Christophe Dumarest and Sean Villanueva reached Chamonix on Sunday 23 July after their trip within the Mont Blanc massif: this was the « Hard as a Rock » Invitational Granit’Tour.

The essence of the « Riff »

They set off from Champex-Lac in the Valais, Switzerland and crossed the Mont Blanc massif over 14 days, climbing 10 of the most emblematic granite routes.

Their journey took them from the Clocher du Portalet (Switzerland) as far as Grand Capucin, along some of the hardest and nicest granite ascents in the Mont Blanc area. The summits they reached include: Clocher du Portalet, Aiguille de la Varappe, the Vierge, Flammes de Pierre, Aiguille du Moine, the south face of the Aiguille du Fou, Aiguille du Caiman, a crossing of the Aiguille de Chamonix, the south face of the Aiguille du Midi, the Trident and the Clocher du Tacul, ending with Grand Capucin.

Following a collaborative spirit, the mountaineers Aymeric Clouet and Vivian Bruchez joined the group and shared dazzling moments of the trip.

The newly composed rope party with Sean Villanueva, one of the major crack climbing experts, and Christophe Dumarest, mountaineer and contriver of the project, worked extremely well. Following a frantic rhythm, accompanied by the sound of Sean’s flute, the rope party engulfed ten of the most difficult and aesthetic granite routes in the Mont Blanc massif.

This vertical voyage has been one of the most exciting projects undertaken by the mountaineers over the last few years.

Beyond the performance and the birth of a new spellbinding rope party, the variety of the tour and the beauty of the lines undertaken take centre stage.


The members of the group

Christophe Dumarest / Sean Villanueva / Vivian Bruchez / Aymeric Clouet.

Dates, concert halls and parking places

* 10/07 > Start from Champex-Lac, Switzerland / Climb up to the Orny Hut (2831m).

* 11/07 > « Etat de Choc » at the Clocher du Portalet 2823m (ED+ 280m 7a>6b+) // Trient Hut.

* 12/07 > Trient / fenêtre de Saleina / « Face au large » at the Aiguille de la Varappe 3519m

(ED 400m 6C>6b+) / Chardonnet Col / Argentière Hut (2771m).

* 13/07 > Route « Ciao Vince » (ED+ 200m 7b+>6c) at the Vierge (3306m).

* 14/07 > Crossing Argentière / Flammes de Pierre (2850m) /

« Buzzard vous avez dit Buzzard » (ED+ 400m)  / Charpoua Hut (2841m).

* 15/07 > Aiguille du Moine ( 3191m) / « Sale Athé » (ED 350m 8a>6c)/

Climb up to the Envers des aiguilles Hut (2523m).

* 16/07 > South face of the Aiguille du Fou « Les ailes du désir » (ABO 300m, 7C>6c),

Bivouac on top of the Aiguille du Fou (3501m).

* 17/07 > Crossing of the aiguilles de Chamonix, ascent of Caiman (3554m) / Cosmiques Hut (3613m).

* 18/07 > Rest day at the Cosmiques Hut.

* 19/07 > Trident du Tacul (3639m) / « Les Intouchables »  (ED 250m 7b+>6b+) and « super Purple » 8a on sight / Torino Hut (3375m).

* 20/07 > Rest day at the Torino Hut.

* 21/07 > Clocher du Tacul  (3650m)/ « Empire state building » (ED 250m 7c>6c).

* 22/07 > Grand Capucin (3838m)/ winter conditions of « Direct des capucines » (ED+ 400m 6C>6a+).

* 23/07 > Aiguille du Midi (3770m) / « Ma Dalton » (ED+ 120m 7b+) / return to Chamonix.


Discover the full story on the PETZL blog : click here

Behind the scenes

* Images maker : Marc Daviet

* Organisation: Lucia Prosino

* (Anti) social network: Aurélien Colin – Athlete 2.0

* Media partner: Montagnes du monde / Alpes magazine / Olivier Thévenet

* Logistics support: Michel Matera / Bruno Di Palma

Dedicated to: all the hut wardens, the members of the group, but also the staff working behind the scenes.