Cœur de Géant repeated on Dent du Géant by Mathis Garayt, Arthur Poindefert, Kilian Moni
Cœur de Géant is a mixed climb on the NW Face of the Dent du Géant (4013m) in the Mont-Blanc massif, opened in 2014 by three Chamonix guides, Christopher Baud, Brice Bouillance and Jonathan Charlet. Since then the route was practically forgotten about and nobody went to repeat it.
After a very poor spring with lots of snow, Arthur Poindefert suggested we check out this route and this face. Mathias Garayt joined us to complete the group.
We set off towards the face with as much information as possible from the first ascensionists and with as much equipment as possible: ice axes, 2 racks of friends, ice screws… It was the 17 June 2023 and we approached the line as if we were climbing a huge ice climb in the middle of winter. While the glacier on the approach was full of snow, the lower section of the face was full of ice. This reassured us and quickly gives us confidence.
Mathis start the climb via a small variant because the glacier had retreated and lost considerable height since 2014. This adds an extra pitch to the original route. After this though the climb proved great fun: good ice and perfect snow allowed us to climb very fast through this beautiful face.
After the first gully we headed left, making a long traverse onto the north ridge where the crux pitches awaited. The most difficult pitch, in M6+/7 sixth pitch, was very exposed but we negotiated this well in a chimney blocked by ice. These pitches are one more beautiful than the other.
We climbed a variant on pitch 8, because the original line on some loose rock seems to have collapsed. Instead, we climbed a beautiful corner with a little ice which quickly led us onto the North Ridge.
At this point ice gave way to compact rock and snow for the last 4 pitches up the exposed arete with an incredible void on the left side. We climbed past cracks of all sizes and it was a real pleasure to ascend as the sun finally beat down on the face.
All these attributes make this route a major outing, a truly complete climb in the Mont Blanc massif that combines ice, mixed and rock. Before reaching the ridge there is no gear insitu, apart from just one sling at the fourth pitch.
To round off the perfect day, we were treated to a 5-star bivouac overlooking Mont Blanc on the Col de Rochefort.
Our sincere thanks to the first ascensionists, Jonathan Charlet, Christopher Baud and Brice Bouillance, who established the line on 29 June 2014.
by Kilian Moni