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A summary of the events in the Alps during the last days of autumn and the first days of winter …

The late Hansjörg Auer on the second pitch of Marmolada’s “Last Tango”. Photo: Much Mayr

The last tango …

In the Marmolada of the Dolomites, Much Mayr completed the “Last Tango”, a route that he began in 2018 with Hansjörg Auer, who died in an avalanche in Canada a year later. This time he climbed the nine-pitch route with levels of difficulty up to 7C + with his partners Guido Unterwurzacher, Peter Mühlburger and Alex Blumel. Mayr reported on the ascent to PlanetMountain.

… and some early ice cream

Rebel Yell, marked in red, on the west face of the Aiguille de Blaitière. Photo: Montagnes Magazine

While it is too early and too warm to ice climb in most places, if you go high enough there is always ice. During a paragliding flight, Philippe Batoux and Minna Riihimaki discovered a beautiful mixed line in the west face of the Aiguille de Blaitiere in the Mont Blanc massif.

The pair quickly switched foils for ice ax and climbed the route via a bend to the left of Blaitier’s west face couloir. They named the five-pitch route Rebel Yell in homage to Billy Idol. More in Montagnes magazine.

Damian Bielecki (left) and Marcin Tomaszewski prepare for the Winter Karakoram in the Grandes Jorasses. Photo: Marcin Tomaszewski

Marcin Tomaszewski and Damian Bielecki from Poland are also looking for ice in the Alps, not as a goal, but for training. In a month they will travel to Pakistan for a winter trial on Shipton Spire. They eventually found ice after climbing up the north face of the Grandes Jorasses (4,208 m) near Chamonix. The conditions are good, but the place is pretty full, said Tomaszewski.

Light magic

The Italian guide Marco Confortola, who tried Gasherbrum I earlier this year, was recently on the Grand Zebru (in German, Königspitze) in the Ortler Alps. Below, dawn hit the clouds in an extraordinary way. His image went viral and has attracted meteorologists and physicists from all over Europe trying to explain the phenomenon. There are several theories, but everyone agrees that it wasn’t the aurora borealis that has also been active lately.

The strange lights that Marco Confortola watched at dawn. Photo: Marco Confortola

According to skiresorts.info, only 30 of 758 ski areas in Europe will be open from Friday, but the season will be in full swing until the beginning of December. To whet your appetite for skiing, check out this amazing video by Markus Eder. It has taken YouTube by storm, generating over 400,000 views in just a few days. The ice cave sequence that starts at 2:12 am is a show stopper.

About the author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, publicist and communications consultant. Specialized in high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest in everything to do with the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After exploring remote professional areas for five years, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. I feel at home ever since!