Matt Helliker and Jon Bracey have established a new mixed line, "Past Da Pesto" (M7, 450m) on the NE face of the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey in the Mont Blanc Massif.
Leaving Courmayeur's Val Veny in the early hours of April 14th, the pair approached the NE face of the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey to an ephemeral goulotte hidden out of sight from many angles, the line rising above the snout of the Brenva glacier.
They approached the line on foot after a good overnight freeze - a relief having had to make a retreat from another project in the range only a few days before due to avalanche concerns on the approach.
At the base of the route they spotted a bolt, now known as having been placed by Andrea Plat in 2014 on an earlier attempt of the line. The two moved together on good snow ice, up narrow runnels, passing a few more placed bolts, for what would equate to three pitches of climbing until the bolts stopped.
The pair continued to move together for a further two rope lengths, crossing a snow field linking another system of runnels and thin ice. As they gained height they encountered thinner, melted-out water ice up until below a large overlap.
"From here, the climbing started to get spicy!" Matt told UKC.
They pitched for a further four full rope lengths, up hard and at times bold mixed and ice terrain, through steep overlaps, off-widths, corners, slabs, and snow mushrooms, linking thin ice patches together while having to work hard to find adequate protection until the goulotte's end.
They descended the line of ascent, adding no further bolts to the ones already placed by Andrea on his earlier attempt.
Matt told UKC:
"This really is a high quality mixed line, and one to match some of the harder lines on the East Face of Mt Blanc du Tacul. Being just visible from the skyway lift, and knowing now that it's possible, could become a hard, possibly bold in places for some, classic with its accessibility."