Grandes Jorasses’ Gousseault-Desmaison In A Day by Vedrines and Billon : a new era ?

Billon and Védrines in action in the Gousseault-Desmaison route on 15 February ©Montaz-Rosset Studio

On February 15, Leo Billon and Benjamin Vedrines climbed the Gousseault-Desmaison on Grandes Jorasses’s North Face in 9 hours and 10 minutes from the bergschrund, starting from Chamonix on foot. On March 4 and 5, in 21 hours of effective climbing and a bivouac, Frédéric Dégoulet and Thomas Auvaro climbed the same route. We talk with them and Stéphane Benoist on the feat of the Billon Vedrines rope team.  And try to explain this dazzling feat that Vedrines and Billon expressed in the Jorasses, and which left the world of mountaineering speechless.

“They gave it their all, it’s lunar, hallucinating”. When Frédéric Dégoulet informed us about his climb of the Gousseault-Desmaison route at the Grandes Jorasses on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 March with Thomas Auvaro (GMHM), he was quick to express himself in this way to react to the time taken by Benjamin Védrines and Léo Billon on the same route on 15 February.

To remember: Billon and Védrines left Chamonix on foot that day at 1:30 am and attacked this mythical route of the Grandes Jorasses at 7:20 am before serenely reaching the summit at 4:30 pm and then walking to Courmayeur in Italy at 8:30 pm. In other words, a tour without a bivouac lasting a total of 19 hours, and THE Gousseault-Desmaison route, 1200 metres of “extremely difficult” (ED) mixed terrain, climbed on sight in 9 hours and 10 minutes.


Thomas Auvaro in the