Aiguille du Plan Mystery solved by Ondrej Húserka and Evka Milovská
From 21 to 22 February Slovak mountaineers Ondrej Húserka and Evka Milovská made the first ascent of Mystery (85 °, M8, C1, 600m (15 pitches) on Aiguille du Plan in the Mont Blanc massif. Húserka reports.
Those who search often find. With Evka I managed to discover a beautiful line on the west face of Aiguille du Plan, between the climbs Voie Gabarrou - Picard Deyme and Voie Fontaine. I have studied all available guidebook and topos and it remains a mystery that such a line had not been climbed before. A beautiful couloir (maybe this was climbed previously) that continues with a final 200 meter headwall that fully tested our mixed climbing skills.
We set off from Refuge du Plan de l'Aiguille early in the morning. The approach without skis was not fun, and we started climbing at around 8.00 am. Despite not particularly ideal conditions we climbed 8 pitches and then bivied on a big snow field. The next morning we continued climbing through the steep final rock barrier.
My motivation to climb the entire route free definitely left me 20 meters below the end of headwall. The last corner in fact had totally loose rock. We did not have time to search for a new variant, so I ended the battle for a free ascent in an overhanging, vegetated crack. I used aid climbing (C1) for this last 20 meter pitch. The ensuing traverse from Aiguille du Plan to Aiguille du Midi in deep snow and 70km/h winds was really exhausting.
I had planned this ascent for a long time. After onsighting Beyond Good and Evil on Aiguille des Pélerins with its original finish and making what might be the first winter ascent of Full love… for dry and ice on Aiguille du Peigne I expected excellent conditions on the west face of Aiguille du Plan. I was wrong however, as conditions were very similar to those we encounter in our home Tatras mountains, namely poor snow and bad frozen turf. So I am very glad that our alpine adventure came to a successful end.
by Ondrej Húserka
Húserka thanks his partners: SHS JAMES, Mountain Equipment, Beal, Lyo food, Marva
TOPO: Mystery, Aiguille du Plan, Mont Blanc