From what I’ve been hearing, conditions in the Alps this spring have been absolutely stellar for ski mountaineering to say the least, with rad lines being ticked off by some great skiers and snowboarders. Some have been first descents, while others have been repeats of lines that haven’t been skied in decades. On June 4th, Italians Francesco Civra Dane and Luca Rolli were successful in completing the second descent of the Aguille Blance de Pueterey on Mount Blance, via the Grivel-Chabod route and with one 40m rappel over a serac about a third of the way down. For more on this descent by Dane and Rolli, please visit PlanetMountain.com. Check out this video of their day on the route.
Dane and Rolli’s descent route follows the green line, but I believe went skier’s right (not left) of the first serac near the top. The only other ski descent of this point was by Stefano De Benedetti and followed the blue line. Courtesy Teton Gravity Research, click photo for larger image.
The first descent of the Aquille Blance de Peuterey was complete by the legendary Stefano De Benedetti in 1980, followed a peppered line a bit more to the skier’s right and avoided the serac completely. Stefano’s descent was chronicled in the popular move “Steep”, which was released in 2007. Interestingly enough, it appears as though Stefano was able to complete his descent without those goofy double pole plants that are often used by European skiers these days. None the less, Dane and Rolli’s descent is quite impressive and will no doubt be remembered and envied by many.
Stefano De Benedetti on the North Face of Mount Blance, from the movie Steep.