (Vallot);
- Both crossings are the most challenging steps in rock (which is a granite "scream") of the entire series of four 82. The difficulties do not go beyond the 4 ° higher, though it must be remembered that climbs to 4000 meters, with heavy bags, while wearing no shoes with smooth soles but high-altitude heavy boots. Delicate, dizzying, dangerous are also the abseiling;
- For the technical details of the west crossing of the Jorasses, which is actually a double crossing (Rochefort more Jorasses), and as such is perhaps the longest crossing of the Alps, see the full report written by Pier Mattiel driving under the heading "Relations"Under the title"Crossing Rochefort-Grandes Jorasses".

Luciano Ratto

Mönch, Jungfrau and Fischerhorn

I kindly ask if we recommend climbing the Mönch and the Jungfrau in late May, and tell me the difficulty of the climb.
I would also like some information on Fischerhorn. You can do without skis in late May? How is crevassed glacier Ewingschneefeld, it is dangerous to do so without skiing? How is the transition of the Tower on the summit ridge?
Thank you.

Giovanni Botticelli

For these your questions I have consulted with my friend mountain guide Giamba Campiglia(Mountain Air: you can find her address on our site, in the page Alpine Guides), Collaborator of CLUB 4000 and expert Oberland, recently returned from his own ski touring weeks in the Swiss mountains.

Here is the information you requested:

- Mönch: This is a little challenging climb on mixed terrain, 450 meters in altitude, along the southeast ridge and then east; difficulty of II degree, slopes on ice until ° 45, 3 hours from Mönchsjochutte hut (essential to book!).
Many climbers (so I did too) climb this peak (the easiest Oberland after the two Fiescherhorn) "passing" as they head from the Jungfraujoch to the hut (1 now): joints under the south wall of the Mönch leave bags , skis and equipment varies and only with ice ax and crampons (and photo machine) up and down before going into the hut.

- Jungfrau: Climb similar to the Mönch, which is often combined, biggest drop (700 meters), south-east ridge, mixed terrain, II degree of rock slopes of 35-40 °, 3-4 hours of Hut.
On skis you can climb to the terminal crevasse where he began the slope leading to the Rottalsattel; on this saddle on the ridge to the summit were laid 14 iron bars at 20-40 meters away, some with security rings at staging points.

ATTENTION !: downhill from both of these peaks, slopes exposed to the sun is easy to slip on "hooves" that form under the crampons. To overcome this frequent and dangerous problem, either place the crampons for the very useful anti-hoof, I do not understand why they are still so little known and used by mountaineers plaques.

optimal time for the climb: both judge that, if you want to go skiing, the month of May is a good month.

- Gross and Hinter Fiescherhorn:
1 ° - even for someone who is not a collector 4000 you can ride those two peaks and traverse along the southeast ridge starting from Mönchsjoch Hut, along the south-east ridge of the first (800 m from the glacier, 4-5 hours, 1 2 ° degree), and then continuing on the north-west of the second ridge (now 1, 1 degree);
2 ° - the month of May is suitable for climbing them on skis but not to climb them on foot, even using snowshoes, because the crevasses are covered but treacherous and therefore the danger is not to be underestimated. The recommended time to walk up these like other Oberland peaks (but not only these) is from mid-July onwards. E 'should be noted that in July the glacier is more covered than in August. In principle, however, in the summer, the crevasses of the glacier you quote, unless there has been an unexpected heavy snowfall, are more "visible" in the spring. I have climbed these peaks in September and always in this month I climbed the Monch and Jungfrau with no problem;
3 ° - in my opinion, ski Oberland ( "ice") may be useful in the long reign of shifting gears between the shelters, but do little in the ascent of these two peaks as the others (Monch and Jungfrau);
4 ° -the summit ridges of both do not present any great difficulties.

That's all. Good climbs.

Guide books: Berner Alpen, vol. IV, CAS

Luciano Ratto

Crossing Rochefort - Grandes Jorasses

I am a partner, in a not too distant future maybe I intend to make the full crossing of the Rochefort ridge. Currently the guides of the Grandes Jorasses area are quite old; if anyone has made in recent years, I would be very grateful if you could get me a precise relationship especially in the stretch from the hill to the Jorasses Pointe Walker.
confident expect an answer, I wish you all a good spring, waiting for the summer to do this kind of ascents.

John Rovedatti

I answer you questions:

1 ° - regarding technical documentation, guide-books to be referred are, to my knowledge, still the following:
-Monte White, vol II, 43a route (p 129 and following), the Monts Guide d 'Italy, CAI; 1968.
Unfortunately, the late, great Buscaini Gino, who died last year, the author of the exemplary leadership of Mont Blanc, vol I, which has no equal in the world, failed to complete the II ° volume that would answer to your queries.
-guide Vallot, Italian edition, ascents choices, 1988, Ohara
-Gaston Rebuffat: The Mont Blanc Massif, the hundred most beautiful ascents, p 178, Zanichelli, Bologna, 1974
-Card dissolved, available perhaps in the library of some section of the CAI, the "GUIDE Mytra" published in Chamonix.

2 ° - for more detailed information on the status and recent (nailing, equipped double, situation Canzio bivouac etc.) Of this beautiful ridge crossing, which is - as you know - the combination of the crest of Rochefort with the West and the Jorasses presenting (excluding the Giant's Tooth) the beauty of seven peaks of 4000 meters, I refer you to the full report you can read in section "Relations".

The report was kindly provided by Pier Mattiel, Our partner and Mountain Guide, he has done several times this climb and we thank them publicly for his availability. Pier Mattiel also has a website at, very interesting.

Luciano Ratto

How's the Mont Blanc crossing?

I am a lover of the mountains of Piacenza and I was present when, on Friday March 7 were presented, in Piacenza CAI headquarters, the beautiful slides on "4.000" of the Alps (See News). They are looking for some information on the Mont Blanc traverse (Torino Refuge, Refuge of Cosmiques shoulder of Tacul, glues of Maudit, climb to the summit of Mont Blanc). It presents difficulties? How the crevasse to the Maudit hill?
Wanting to go to the Refuge Gonella, what difficulties you encountered? The stretch of Bionassay ridge need to travel is dangerous?
I have some resistance, although not so young, but I consider myself above all the hikers, although well equipped. My experience in the Alps is limited to the following peaks:
twice the summit of Mont Blanc (normal route from the Gouter), Mont Blanc du Tacul, Tour Ronde (normal route), Castor (from Mezzalama and Quintino Sella), Pollux, the Lyskam Nose, Capanna Margherita, Black Rock.

Mauro bosons - Via Roma, 322 - 29100 Piacenza

I traveled this route in August 2001 roped with two friends, one of which substantially neophyte progression on snow and ice, while she enjoys a mountaineering respectable curriculum.
The route is not difficult, although the excess of the crevasse below terminal Col Maudit has required some attention, especially downhill (it was necessary to accelerate the descent, dropping the least experienced member of the consortium). In fact, at least in the summer of two years ago, the ascent route proceeded in parallel with the terminal for its entire length, up to a point (substantially on the vertical of the Hill) in which the same is narrowed up to allow the overshoot. The overlying slope leading to Colle was steep enough (I would say 40 °) and icy but brief (no more than twenty-five / thirty meters).
Apart from this passage, the route presents no difficulty and was with us in the path 8 hours (the total height difference is approximately 1.500 meters).
Unfortunately I can not help regarding the crossing on Gonella, that remains one of the objectives for the 2004 summer.

Luca melindo - SUCAI Torino