Mont Blanc's Digital Crack repeated by Marco Sappa
Marco Sappa has repeated the famous Digital Crack, first ascended in 1999 by Thierry Renault and Alain Ghersen on the Grand Gendarme of the Arête des Cosmiques in the Mont Blanc massif. The Italian mountain guide reports.
Ever since I started climbing I’ve watched videos of Digital Crack... Last week, taking advantage of a day off for both my brother and myself, I summoned up the courage and headed up to Aiguille in Midi to give it a go.
I immediately climbed the boulder problem start which is actually the crux of the entire line, and after that first go I felt confident I’d send it straight off! What I hadn’t realised though is how much the rough granite had trashed my skin and how tired my fingers were after holding the tiny crimps. So on my next go I spent more time hanging off the rope than climbing… I returned this week and, feeling fresh, I sent it first go. As the French would say "Enchaînée!"
Digital Crack is an extremely technical climb with tiny hand and footholds that requires careful footwork. Climbing this route, in these surroundings, was highly rewarding.
Excited with this redpoint, I decided to check out another route immediately to the right: Arête Cosmiques put up in 2013 by Nicolas Portard and Victor Estrangin along the arête on the righthand side of the gendarme. Once again I had good sensations after my first go and for a moment I even dreamt of doubling my takings! But climbing route’s this difficult at 3800m is no joke and one quickly runs out of energy!
I have to thank my brother Mattia, without his infinite patience who knows when I’d have had the chance to try this Digital classic!
by Marco Sappa
TOPO: Digital Crack, Mont Blanc
TOPO: Arête Cosmiques, Mont Blanc