More Dru North Face Action - Czech Route Repeated

Top alpinists Jeff Mercier and Korra Pesce have made what is thought to be the first repeat and first winter ascent of the Czech Route on the North Face of the Dru, Chamonix.

They climbed the route, perhaps with some variations, as route finding on this part of the face is complex and the route descriptions are vague.

Korra Pesce on thin slabs on the North Face of the Dru, Czech Route
© Jeff Mercier

However, as they climbed higher up the face they became convinced they were on the right track. Korra commented:

"Our second day started with some pretty interesting climbing for Jeff, a brief attempt at drytooling a thin crack ended with him and his tool being ejected by the wall, I watched as one of his tools fell down the face only to stop few metres from our skis 300 metres lower...

We were "obviously" on the Czech Route graded by the first ascensionists UIAA 5+ A1 (5MT), I reckon in the Czech Republic 5 means 5 and + means sandbag..."

The Dru North Face has seen a lot of action this winter, after Jon Griffith and Ueli Steck's ascent of the Lesueur Route (with variation), that route saw a complete free ascent by Christophe Dumarest and Yann Borgnet.

  • You can read about the ascent on Yann's Blog (in French).

Griffith himself was back up on the Dru (he likes the cold) and made an ascent of the Dru North Couloir Direct with American climbers Jesse Huey and Maury Birdwell. We thought we'd squeeze Jon in to the news report because, as ever, he has some amazing photographs (and the route looks pretty tough too!).

Jesse Huey 'having it' up the steep crux pitch of the Dru North Couloir Direct., 223 kb
Jesse Huey 'having it' up the steep crux pitch of the Dru North Couloir Direct.
© Jon Griffith / Alpine Exposures

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