Desired Target: the most prestigious climbing tour in the Alps, the Walkerpfeiler at the Grandes-Jorasses North Face.
Time Frame: one year.
Factsheet: 1.200 m elevation gain, VII- Oder VI/A0, partly firn and ice up to 60°, 56 rope lengths, thereof 15 V-VI, the rest is little easier than IV, long challenging descent.
In order to get to know each other and to discuss further details, we are going to meet on a weekend with good weather forecast in June in Chamonix, France. Here, we are able to enjoy the full scope of all possible and (allegedly) impossible mountaineering activities. After an exquisite climbing tour at the Pilier Rouge de Blatière and a short ice and mixed terrain route at the Triangle du Tacul on the next day, we can be certain: climbing abilities, physical and height fitness of the participant leave nothing to be desired. At this point our training program starts. We are going to train important tasks like rope handling, motion economy in long routes, equipment management and most of all the movement on mixed and rough terrain. No sooner said than done.We are going to schedule roughly one weekend of training per month. First, we are going to focus on intermediate climbing routes (IV-V), which we are going to extend in length over time (e.g. “Fedele-Dibona” at the Pordoispitze, Dolomites, 800 m elevation gain, 28 rope lengths, IV+). Usually, we are going to schedule our upcoming target 14 days ahead and meet at Friday night to travel to the agreed destination.
Over the summer, we are stepping up to higher mountains. First, we are dedicating ourselves on securing techniques in the ice, including column salvage so we are prepared for the enter and exit of the high alpine classics (e.g. “Cordierpfeiler” at the Aiguilles de Chamonix, 600 m elevation gain, VI-).
In Autumn we use our flow to raise the bar and try ourselves on more advanced routes (e.g. “Pilastro” at the Tofana, 500 m elevation gain, VII+ or VI+/A1).
In order not to get out of practice over Winter, it is useful, to meet on 2-3 weekends to climb some frozen waterfalls and/or on mixed terrain. This would be a good training, firstly because both disciplines are good alternatives to indoor climbing and secondly because we are practicing entry and exit procedures under real conditions which is a very useful preparation for classic mixed tours.
In spring the number one goal is to regain our routine in classic rock climbing. In the beginning, it is mostly about making distances. As many and as enjoyable as possible, to reach our old autumn-level. The focus is on alpine sport climbing.
Before we are setting about our final goal in July, we are going to a climb one more alpine classic as a final rehearsal (e.g. “Cassin” in the Badile-Northeastern-Wall, 900 m elevation gain, VI).
The only thing that could possibly interfere with our legendary celebration feast at the Maison de la Filippo in Etreves (at the end of the long descent from the peak of the Grandes Jorasses), would be extraordinary bad weather conditions. Otherwise we have left nothing to chance when it comes to preparing for this very special fairytale-like granite mountain.
For independent mountaineers, we also offer this tour as a more compact version. In this package, a weekend trip to get to know each other is included and if there is nothing else to discuss we are ready to start the guided tour through the Walkerpfleiler.