Mont Balnc
New route – “La classica moderna”

August 2011

The abundant snow makes this face of Mount Blanc even wilder, more bitter and severe than ever. Our pace is slow, we are not in a hurry and the silence of our quiet hike on the glacier is interrupted only by the crash of seracs and the fall of some snow slides.
The weather conditions are so similar to the winter season that all the ice gullies of this side of the mountain are perfect for the ascent. Everything shines as in winter: the snow, the ice and even the red granite which is now completely verglassed.
And at last the moment we longed for. We ascend some pitch on a crack, then a slab, a technical crest and some snow covered rock overhangs, where we use the crampons. We enjoy some hard rope lengths and reach the crest of the pinnacle at last; we get to the peak of Mount Blanc in Courmayeur at midnight.
The weather is good, we have an air bed and a warm sleeping bag with us, maybe the place we chose is not very comfortable. We have our feet in the air but the sky is clear and starred, the absence of wind and the few degrees below zero give us the opportunity we surely cannot turn down: a pleasant dawn from the highest peak of the Alps.
While the sun rising on the horizon warms us up and brightens up the day, I think about the intense emotions the mountain can make us feel even when we are not climbing. The same emotions which motivate us to face it again.