Grandes Jorasses: No Siesta e Bonatti - Vaucher climbed by Luka Lindič and Ines Papert
Winter mountaineering: Luka Lindič and Ines Papert ascended the North Face of the Grandes Jorasses (4208m) in the Mont Blanc massif, France, combining the routes 'No Siesta' and 'Bonatti - Vaucher' from 20 - 22 February 2017 and with two bivies.
In mountaineering what often actually happens in practice, i.e. what is done up in the mountains, far exceeds all the small talk down in the valleys. So for those who are still wondering about what alpinism is nowadays, we'd like to highlight a recent ascent by a (not surprisingly) "mixed" partnership that provides some answers. The climb is neither a first repeat nor a first winter ascent, but what Ines Papert and Luka Lindič - two not entirely unknown alpinists therefore - experienced up on the North of the Grandes Jorasses represents, for us, pure and simple alpinism.
These are the facts. After their recent first repeat of Nordest Supercombo on Piz Badile, Germany’s Ines Papert and Slovenia’s Luka Lindič now sought out and found a new adventure on the north of the Grandes Jorasses in the Mont Blanc massif. The two alpinists climbed, over two and a half days and with two bivouacs, a combination of No siesta, first ascended in July 1986 by Jan Porvaznik and Stan Glejdura, and the Bonatti-Vaucher, established up Whymper spur by Walter Bonatti and Michel Vaucher in August 1964 and reputed to be one of the most friable routes on the entire face.
While Lindič already knew the North face well - in 2014 he and Luka Krajnc had made the first free ascent of Rolling Stones - for Papert this ascent represented a sort of baptism of fire on a mountain and the famous face she had never climbed before. The two started up No Siesta and then, due to very thin conditions, they climbed the central section of the Bonatti - Vaucher before finishing up No Siesta. A 1100m test, passed with flying colours from 20 - 22 February, i.e. in the middle of winter.
The technical difficulties are estimated around M7 but Lindič explained "due to very dry conditions even the easier pitches on paper proved to be quite time consuming." Papert defines the climb as "my best but also one of the hardest in the Alps so far" while the words of Lindic are even more poignant "One of my coldest climbs in the Alps. I believe we did quite a proud ascent."