New icefall in Val Veny (Mont Blanc) climbed by Massimo Datrino, Gianluca Marra
On 01/12/2021 Courmayeur mountain guides Massimo Datrino and Gianluca Marra climbed Cascata del Monzino in Val Veny in the Mont Blanc massif. This drip has probably never been climbed before.
The two Courmayeur mountain guides Massimo Datrino and Gianluca Marra started the winter season in style by climbing what is likely to be a new icefall close to the Monzino hut in Val Veny in the Mont Blanc massif.
The drip is located to the right of the second section of the via ferrata that leads to Rifugio Monzino and was climbed with three pitches past moderate grade 3+ ice.
Marra told planetmountain.com "I had spotted the ice while ski mountaineering towards Arp a few days ago, but the lines still seemed thin so I preferred to wait a few days. It’s the Freney glacier that provides the water for that area and on Wednesday, just before bad weather set in, we decided to give it a go since there was no snow cover. Usually the basin is covered and snow and this area is prone to avalanches!
We equipped some belays with stainless steel bolts but these could easily become buried under snow and ice, depending on conditions. In six hours we headed up the valley, scrambled up the Monzino via ferrata, climbed the three-pitch icefall and descended just before the forecast snow and bad weather."
Although various lines were available, the pair climbed the lefthand drip because "it gets the least sun, the other lines were thin, unstable crusts of ice. Repeats will require a period of intense cold and no snow above the drips…"