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Marlier and Farina make FA of Matador on Mont Blanc du Tacul


On 14/04/2004 Ezio Marlier and Massimo Farina made the first ascent of Matador, a new mixed line up the east face of the Mont Blanc du Tacul.

Ezio Marlier and Massimo Farina have climbed a new mixed route on the East Face of the Mont Blanc du Tacul. The two climbers spent 11 hours climbing an 800m line to the right of the classic "Gervasutti" and to the left of the "Boccalatte". The route, named Matador, reaches the crest after 550m and then finishes up the Gervasutti Pillar, and is graded ED (IV-4-M6+).

Matador starts 50m to the right of the Gervasutti and the duo immediately got to grips with the hardest climbing on the first three mixed pitches. They moved together through the middle section, before climbing the final five pitches up the corner, (mixed 5/5+). Due to high winds, cold temperatures and lack of bivvy gear the two Italians decided not to continue up along the Gervasutti but instead down-climbed to reach the abseil of the Supercouloir.

MATADOR - Mont Blanc du Tacul
by Ezio Marlier

We spent a lot of time searching for information about this obvious line, and the guidebook doesn't mention anything whatsoever. In the end we discovered that in 1986 two Frenchmen climbed the Boccalatte to the snowfield and then continued up left the base of the Tour Carrée, from where they continued tight up the gully between the Tour Carreé and the Tour Rouge. Our route climbs directly up to the snowfield and probably more to the left of the snowfield and tower so, from what we can gather, is independent. It has to be said that we found some in-situ gear on the first pitch, some slings and a peg, which we probably placed by someone retreating after having mistaken the start of the Gervasutti Pillar. We didn’t find any other in-situ gear along the rest of the route."

MATADOR - Mont Blanc du Tacul

We both think we've climbed a nice line, perhaps the last obvious climb in the area. We expected to encounter harder climbing, but this is great nevertheless. A new route in a place like this is always something...

Thanks to Mello's, Scarpa, Grivel

Photos: during the first ascent and the line of Matador.

MATADOR - Mont Blanc du Tacul


FA: Ezio Marlier - Massimo Farina, 14/04/2004
Length: 550m to the crest, 800m total: either finish up the Gervasutti or descend along the Super-couloir
Grade: ED (IV-4-M6+)
Start: 50m to the right of the Gervasutti Pillar (belay with blue slings).
Time needed for FA: 11 hours

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