Dent du Geant South Face

I’ve been waiting for the right conditions to get this done for a few years now. This years exceptional snowfalls on the Italian frontiere ridge of the Mont Blanc massif has ensured the rocks at the top are covered, and on the back of a Foehn storm we were guaranteed cold snow. After queuing with the holiday makers until 10 am for the lift it was going to be a race to the top quick to ski before it got too hot. There was no time to wait for the lift guys to put our skis on the cable trolley and we comically wrestled our skis out of their hands explaining we had lost too much time to wait. Running up the stairs with our skis on our backs to the top station (its nearly 3500m) was a rude lactic inducing warm up.

The climb up to the Dent du Geant follows the normal summer line; characterised by loose rubble and slabs under a dusting of faceted snow which all feels a bit precarious. The reward today was 2500 m of lush rip-able snow and 25 minutes later we were down at the road.

Looking back up, the first hot afternoon of spring produced some pretty impressive slides as the face purged its winter coat, trashing it until next year.

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