Mitchka – Face sud de la Meije

800m – ED+ - 7a max

10 August... Good weather is forecast for the next few days so we decide quickly to go and climb a project in the south face of Meije peak, which has taken place in mine and my brother’s minds for many years : Mitchka, a route opened by Christophe Moulin.

14h00 We take the cable car to gain 1000m height, and then 4 hours walking to the “Promontoire” refuge, by the “Enfetchores” route and the Meije breach. We joined the refuge just for the collective short drink. The refuge stay just under the big south face and it’s really impressive. Tomorrow it’s my birthday, the route will be a nice gift !! My brother tells about it to the guardian who bring me a birthday cake... :-)

Tomorrow morning, stand up at 4h00, start at 4h30 and 1H approach to the face.. Vincent starts the first pitch with the headlamp. Rockfalls stress us a little and we choose to climb quickly, without hauling the bags right now... Until we cross the “armchair” area, we are exposed to rockfalls... Then the face is very steep, and no risks any more.

The pitches follow each other and the rock is fantastic !! You have to protect yourself by nuts and friends, but the belay stations are bolted  :-)

We join finally the “square glacier” which represents 2/3 of the route. The last pitches are the hardest : 6c/7a/7a/6b+/7a/5a. The rock is amazing... We try to climb quickly but it’s not easy by looking after good protections.

18H00 : we are at the top of the route, happy, tired and worried by the continuation of the course. We planned to cross the Meije edges until the “Eagle” refuge... it was a bit ambitious after 800m climbing. So we decided to go down by the classic route. 4H later, we arrived by night at the Promontoire.

Happy birthday :-)

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