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….
…..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……
So after recent successes on the Ginat With Ally Swinton. Myself, Gav and Jim headed up to the base of the Grandes Jorasses. We had our sights set on the Colton/Macintyre which is the prominent ice line leading right to left up the middle of the face. It features steep thin Alpine ice VI and tricky mixed climbing to join up with the walker spur. The route is 1200m long and pretty steep. After a slight sketch out at the start of the ladders down to the mer de glace as a couple of northern european type people warned of deep soft snow we plowed on up to our bivy site without any hassle, wondering what they had been on (about). After a bit’o smash and cheese we bedded down, waiting for the call of the alarm…..
Here’s some photo’s of our ascent.