Photo Credit: redbubble.com South Face of Mt. Blanc
The south face of Mt. Blanc is often considered “the real deal” by alpinists and mountaineers. Recently, Herve Bamasse, along with Basque brothers Iker and Eneko Pou, have put up a new route on the adventerous side of this European mega-classic.
Bamasse has been facilitating a project he’s calling, “Exploring the Alps”, and even though many mountaineers and alpinists consider new routes on the very used Mt. Blanc to be non-existent, Bamasse has proved the naysayers wrong.
The new route, named La Classica Moderna, is on the Left Pillar of Brouillard and was put up in traditional style. In a recent interview by planetmountain.com, Bamasse shared, “I would define the style as modern-classic; a style that mirrors those of the pioneers, who, to get back home, had to reach the top of Mont Blanc”. Four pegs and cams were used to ascend the route. No bolts were used on the 11-pitch climb that goes at 5.11a.
Perhaps the coolest thing about this new route is the classic fact that is was all done free, and takes a line that goes all the way to the summit of Mt. Blanc. The whole route gains 10,826’ vertical feet! Eneko said the climb is “As wild as Patagonia and as big as the Himalaya.”
Bamasse seems to be quite the character. When he was asked “Is there still room for adventure in the Alps?” He responded with, “Yes. I think it’s up to us to give meaning to our actions and our way of living and interpreting the mountains. There is no such thing as a better or worse thing, but if you’re looking for adventure then you can definitely find it out there, even on the mountains close to home. For example by going out of season, in winter, perhaps far away from the cable car or mountain huts, by establishing new routes or repeating existing ones in the style and in line with the philosophy of those who established them.”
For the whole interview with Bamasse and the Pou brothers click here.
Here’s a short video of Bamasse and the Pou brothers training for their mission:
You can also read Rock and Ice’s coverage of the climb here.