The report by Courmayeur mountain guide Gianluca Marra who, with his colleague Niccolò Bruni, has established Goulotte Desperados, a new mixed climb on that climbs the Col Occidental de la Tour Ronde in the Mont Blanc massif.
After having studied the gully where noticed a strip of ice and some mixed terrain, Niccolò Bruni and I were motivated to head to the Combe Maudit basin in theMont Blanc massif. Despite the somewhat atypical conditions this season, we decided to leave on 28 March 2022 and took the first Skyway Monte Bianco cable car at 8.30 from Entreve.
Ee reach the base of the wall at 9.30 and ascended up the snow slope past a slightly delicate section to breach the Bergschrund, after which we continued straight up past patches of hard ice. The difficulties increased on pitch 3 as we dealt with some delicate mixed terrain due to the somewhat dry conditions and hard ice. On the last 2 pitches we decided to add some bolts given the scarce pro on the delicate M5 / M7 mixed sections!
Our 6pitch proved the crux and this led us to the top of Col Occidental de la Tour Ronde at 4.00 pm. We knew we’d miss the last cable car back home, and instead enjoyed the beautiful sunset and out very obvious and logical line.
We started the abseils, and on the last rap established an abseil station that allowed us to abseil over the Bergschrund. We reckon that in better snow conditions the approach to base of the climb could be more direct.
Our return home included the long descent across the Toula glacier and Pavillon, which we’d realised we’d have to do when we were about halfway up our climb, hence the name of the route.
The topo shows the gear we used. All belays are equipped with stainless steel bolts and ring, connected with a cord. We added a more direct, final abseil station since the first belay is to the side, has just one bolt and isn’t easy to reach on abseil.