Vedrines and Billon’s Dru-Droites-Jorasses Trilogy

They had already set a very high bar for speedy climbs in the Alps, but Benjamin Vedrines and Leo Billon keep raising it. This year they have chain-climbed three major big wall routes on the most difficult faces in the Alps, in winter, and in just three days!

The climbers have set new records along the way, such as the first free-climb and the first ascent in a day of the Drus’ Voie des Guides (850m, ED+, M8+). The climbers smashed through the route in ten hours last Sunday.

The following morning, they went to the Droites, where they climbed Rhem-Vimal (1,000 m, M7/M8) in an astonishing 7 hours and 14 minutes. Ironically, the hardest section was the lower, less steep part, where they found no way to place proper protection, the climbers told Alpine Mag.

Fastest no-siesta ever

On the third day, they completed their trilogy with the infamous No Siesta (1,100m, ED+, WI6 M8 XR) up the Grandes Jorasses. The climbers needed 12 hours to complete the route and, when they finally called from the summit, they explained that they had made some mistakes orienteering up the route because of tiredness, Montagnes Magazine reported.

According to Alpine Mag, it is the first time anyone has climbed the 30-pitch No Siesta (one of the most difficult routes up the north face of the Grandes Jorasses) in a day.

Out of this world

Montagnes Magazine also quoted ace French climber Stephane Benoist (who has climbed No Siesta twice). Benoist explained that climbing the three difficult routes in a single winter would have been a remarkable feat in and of itself but “in three days, it’s crazy! It breaks all standards!”

Last winter, Vedrines and Billon, friends since high school and now mountain guides, rocketed up the Desmaisons to the North Face of the Grandes Jorasses in just 9 hours and 10 minutes. Previously, Vedrines soloed three main peaks of the Ecrins Massif (the area of the French Alps where he lives) in 14 hours. He also completed a stunning solo climb of the Integrale of Peuterey on Mont Blanc in seven hours and managed Broad Peak in the same amount of time in 2022.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.