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Matterhorn: in the footsteps of “Gab”

1 feb 2010, by Carlo Caccia
Matterhorn North Face

DURING THE PAST DAYS, PATRICE GLAIRON-RAPPAZ AND CEDRIC PERILLAT BIVOUACKED FOUR LONG NIGHTS IN ORDER TO ACCOMPLISH THE FIRST REPEAT (AS WELL AS THE FIRST COMPLETE ASCENT AND THE FIRST ONE IN WINTER) OF AUX AMIS DISPARUS (1200 m, VII and A3): THIS ROUTE HAD BEEN OPENED IN 1992 BY PATRICK GABARROU AND LIONEL DAUDET, THROUGH THE MOST OVERHANGING SECTION OF THE ZMUTT NOSE.

No question of hibernating for Patrice Glairon-Rappaz. After his epic winter climbs of the Serge Gousseault route through the north face of Les Grandes Jorasses (January 13-18, 2000, with Stéphane Benoîst), the Super Intégrale de Peuterey (February 19-28, 2003, with Benoîst and Patrick Pessi) as well as the Directe de l’Amitié , once again through the north face of Les Grandes Jorasses (January 31 – February 6, 2006, with Benoîst and Paul Robach), he, in these days, made one more astonishing achievement: together with young Cédric Périllat, he has just completed the first repeat (and the first integral base-to-summit climb, as well as the first winter ascent) of the treacherous Aux amis disparus , a line leading straight through the farthest right (and most overhanging) section of the Zmutt Nose, in the north face of the Matterhorn (4478 m). This route, which was first climbed by Patrick Gabarrou and Lionel Daudet between July 5 and 6, 1992, is 1200 meters high and presents difficulties of VII and A3 . In spite of the dry rock conditions, it took Glairon-Rappaz and Périllat four whole days to master the climb, as they had to fight severe cold and strong winds. The final stage of their adventure turned out to be everything but banal, the descent via the Hörnli ridge requiring one whole day, before the valley was reached. Here is the comment of Glairon-Rappaz : «Besides leading to the top of one of the most emblematic and wonderful mountains of the Alps, this route combines all aspects of mountaineering and is apt to remain a clear point of reference, in terms of difficulty and overall commitment».

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Cover. The Matterhorn north face (www.ski-zermatt.com)

Photo 1. Dolomite-like vertigo on the Zmutt Nose. A moment during Glairon-Rappaz and Périllat’s winter ascent (photograph by Patrice Glairon-Rappaz, www.petzlteam.com).

Photo 2. The Matterhorn north face with the Zmutt Nose in the foreground (photograph by B. Perren, taken from “Alp”, n. 235, p. 89). The routes are traced in color (from left to right): Gogna-Cerruti (Alessandro Gogna and Leo Cerruti, July 14-17, 1969, 1200 m, VI+ and A3, ED+), Freedom (Robert Jasper and Rainer Treppte, August 22-26, 2001, 1200 m, VIII-, A2 and M5+), Piola-Steiner (Michel Piola and Pierre-Alain Steiner, July 29 – August 1, 1981), Free Tibet (Patrick Gabarrou and Cesare Ravaschietto, July 31 – August 2, 2001, 1200 m, VII/VII+ and A2+) and Aux amis disparus (Patrick Gabarrou and Lionel Daudet, July 5-6, 1992, 1200 m, VII and A3)

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Link for further details

Grandes Jorasses, the Serge Gousseault route:
www.intotherocks.splinder.com/post/21846689

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Italian version (full text)

www.iborderline.net/intotherocks/2010/02/cervino-parete-nord-sulle-tracce-del-gab

Foto cover. La parete Nord del Cervino (www.ski-zermatt.com)


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