The Aiguille du Midi cable car is now shut for the inter season, but on the final day that the lift was open in good weather, British climbers Jon Bracey and Matt Helliker took advantage of good conditions on the Midi NW Face to add a new route.
The NW Face is accessed via a pretty gripping abseil off the Midi bridge (recently featured in an EpicTV wingsuiting video), and then several more abseils down the Cunningham Couloir. The area has seen a lot of activity recently and people have been queueing for the more popular routes up there, so Jon and Matt's achievement in finding an unclimbed line is even more impressive in such a crowded area.
"La Ligne Cachee" takes the first pitch of the classic Profit-Perroux route before branching off left and climbing roughly 140 metres of mixed ground, sustained at M5 with a crux pitch of 20 metres of M6, before joining the Cosmiques Arete.
Jon and Matt are both super keen alpinists who only the day before this route had been scoping out a potential new line on the Italian side of the Massif, only to be shut down by a particularly gnarly glacier which Jon said, "almost ate us up". He then added, "Hence we went for the tame one before the weather crapped out".
Bracey and Helliker Add a New Route to the Aiguille Du Midi NW Face | EpicTV Climbing Daily, Ep. 163
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