Legendary north face route free climbed for the first time in 37 years

Charles Dubouloz, Symon Welfringer and Clovis Pauline manage the first free ascent of the Directissime de la Pointe Walker (ED++, 7a, A2) in the notorious north face of the Grandes Jorasses. At the same time, it is the first winter ascent and the first repetition of the route from 1986.

Opened in June 1986 Patrick Gabarrou and Herve Bouvard can Directissime de la Pointe Walker (ED++, 7a, A2). The line through the 1000 meter north face of the Grandes Jorasses remained unrepeated for 37 years. The three alpinists only succeeded in February of this year Charles Dubouloz, Symon Welringer and Clovis Pauline to walk the line.

With their five-day Monster Effort, the French alpinists not only managed the first free ascent of the route. The trio also secured the second ascent of the Directissime de la Pointe Walker as well as the first winter ascent.

Known for tough winter ascents

The north face of the Grandes Jorasses is no stranger to Charles Dubouloz. A little over a year ago he managed a spectacular ascent: In winter he was the first alpinist to climb solo via the demanding mixed route Rolling Stones (ED, M8, A3+, 6a, WI5+) through the north face (Lacrux reported).

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Credits: Cover picture Bertrand Delapierre, Yannick Boissenot & Mathis Dumas

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