Having just recently returned from the Ecrins region in the French Alps and despite having mixed weather, my partners in crime and I managed to fulfil a long held ambition and climb the classic "Face Sud Classique" aka "Voie Berthet/Boell/Stofer" (with the odd harder variation) on the mighty Aiguille Dibona 3131m.
First climbed by Angelo Dibona in 1913 and although of modest height, the Dibona has inspired generations of climbers and is surely one of the most beautiful and spectacular mountains (along with the Matterhorn) in Europe. Unless you think there are other contenders…
Gaston Rebuffat himself wrote about Dibona : "This needle is a monument of stone given to mankind by the earth and the time, an extraordinary sculpture in the sky, the light and the silence of Oisans. The same achievements of the climbers on another mountain would not be so marvellous. This needle was a question, climbing on her a response".
Anyway the entertainment was duly recorded so for anyone interested in viewing a short HD film of this superb route and beautiful mountain then please use the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygToEMgjMYU
So has anyone got any tales of derring-do to tell of their experience on the Dibona? Any fond memories or even a pushy guide to deal with? Did your tour go like clockwork or had an epic?
Anyway all constructive feedback or comments welcome and hopefully it will inspire a few folks to visit this spectacular area of the French Alps, stay in the superb Soreiller Hut and climb the Dibona!
A smashing video of one of my favourite mountains. Even though it is popular I can never understand why it isn't even more popular. The granite there is gorgeous, no glacier and a proper pointy summit....a rock climbers dream.
"looked pretty congested"
When I tried it there was an almighty rammy from the hut to the start at about 7:01. I don't remember any problem on the route ...... well not with other teams............ yes we got lost!
> A smashing video of one of my favourite mountains. Even though it is popular I can never understand why it isn't even more popular. The granite there is gorgeous, no glacier and a proper pointy summit....a rock climbers dream.
Hey sjm many thanks for your kind words and totally agree with all your comments. Indeed a rock climbers dream and some!
> Loved that - one of the best yet. Keep them coming!
Cheers Bobling muchly appreciated and to answer your question it was pretty congested as there was a mass exodus from the hut around 7am. However the delightful guardians, Martine and Maria,tried to stagger the breakfast times the night before for the various parties and their particular routes, but this was exarcabated by a couple of teams saying they would have brekkie at 6 but not appearing until nearer 7, thus causing a bottleneck at the start! So there was a bit of etiquette but also times when you had "to act French"... ;-)
It's certainly a striking peak but for my money it's too outlandish -- too spiky -- to be termed "beautiful". I'd use that word for, in the Alps, the likes of the Weisshorn, the Bionnassay, the Silberhorn on the Jungfau.
In reply to BALD EAGLE: Nice one! Is a fantastic peak for rock climbers. We did visite obligatoire a few years back and it is certainly one of my climbing highlights. I agree with your recommendation, is not to be missed.
Thanks for posting up. I too really look forwards to your short films and this is no exception. I'm a punter and (please don't take offence) I'm fed up of watching films of out there first ascent and stuff I will never be able to do.
> Really enjoyed that! I'd forgotton how narrow it was at the top, and also the 'tunnel' ;-)
Many thanks for the positive feedback and "yep" the top was super-narrow in places!
And as for the "tunnel pitch"? Well there was a guy of "generous proportions" who was being guided up the route and was having a wee bit of difficulty in getting through the tunnel! He got so stuck at one point my mate thought he was going to have to set up a crevasse rescue pulley-system to assist at one point... ;-)
This is where the guide was knocked from my sack and our adventure began....
It ended when two old ladies lent me a walking pole to support my knee and get back to the road. We topped out via Gnome Route. I full expected my mate to be along with his rather witty version of our misadventure .......
> Thanks for posting up. I too really look forwards to your short films and this is no exception. I'm a punter and (please don't take offence) I'm fed up of watching films of out there first ascent and stuff I will never be able to do.
> Keep up the good work
Hey Gazlynn a big thanks for the kind words and as a self-confessed punter myself I can appreciate what you are saying! Anyway when I get the time there should be another short BEP film in a few weeks featuring big mountains, flora, fauna, broken spectres and much, much more so watch this space...
Did it 40 odd years ago with the late Ian Angel and Barry Curly,deep snow down below the hut and banking out half the first pitch.4 of us walked up and bivvied near the hut ,4am and Alan packed his rucsac and said Im off back to the tents for some breakfast.Held up by a slow french party but we kept them interested with Opal Fruits while I sneaked off up the next pitch in front of them.Not a lot of fixed pro in those days ,looks much improved on the video.Big boots and a rucsac made it an interesting and happy day.Superb route.
> Nice one Dave...our next trip might be to Ecrins, so thanks for highlighting this climb.
> Excellent all through...except David's taste in music, that is
Hey Nigel a big cheers for the kind feedback and the Ecrins is a superb area to visit. Thankfully we seemed to get back some of what decent weather was on offer in this pretty dismal alpine summer so lots of great routes were done between the rain!
PS yep El David's taste in music can be rather...erm...questionable and as for his "Dad dancing" with his sleeping bag... ;-)