Dienstag, 24. März 2015

Dru North Couloir Direct

The overhanging crux dihedral on the direct with a solid grown ice finish

The obvious upper part of the couloir that splits the Grand from the Petit Dru. The Finish of the cruxpitch is wehere the ice is running out into dry rock low left in the picture. The lower part of the couloir is not visible.

Hanno and I where driving through Switzerland and discussed what we should climb in Chamonix. A few hours before our departure I had a chat with Chamonix local Jack Gerdald and he recommended the North Couloir Direct of the Dru. It was easy to convince Hanno for this climb.
The following day we took our climbing stuff some bivi equipment and our skis up the Grand Montets cable car. We stashed the skis near the top station and changed the skiboots with our mountain boots. After 1.5h approach we reached a nice flat area below the Dru where we prepared our bivi and melted some snow for tea and dinner. At 5 o´clock in the morning we started hiking up to the start of the couloir and simul- climbed the first 300 meters of the couloir until we reached the start of the Direct. After 3 long and sustained pitches on best Chamonix rock and mixed terrain we reached again easier terrain. We had some spindrift on these pitches because it was snowing out of a big cloud stuck around the Dru. Hanno had some problems with too tight boots but we have a slogan: Everything has an end! And after the last 300 meters which we climbed in 2 or 3 pitches we reached the col between Petit and Grand Dru around 12 o’clock. Sitting there in the only sun rises of that day the wind was building up and Mont Blanc was already covered in clouds. After a bar and some sips of tea we started rappelling. 
Thanks to Jack and Nick for the solid abalakov abseils I own you some beers.
We reached our bivi at 3 o´clock and walked back to the Grand Montets station for some fun skiing with heavy packs. Beer and a nice dinner in sight. 

What a cool day out there.

On the approach day with perfect weather and a amazing view on the range

Perfect bivi spot.

some posing........
Already in bed catching some sleep before the action.
Simulclimbing on the lower part of the couloir

Not the best weather but excited for the following pitches
Starting into the crux corner

The cruxpitch
Good protection, perfect rock, crazy exposure.

Good but loooooong ice until the top of the col. Hanno had a fight with his too tight boots.

Hanno at the col with the first food of the day yeah!

The well earned bars

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