After two rest days, we are back at the parking at 4 a.m. We get on our electric bikes for a little warm-up, then continue by foot and reach the point where things start to get serious at around 7am. Pretty motivated to do the slab in crampons, I start the first pitch, and to my surprise the rock is better than expected. Then we continue, alternating pitches in snow, rock, and ice plates that are just as they should be. The pace is good and we can fully absorb the atmosphere of the face. The protection is not always obvious, we make use of pitons, friends, nuts, bird peaks, ice screws…all toys we have with us are used!
Manu takes over, the conditions are great, ice and squeaky snow ... we have a blast! After having set a few anchors in this mixture of ice that is too fine for ice screws and a slab that is too compact for nuts, here we are now at the foot of “the pitch”, the ephemeral pitch of ice that has been on our minds for so many years.
The atmosphere is captivating, hanging on our ice screws in the middle of this large 500 metres slide. Luc will have the honour to battle this one. The ice is quite hard, the wall vertical…no doubt the calves will be tired afterwards!