Of the significant gullies on the south face of the Barre des Écrins (4,102m), there was only one left to open: the one in the centre, bordered by the south pillar on the left and the Red Ridge on the right. So obvious but untouched until now, this gully has just been climbed by the guides Benjamin Védrines, Nicolas Jean and Julien Cruvellier De Luze, on January 28th and 29th. De l’Or en Barre (ED+) offers 1000 metres of sustained climbing, with the hardest pitches rated at M7 and WI 5+.
« One of the craziest climbs I’ve ever done in the Alps,” Védrines said on his Instagram account. This is enough to arouse curiosity, insofar as Védrines succeeded last winter in the trilogy of the Eiger, Jorasses and Matterhorn (with Léo Billon and Sébastien Ratel) directissima.
Contacted by phone this Tuesday, the high mountain guide from Monêtier-les-Bains in the Hautes-Alpes feels very satisfied to have succeeded in this first large-scale climb on the south face of the Barre des Écrins, the highest point of his favourite massif. A great satisfaction because he has formed, with two of his regular rope companions, Nicolas Jean and Julien Cruvellier De Luze, an unprecedented team that has worked. Also because opening this line in the heart of the face in front of the summit was not an easy task, with delicate key pitches at the beginning, but also in the upper half. Védrines took the time to enlighten us before going back