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Hard New Alpine Route Climbed in Alps

La Croisade is one of the most difficult steep mixed climbs up this part of the Mont Blanc Massif

La Croisade, Alps, Climbing

Tom Livingstone and Symon Welfringer have made the first ascent of a hard new route near Chamonix that includes technical granite mixed pitches. Their new route climbs the north face of Aiguille des Pélerins (3,318 m) and is called La Croisade.

It starts up the same weakness as the classic mixed routes Beyond Good and Evil before tackling an obvious roof. Welfringer noticed the route back in 2019 during an ascent of Beyond Good and Evil. The roof was first tried by Xavier Cailhol and Jeff Mercier, but they ended up establishing a line to the side, which is now called Les Flammes de l’enfer – read about the FA here.

Welfringer and Livingstone climbed three sustained M7 pitches on Les Flammes de l’enfer. They then fixed the pitches and spent the night in the Refuge du Plan de l’Aiguille. Early the next day, they reached their high-point, climbed a new M7 and reached the huge roof. Livingstone aided a steep crack through the roof before Welfringer attempted to free it, but at M9 or M10 trad, it was too strenuous.

The 600-metre route continues up six more pitches to the summit ridge at M5 to M7. They graded the route V+ M7+ A2 5+, and it breaks down to: M5, M6, M6, M7+, M6+, A1, M5, M6+/A2, M5.

Flammes FA