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French Duo Pioneers A spectacular route north of the Chamlang Virgin

On October 11, French climbers Charles Dubois, 32, and Benjamin Vedrine, 29, made their first ascent of the northern front of the Chamlang (7,319 meters) and reached the summit in three lightning days. The two named their route 5,250 feet In the shadow of a lie (WI5 + M5 + 90 ° ED).

Wadrins, based in Montière in the southern Alps, last visited the mountain in 2019 with Nicolas Jean. At the time, he and Jean were climbing northeast of the Coulomb, but before turning, they only reached an altitude of about 7,200 meters because the latter was ill and did not want to run. The same year Czech climbers Mark Holchek And Zdeněk Hák was welcomed after facing a new line at the summit’s northwest peak, but all efforts for the northern face of Chamlang had so far not been curbed.

Charles Dubois at the top of North Face. (Photo: Courtesy of Benjamin Védrines)

Said DeBulose, who lives in Annecy, near Chamonix rock climbing “The fact that Benjamin had come before [to Chamlang] It was an advantage to know exactly the route we wanted to climb before moving. Benjamin had accurate pictures of his face, so we studied where to go. “I trusted him about the possibility of reaching the summit this way.” We just needed good conditions to climb!

The two had a base camp with another French expedition, consisting of Damien Tomasi, Fanny Tomasi, Orlene Vissier, and Simon Wolfinger, who were trying to reach the north pillar of the summit, but failed. “Chamlang is a mountain of dreams. Dubois said sarcastically, especially by the French. He and Wadrins adapted to My Peak (6476 m), which he called “Mont Blanc Nepal”, due to low technical difficulty but relatively high altitude. “However, it was not a really good memory for me because I was sick,” he said. “Nausea and headache. “Classic for good compatibility!”

Dubois collides with one of several sloping icebergs at the top of the mountain. (Photo: Courtesy of Benjamin Védrines)

Camp to camp, they completed In the shadow of a lie In four days, with two bioways on the way up and one on the way down. At 6 a.m. on October 9, they left their camp at an altitude of 5,400 meters, climbed halfway up and down the main basements of the trail. The next day was much slower, and they cautiously climbed the stable vertical lines of the track, smashing the rim of the bike that night. “It is difficult to be accurate, because we climbed every day all day,” DeBulose said. They completed the entire ascent without sunlight, in the cold shade of the northern front, but with pristine weather, albeit strong winds at the summit, with the Dobols estimating a speed of 25 miles per hour.

He described their path as very steep, shady, long and continuous. “An alpine climber’s paradise!” He also pointed out many similarities Grande Jorasses, in the Mont Blanc range, But much longer and higher.

(Photo: Courtesy of Benjamin Védrines)

“For me, it was the hardest climb I’ve ever done.” Védrines wrote on Instagram“Both for the nights under the spindrift and for the terrain we had to climb.” Dubois said rock climbing Who completely agreed, “It was very long and continuous. The first day of mountaineering was much steeper than we imagined and we did not sleep during the two bivies due to too much rotation. all through the night [there was] “Duke on the tent.”

He added that the second widow with an altitude of 6700 meters was the worst widow of her life. Snow was constantly falling on our sleeping bags in the tent. It is a good memory now, but on October 11th, the day started hard. In the Alps we climbed harder ice and mixed, but he was very persistent in Chamlang. With altitude, cold, fatigue, well, this made it the hardest climb. [my] Life too. ”

(Photo: Courtesy of Charles Dubois)
(Photo: Sincerely, Benjamin Wadrins)

Dubois was unsure of the exact number of pitches he could climb, but estimated that there were at least ten strong WI5 + pitches. “Protecting the ice was often good, but sometimes it was hard to protect it and make a jar,” he said. When there was not enough ice, we had to look for good cracks in the rock, but the rock was really bad. All the ingredients for a good alpine recipe! ”

He described the mainland as a really fragile and sensitive snow field. “The Vedrenas passed through this avalanche-like part, but it was a long passage on the left, and it was not a happy time for me, with the big bag on my back,” Dubolose said. “It was the second day [overall] Critical day, in the steeper part of the face. All terrain was steep and steep, sometimes with mixed mountaineering. But fortunately the ice conditions were excellent. “If it were not for them, we would not have succeeded!”

He said the name of their route (In the shadow of a lie) “Due to the fact that climbers sometimes lie about their performance”, especially on remote and large mountain lines. In addition, the routes in the Himalayas are not often repeated, so it is really difficult to check the degree that the climbers declare.

DeBulose returned home the day she spoke to him rock climbing He said he plans to rest with his family a few days before returning to the Alps to do more mountaineering. “The situation in the Mont Blanc area looks good,” he said.


Owen Clark Is a freelance writer who lives on the road. In addition to spending time in the mountains, he enjoys motorcycles, heavy metal, video games, etc.

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