FATMAP difficulty grade
Even though Fred and Benj are climbing in near full winter conditions, one summer aspect is the temperatures - at least they are not cold! An ok night's sleep brought good alpine conditions for the morning of their fourth day on the epic traverse and a slight refreeze meant it took only 30 minutes to reach the summit of Les Courtes. A speedy traverse of Les Courtes brought them to their first crux of the route, the Arête de Rochassiers - very rarely climbed, this little corner of the massif if a Mecca for Cristalliers. However, Fred and Benj found little trace of anyone before them and a whole heap of very loose and unstable rock. Photogenic, it might be, but the stress levels were high with Fred at one point pulling of a 2m2 flake with him nearly going with it.
There were also countless sections where the leader was climbing on Jenga blocks while directly above the belay.
Not cool at all. But our valiant heroes forged on regardless and after making it onto Pointe Isabelle, they cached their climbing hardware and descended to the Refuge du Couvercle to wait out the next few days bad weather. We met them at the but with a little surprise and treat..