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Questions from members

Punta Baretti and M. Brouillard

I would like if possible to have some information about Punta Baretti and Mont Brouillard in the Mont Blanc group.
These are two very secluded 4000 and overlooked by most climbers. For this reason it is hard to find guides or reports that describe sufficiently well their ascension.

In particular I would like to program with my friends a weekend at the refuge Quintino Sella (who described me as a cornerstone of mountaineering) to freeclimb both and see up close the famous Brouillard side of Mont Blanc.

Having said that I wanted to know:

E 'can freeclimb in September? If not, in what season it is more appropriate freeclimb?
And 'possible to scale them both in the same day?
I heard of a gully in 50 °, it can be difficult at that season?
It would be possible to have a description, even very briefly, the itinerary? Perhaps made by someone who has been recently.
There are important information that escape me?

Best regards.

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Dear David,

Turn your question (which certainly can also affect other climbers) to the Mountain Guide Pier Mattiel, Which on other occasions he has been the "technical adviser" of CLUB 4000, and that will certainly give you all the technical details and the latest information that you need.

Meanwhile, I try to give me some answers, of a general nature:

- These two peaks are of little interest mountaineering and technically easy; the problem is to reach the ridge between the two peaks; the environment is, in my opinion, the most wild and secluded but not only of White in the Alps. Goedeke writes: "On n'est possible Guere en Europe de s'éloigner autant de la civilization": no comment!
The ascent of these two 4000 is a company to be reckoned with, not so much on the technical level, but global commitment: this is a test that highlights those who - in the words of Rebuffat - is a true "Montagnards" and who is instead only a "grimpeur" (in fact, a "rocassier" as the Master Rebuffat wrote).
- It's true: the Q. Sella is really a testament to the heroic alpinism; We call the refuge but in reality is just a poor bad bivouac opener.
- September ?: I think it is too late because the glacier Miage will be too crevassed and make it difficult if not impossible to climb; better now, assuming it is not already too late;
- Also the channel that leads to Colle Emilio Rey in September is likely to be on ice live or even a mixture of ice ugly and unstable stones; Also keep in mind that this channel, west face, especially in the afternoon when you go down, download a lot;
- The climb to the hut (which is necessary to check the conditions with the guides of Courmayeur) is long and tiring, m 1400 6-7 hours, from Combal; I do not know if the itinerary is marked today, it was not at all when I got me many years ago to make the way to the Rochers White;
- The original route, and, I think still the most followed, he starts from the Q. Sella and salt along the canyon that leads to the hill Emilio Rey: about 600 5-6 meters per hour;
- I have reached the two peaks in question going up for the long (1200 vertical meters!), Hard and dangerous gully, on the west side, directly from the glacier of Miage and camping out at the Col du Brouillard, to go up the day after the two peaks and, alas !, to go down the same gully: a torture uphill in the sun, with the load lot also the bivouac equipment, and a downhill penance; on Vallot, vol 1, you see it in croquis n. 29, 309 with the number.

And 'everything, at least for now. Best regards.

Luciano Ratto

A curiosity

I would like to know if possible which is the youngest climber (when and at what age) to have been on top of Black.
Thanks for the information.

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Dear Paul,
André Roch, in his book "Big businesses of Mont Blanc" (Publisher Dall'Oglio) gives us this information: "... The August 17 1869 just fifteen years Vermeuil succeeds Armando de ascension of Mont Blanc. The July 17 1873 Horace de Saussure completes it at fourteen, and the same year Aline Loppé sixteen ... ". This book is the 1982. Of course, since then, a few ambitious and reckless father will be dragged on the Monte Bianco of teenagers early age of those remembered by Roch, which is not recommended because the high altitude, thin air and physical exertion that requires this ascent does not absolutely not suited to adult organisms. We turn your question to our members, who knows that someone is no longer updated us about.

Yours sincerely.

Luciano Ratto

General questions

I am a novice climber (or I'd be) and I had a few questions of a general nature, which will perhaps seem silly to most experts, but so be it ....
1) on normal routes to the PD (or PD +) required only an ice ax (classical with straight handle, etc.) or already need two a bit 'more technical? And from what difficulties then they serve the two techniques spades and / or ice screws?
2) when (both at the level of difficulty of that slope) must pass from the ascent roped to that single with the second that acts as a secure and then climb when the first has come to a 'stop' (do not know how to call).
Thank you very much

Giovanni Benedetti

Dear John,
your questions have given me some concern, especially if linked with your request for information last year (already reported in this category). It is obvious, in fact, that your passion for the mountains and high altitude does not match an adequate technical preparation, absolutely indispensable for not turning mountaineering in dangerous activity beyond legal.
therefore strongly urge you to join some course mountaineering; surely you can find at the nearest section of the CAI, where you will be able to supply all information necessary (the list of Sections www.cai.it you find on the site). The experience will come in time, but it is better to begin it under the guidance of an experienced instructor rather than have it on their skin (and risk of the same ...).
Best wishes for your future climbing

Flavio melindo

PS For now settled for a classic ice ax ...

the "feet" collections?

