What draws us into the mountains, caught like a snowflake in a storm ? Could it be the aura of a route ? Could it be the reputation from the previous ascents, or the difficulty of the climb ? Rolling Stones on the north face of the Grandes Jorasses took six days on the first ascent in 1979 ; it was given A3/M6/6a/90° and has only been completely freed once in 2014.
Could it be the peak itself, luring climbers towards like rock’n’roll fans ? The north face of the Jorasses is one of the largest walls in the Alps ; it’s a kilometre-high castle. Within the Mont Blanc massif, it’s also one of the more real and adventurous playgrounds, creating a testing-ground for alpinists. This mountain matches some of the essence of alpinism for me : uncertainty, commitment and hard climbing.
Of course, it could also be the pleasure of climbing, which gives me a long-lasting, ‘after-burn’ of contentment. Nothing quite matches the feeling of reaching the summit
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