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San Leandro, Calif., August 25, 2011. The North FaceÂ®, the world’s premier supplier of authentic, innovative and technically advanced outdoor apparel, equipment and footwear, announces the opening of a new route on the southern Italian face of the Mont Blanc by three of their athletes: Italian mountaineer HervÃ© Barmasse and Spanish climbers, Iker and Eneko Pou. The new route was opened on August 1st 2011, the second of a trilogy of climbs within The North FaceÂ® expedition, Exploring the Alps.
Christening the route â€˜La Classica Moderna’, HervÃ© Barmasse and Iker and Eneko Pou free-climbed the Freney side of the Mont Blanc south face, Valle d’Aosta, in full autonomy, without bolts. Carrying only essential materials in case of unexpected bivouacs on the ascent, the team used basic traditional protection including pitons. Because ofÂ weeks of bad weather, the team approached the Brouillard Pillar in knee-deep snow. Upon the first day of sunny weather, 11 pitches were opened on the rock pillar, up to grade 6c on the Brouillard left pillar.
The climb included one night’s stay at Rifugio Monzino (2590m) and one stop at Bivacco Eccles (3850m). One bivouac was established on the top of Mont Blanc on the Courmayeur side (4765m), where temperatures fell below 15Â°F. Accumulating a total vertical gain of 3,300m from the approach to the Creste del Brouillard at the top of Mont Blanc, the team took the descent on the French side of Mont Blanc arriving in Chamonix after a total vertical gain on rock of 380m.
In naming the route, Barmasse explained: â€œThe ascent resembled the ethics and philosophy of Walter Bonatti who, in 1959, was the first person to climb on the monoliths of this side of Mont Blanc. I would define the style as modern-classic; a style that mirrors those of the pioneers, who, to get back home, had to reach the top of Mont Blanc, hence the name La Classica Moderna.â€
â€œThe bivouac was fantastic, and the scenery was just stunning. We are very tired, but super happy. It’s a great achievement for all of us,â€ said an elated Eneko Pou.
Barmasse and the Pou Brothers’ Mont Blanc ascent is the second of a trilogy of climbs within The North FaceÂ® expedition, Exploring the Alps. The project comprises three new routes, up three of the highest mountains in the Alps (The Matterhorn, Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa), in three different ascent styles, with the aim to push the limits of mountaineering in the Alps where alpinism was born. The first ascent took place on the Matterhorn in April 2011 where Barmasse opened up a new solo route on the southeast face. Video: http://vimeo.com/22551018
The Mont Blanc (4,810m) is the highest mountain in the Alps and lies between the Aosta Valley, Italy, and Haute-Savoie in France.
About The North FaceÂ®
The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1968. Headquartered in San Leandro, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company’s products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snowsport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers and major outdoor specialty retail chains.
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