I am a boy who, as a great mountain enthusiast and collector of 4000 (for the moment only 4, but I hope this year to get to 10), has asked a curious question. All of us in Europe identify in the fateful quota of 4000 meters (and beyond) something that makes a mountain special compared to the others. Now, my consideration is that the Anglo-Saxon peoples do not use the meters to identify the height of a mountain, but the feet (feet). If it is true that the great alpinists of the 800 were almost all Anglo-Saxons (Whimper, Tyndall, Coolidge, etc.), I wonder if the Anglo-Saxons should now be considered collectors of 4000 or have their particular collection (of 14.000 feet, for example).
It 'a curiosity that came to looking at different sites on the Internet in English.
Someone can answer me?
Pending feedback, thank you and I extend cordial greetings.

David Ovens

Dear David,
your "curious question" is very interesting, but to us of the CLUB 4000 it does not appear that there are collectors of mountains measured in feet, even if the thing is not to be excluded because, as you can see by reading the heading "Curiosity and various"Of our website, even into the mountains there are the strangest collections.
Among the members of the Club 4000 (see the list of "Club members"), For the moment it appears only British mountaineer, which possibly can seek guidance in this regard.
Is it necessary to note that the largest chain of peaks of over 4000 meters in the Alps (one of the most extraordinary feats, but little known of mountaineering from its origins to today), was made by two climbers in English, the Scots, and Simon Jenkins Martin Moran, who, in 1993 have gone up in less than two months 76 peaks of the official list of 82 4000.
Among the British mountaineers then deserves special mention Eustace Thomas, who, in just six years, from the 1923 1928, has risen to these 70 4000. More detailed information on these climbers can find reported in the above section "and Curiosity".

Sincerely.

Luciano Ratto

Castor, Pollux and Black Rock

I would like to have some information about the peaks Castor, Pollux and Black Rock, as I am preparing together with two friends a three day trip and thought I arrive on the first day to the Rif. Quintino Sella, then make Castor SE, down to Verra hill and Pollux ascent to the second day (and descent to the Refuge of val D'Ayas Guides), climb to the Black Rock and descent to S.Jacques the third day.
I'd love to have the opinion of an expert on this route, whether it is feasible in 3 days and know the difficulties' that entails.
Ours are medium physical condition (running and climbing + times a week), the experience is not 'a lot (Adamello, Marmolada, Pelmo) but I think enough. None of us has ever climbed a 4000 before.
For the period we thought the 9-11 July.

Thank you for your attention

Giovanni Benedetti

We put the question to guide Pier Mattiel, Which again responds with his usual courtesy and helpfulness.

It seems to me that a more feasible program.
1 ° g. Quintino Sella from Sant Jaques, exists in season a jeep service that leads to Bettaforca pass, as the plants that come from Gressoney; inquire at the shelter. (Or walk, but it becomes very much longer).

2 ° g. Ascent of Castor normal route, 700 m. easy and frequented, descent towards Verra glues first part on a steep and a bit 'exposed ridge, up to the collar; then if possible bend to the left (direction of travel) down the steep slope and overcome the terminal, to merge into the central slope. If the terminal is too large to be overcome at that point (which is likely) go around to the right, then collared continue to follow the ridge for a while ', then dropped back gradually left (direction down) to enter the central slope; easily follow up to the base of the Pollux that salt for the normal route along the more or less rocky ridge, a piece of fixed rope (chain) in the slightly harder tract, then the final part easy and snowy. 300 mt .of climb from the base. Return to ref. Guide Val D 'Ayas, easy and fast.

3 ° g. Climb to the Black Rock pretty easy and straightforward; from Ref. climb almost to the base of Pollux bend left off in the basin of the Black Gate back to the bivouac Rossi steering wheel and from there directly to the slope at the summit that the top rears for a good stretch in 45 °, down for the same itinerary until the ref. Guides Val D 'Ayas. Continue to decline until the Ref. Mezzalama (snow and stones) then moraine path divallare up to the Upper Pian Di Verra, from where you can take advantage of a Jeep service to go down to S.Jaques, inquire at the shelter. (Or walk down the road in part for quite a long path and boring).

Greetings
PierMattiel