I recently got back from climbing the Croz Spur with the Slovenian start with my friend Ben O’Connor Croft. I have wanted to climb this route on the Grandes Jorasses for sometime now. It was great to finally get it ticked. The climbing was varied and for the most part good, with the exception of the penultimate pitch which was quite tricky with steep, broken rock and poor protection. Normally this pitch has more ice in it but this year it is quite dry so it’s been putting up a bit of a fight! We were one of three teams on the route that day and I’ve been informed we were the only team to make it over the top with the other two teams being helicoptered from just below this ‘crux’ pitch. This however wasn’t the only helicopter action that the Jorasses saw that day….
With such a strong high pressure sat over the Alps at the moment it would be rude not to make the most of it. Especially as my driving work has all but stopped. We decided to head up to the Argentiere basin to check it out. We had our sights set on the Colton-Brooks on the north face Of the Droites. We had no idea what the conditions were like on the bottom half of the face as its impossible to see from the valley but we decided it was worth a punt!!
Here’s how it went…..
…..That’s the words Ally said to me when we topped out on Pointe Walker at 5.45pm after climbing the Colton/ Macintyre (with Alexis Crux Variation).
Our plan was to traverse the Jorasses, after climbing the north face, to the Canzio Hut at the Col des Grandes Jorasses for the first day of our epic link. We wanted to traverse the Rochefort Arete to the Forche hut and finish up the Chechinel Nominee on the Grande Pilier d’Angle to Mont Blanc.
Little did we know just how long the first day was going to be……