Watch Live: French Alpinists Livestream New Route on West Face of Les Drus

© UKC News

Four French alpinists and members of the Chamonix-based Groupe Militaire d'Haute Montagne (GMHM, French high mountain military group) Caporal Léo Billon, Sergent Sébastien Ratel and Caporal-chefs (premier classe) Jordi Noguere and Thomas Auvaro are currently establishing a new route on the West Face of Les Drus...and livestreaming their climb!

The GMHM is a select group of mountain military personnel based in Chamonix's École Militaire de Haute Montagne (EMHM), a centre of expertise for training in mountain and extreme cold Operations for the French Army. Members of the group are elite alpinists who have taken part in numerous expeditions over the years, from the Andes to the Himalaya, Baffin Island and beyond.

Earlier this month, the team established a new route, Blast (M7+ / 700m) on the north-west face of l'Aiguille de Blaitière (3522m) over three days.

The team are now on day three of the ascent and expect to top out on Sunday. The grade of the line is estimated to be around M8. There's an engaging mix of wide shots and close-up actuality from the climbers as they progress.

Related articles and videos from the GMHM:

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20 Feb, 2021

Impressive. Good grief, there's some unstable-looking structures on there. But their line looks fairly solid. I can't imagine what it would be like in the summer

20 Feb, 2021

They're out of sight in a chimney just now. Check back later maybe! Replays at the moment.

20 Feb, 2021

Looks like its up the middle of the rockfall area.

I like the opportunist raven ? flying around hopeful of an easy meal.

20 Feb, 2021

It looks as if today's climbing, at least, is following the line of the 2015 Spanish route/attempt Abdruits. Any idea whether there's any confirmation of that?

When the livestream finished this evening the leader appeared to be at about the same level as where the top of the Red Pillar on the French Direct used to be, shortly above the Spanish highpoint [if the route shown in the linked BMC piece is correct].

21 Feb, 2021
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