New Route on the Miage Face of Mont Blanc

Michael Rinn of Germany and Simon Richardson of the U.K. have forged the first new route on a part of the Mont Blanc massif since 1989.

In mid-August, the duo completed a first ascent of Perfect Storm, on the northwest face of Pointe Louis Amédée (4460m). The peak lies on the Brouillard Ridge leading to the summit of Mont Blanc (4808m).

The 700m line took them two days and required nine zigzagging pitches up the right side of a triangular granite pillar between Himalamiage (750m, ED1) and Fanta Couloir (700m, TD), which were first climbed in the 1980s. After three difficult pitches of 6a+, they reached the well-defined upper spur and followed it for six more pitches until a featureless tower forced them to bivy.

They rapped partway down the following morning and found easier terrain, which led them to the summit of Pointe Louis Amédée. They descended to the Vallot hut to hole up from bad weather for two days, then traversed the Aiguille du Bionnaissay and the Domes de Miage to Les Contamines. In all, they spent eight days in the mountains.