The French alpinist Charles Dubouloz has managed a spectacular ascent on the north face of the Grandes Jorasses. He is the first to succeed in winter ascent of the demanding mixed route Rolling Stones through the north face of the Grandes Jorasses - single-handedly.

With his latest achievement in the Mont Blanc massif, Charles Dubouloz will go down in mountaineering history. The Frenchman spent a total of six days with temperatures down to minus 30 degrees and strong winds on the more than 1 meter high wall.

I just arrived in Courmayeur and I still can't believe it. I've been dreaming of this ascent for a very, very long time.

Charles Dubouloz
Toes and fingers have been badly affected. (Picture Charles Dubouloz)
Toes and fingers have been badly affected. (Picture Charles Dubouloz)

Solo winter ascent of the north face - no way

Even if the north face of the Grandes Jorasses has already experienced a few winter ascents by illustrious names such as Ueli Steck, Tom Ballard or Catherine Destivelle, nobody has dared to climb the face alone. Until now. The Frenchman spent six days, five uncomfortable bivouac nights with 35 kilograms of luggage in tow on the Rolling Stones route, rated ED, M8, A3+, 6a, WI5+.

Charles Dubouloz during his impressive solo ascent

Via the Rolling Stones route

The route was first climbed in the summer of 1979 by the Czech rope team Thomas Prochaska, Jroslav Rutil, Ludek Schlechta and Jiri Svejda. Due to the risk of falling rocks, among other things, the route was rarely repeated, at least in the summer months. The Rolling Stones experienced the first winter ascent in February 1984 by the two Frenchmen Benoît Grison and Eric Grammond. The first free ascent in winter goes to the account of the Slovenian alpinists Luka Krajnc and Luka Lindič.

The Rolling Stones route in the north face of the Grandes Jorasses. (Image: Cedric Perillot)
The Rolling Stones route in the north face of the Grandes Jorasses. (Image: Cedric Perillot)

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Credits: Cover picture Sebastien montaz

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