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New Alpine Climb on Famous Chamonix Mountain

Good conditions have led to some hard mixed lines being climbed in the French Alps this week

Last week, Richard Tiraboschi, Tommaso Vection and Giuseppe Vidoni made the first ascent of Happy Birthday, a 1,000-metre M6 AI4 ED on the south face of Aiguille de l’Évêque (3,258 m) on the south side of the famous Grandes Jorasses in Chamonix.

Vidoni and Tiraboschi had attempted the route, but due to overhead hazard and warming temps decided to bail. A few days later, they returned with Vection and pushed the line to the ridge. From there, they followed an old route’s fixed stations to rappel.

It’s rare for a completely independent route to be established in the Mont Blanc Massif, which makes this one for the books. The moderate grade might lead to quick repeats while conditions hold. They named it Happy Birthday because Vection turned 30 that week.

Also in the French Alps this week, Tom Livingstone and Rob Smith climbed a line up the northwest face of Blaitiere, which went at M6+. And Julien Cruvellieri, Nicolas Jean and Benjamin Védrines made the first ascent of De l’Or en Barre on the south face of the Barre des Écrins, another 1,000-metre M7 A1 ED.