Alpine Ascent of the Season for Luka Lindic and Luka Krajncby Jack Geldard - UKC Chief Editor Apr/2014
This news story has been read 8,811 times
Slovenian alpinists Luka Lindic and Luka Krajnc have made what has been called 'the alpine ascent of the season' with an onsight and first free ascent of Rolling Stones on the north face of the Grandes Jorasses, Mont Blanc massif.
The famous 1100m route has now been free climbed at an approximate grade of M8 and F6a. The duo dispensed with the previous section of A3, thinking that the crux pitch "did not look too daunting...".
"After an entire winter of unstable weather I checked the forecast once again, just in case. Wow, the forecast looked great! I called Luka Krajnc, my partner from Slovenia and we were soon on our way to Chamonix. Our first plan was to climb the Gousseault-Desmaison route on the north face of the Grandes Jorasses. The day before we left we received information that two other parties were planning to climb the same route just before us. Since we are not particularly fond of the "herd effect," where several parties follow each other up the same route, we decided to change our objective and attempt Rolling Stones, an even harder route up the same face that had still yet to be free-climbed."
And speaking of the crux section, Luka said:
"After two steep pitches to warm up, we arrived at the belay below the route's hardest pitch, rated A3. Since it did not look too daunting, I managed to calm down and just go for it. The first part was straightforward with good protection. After an old rusty bolt the pitch steepened. To add to the challenge there were three huge loose blocks, a scary proposition since we were climbing with a single rope. Somewhat scared, I gingerly climbed up and around these blocks, choosing not to place any protection for a few meters. I could hear the blocks making strange noises as they shifted. After another few very careful minutes of climbing I was at the belay. Yes! I did it!"
Jon Griffith, Chamonix based alpinist and photographer commented: "This is by far the coolest ascent I have heard of anywhere in the Alps this winter, and really understated as usual..."
Luka Krajnc is sponsored by: Alpine Association of Slovenia Black Diamond, Igloo Sport and Patagonia
Canadian climber Sonnie Trotter and Will Stanhope made the first free one-push ascent of the Ewbank Route on the Totem Pole,... Read more
22 year-old Nathan Phillips has just returned from a successful month-long trip to Averstal (AKA: Magic Wood), Switzerland, where... Read more
Tom Livingstone and Tony Stone have climbed Longhope Route (E7 6c) on St Johns Head, Hoy, established by Ed Drummond... Read more
Tom Livingstone and Pete Graham recently made a winter ascent of the Walker Spur on the north face of the Grandes Jorasses.... Read more
26 year-old British alpinist Tom Ballard has soloed the Colton-MacIntyre route on the North-Face of the Grandes-Jorasses... Read more