Second ascent of the Directissime Walker, Grandes Jorasses : a first-hand story with Charles Dubouloz, Clovis Paulin and Symon Welfringer

Grandes Jorasses. North face. Winter. Three climbers. Five days. Four nights. A route never repeated. This is the setting of a great adventure such as mountaineering sometimes offers us, one that pushes the cursors very high, in difficulty, in commitment but also in the spirit of the rope party in the very noble sense of the term. On Monday, the 13th of February, 2023, Charles Dubouloz, Clovis Paulin and Symon Welfringer reached the summit of the Grandes Jorasses after having repeated the Directissime Walker, opened by Patrick Gabarrou and Hervé Bouvard in July 1986 and never repeated until then. At the end of five days of mountaineering, the trio realises an old dream, under the conniving eye of Gabarrou and Bouvard themselves. We met them on their descent to the south face, in the Italian Val Ferret, over a good Birra Poretti. Reactions and story on the spot, tired but with a smile on their faces.

A missed appointment on the way to the Boccalatte hut, on the south face of the Grandes Jorasses, a few hundred metres from Planpincieux. After five days spent on a north face, the call of the glow of the Val Ferret is too strong. Forget the summer path and its patient journalists, Charles Dubouloz, Clovis Paulin and Symon Welfringer choose the directissime downhill version and head straight for the snow to reach the valley as quickly as possible. The bags weighing around thirty kilos each cut into their shoulders after the long descent