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Tom Ballard became the first to solo the six great north faces of the Alps in one winter as part of his Starlight and Storm project.

The six great north faces are Grandes Jorasses, Cima Grande di Lavaredo, Pizzo Badile, Matterhorn, Petit Dru and the Eiger.

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The first route Ballard climbed was the Via Comici-Dimai on the Cima Grande di Lavaredo on Dec. 21 and 22, the route was first climbed in 1933.

The second route was the classic Cassin Route on Piz Badile on Jan.6 and 7, which was first climbed in 1937.

The next route was the Schmidt Route on the Matterhorn on Feb. 10 in under three hours, the classic route was first climbed on 1931.

Then he made a sub-four-hour climb of Grandes Jorasses’ Colton-Macintyre, first climbed in 1976.

Then he made quick work of the Allain-Leininger Route on Petit Dru, which was first climbed in 1935.

Lastly, he soloed the 1938 route up the North Face of the Eiger with only a few days left in winter.

The first to climb all six faces was Gaston Rébuffat and he documented his accomplishment in his 1954 work, Etoiles et Tempêtes (Starlight and Storm).

The first to climb them in one year was the Austrian Leo Schlömmer, from 1961 to 1962.

The first to solo them all in winter was Ivano Ghirardini.

The first woman to climb them was Catherine Destivelle in 1992-93-94.

The three hardest faces north faces are on the Eiger, Matterhorn and Grandes Jorasses are known as the trilogy.


Christophe Profit climbed the trilogy in 24 hours on March 11 and 12, 1987.