Grandes Jorasses, new Swedish variation up Pointe Young
Swedish alpinists Olov Isaksson and Michael Rüter have climbed what might possibly be a new variation up the North Face of the Grandes Jorasses (Mont Blanc range).
"Who can be naive enough to believe that they've climbed a new line on the north face of Grandes Jorasses in 2011? Still, whether a line has been undocumentedly climbed or not doesn't change the adventure and fun of heading up into the unknown." This is how Swedish alpinists Olov Isaksson and Michael Rüter start their report about their latest climb, carried out two weekends ago up the Grandes Jorasses in the Mont Blanc group where the duo climbed a line they have spied during a previous trip up Pointe Young.
Isaksson ande Rüter climbed up the Knez / Skok (1980, 4c, A1, 55°, 750m) and after circa 400m, instead of continuing up this or breaking out right up the variant Desécures / Robach (2003, V5, M5+, 750m), they continued direct via a series of narrow gullies up thin ice. They simul-climbed up difficulties no harder than M5 and after a further 300m they reached the NNW ridge of Pointe Young. Two abseils later landed them on the Col des Grandes Jorasses where they descended to Italy for... a good coffee. Isaksson and Rüter have often climbed together in the past and in April 2011 they ascended the Matterhorn via the classic Schmid route while last September they ascended the Grandes Jorasses via the famous Colton-MacIntyre route.
On his blog Isaksson also published the opion of Grandes Jorasses expert Luca Signorelli who stated: "It looks like you did the continuation of Cristal Palace originally missed by Ivano. I doubt it has been ever climbed the way you did, but the problem with the R flank of the North Face is that it had a lot of undocumented or poorly documented activity by locals. You may safely claim it as a major variant and see what happens! Keep in mind that there's a lot left to do on Grandes Jorasses particularly on the Italian side, so a new route claim wouldn't sound outrageous!"
So: he who has ears to hear, let him hear. And if instead you know about this line already ascended previoulsy, let us know!