Francois Cazzanelli: «We had a great adventure on the west face of the Aiguille Noire»

From February 12th to 13th, the Italian alpinists Francois Cazzanelli, Emrik Favre and Stefano Stradelli opened a new route on the west face of the Aiguille Noire du Peuterey (3.773 m) in the Mont Blanc massif: Couloir Isaïe (600m, M8, 7a/ 7a+, AI5).

It's always difficult to organize your thoughts after an adventure in the mountains, says François Cazzanelli after the first ascent in the west face of the Aiguille Noire du Peuterey. Along with Emrik Favre and Stefano Stradelli he climbed in unknown terrain for two days and opened a new route on the Punta Brendel at 3498 meters.

«We had a great adventure on the west face of the Aiguille Noire. It wasn't easy, but thanks to our willpower and teamwork, we achieved something special that we will remember for a lifetime."

François Cazzanello
In the Neutour Couloir Isaïe (600m, M8, 7a/7a+, AI5) on the west face of the Aiguille Noire du Peuterey. Image: Pierre Lucianaz
Couloir Isaïe (600m, M8, 7a/7a+, AI5) leads through the west face of the Aiguille Noire du Peuterey. Picture: Pierre Lucianaz

Twelve pitches up the Peuterey ridge

Couloir Isaie (M8, 7a/7a+, AI5) leads in twelve pitches of demanding rock, mixed and ice climbing through the west face of the Aiguille Noire du Peuterey to the Punta Brendel at 3498 meters. The Aiguille Noire du Peuterey is part of the famous Peuterey ridge that leads to the top of Mont Blanc.

Couloir Isaïe (600m, M8, 7a/7a+, AI5) combines demanding rock, mixed and ice climbing. Image: Emrik Favre
Couloir Isaïe (600m, M8, 7a/7a+, AI5) combines demanding rock, mixed and ice climbing. Picture: Emrik Favre

Spindrift brings icy night

Francois Cazzanelli, Emrik Favre and Stefano Stradelli climbed the west face of the Aiguille Noire du Peuterey on February 12. The three alpinists spent the night at an altitude of 3300 meters.

Frosty bivouac at 3300 meters above sea level. Image: Stefano Stradelli
Frosty bivouac at 3300 meters above sea level. Picture: Stefano Stradelli

Persistent spindrift made for a wet and very cold night's sleep. However, the trio did not let this discourage them. The next day they continued their ascent and reached the summit around 14 p.m.

Cazzanelli route
The new tour by Francois Cazzanelli, Emrik Favre and Stefano Stradelli: Couloir Isaïe (600m, M8, 7a/7a+, AI5).

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Credits: Cover picture Pierre Lucianaz

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