Benjamin Védrines and Léo Billon succeed in a massive north face trilogy in winter

The two French professional alpinists Benjamin Védrines and Léo Billon climbed the three north faces of the Petit Drus, the Les Droites and the Grandes Jorasses in three days at the end of January. The fact that they chose three of the most difficult routes for their trilogy underlines the scope of their undertaking.

The three most symbolic peaks of the Mont Blanc Climbing massifs in winter via three high-end north face routes is a challenge that only very few alpinists can imagine. Benjamin Vedrines and Leo Billon have put exactly this enchainement into action. From January 28th to 30th they climbed the Voie des guides (850m, ED+, M8+) on the Petit Drus, the Rhem Vimal (1000 m, M7/M8) on the Les Droites and the No siesta (1.100 m, ED+, WI6, M8 XR) on the Grandes Jorasses.

This is the most ambitious project we have carried out in the Alps to date. A highlight for our team and the result of many years of mountaineering and passion.

Benjamin Vedrines
Leo Billon and Benjamin Vedrine's North Face Winter Trilogy
Léo Billon and Benjamin Védrines make history with their North Face Winter Trilogy. Image: Benjamin Védrines and Léo Billon

3 days, 3 north faces

The Voie des Guides (850m, ED+, M8+) is considered one of the most difficult routes in the Mont Blanc Massif. Benjamin Védrines and Léo Billon were able to climb it in under 10 hours on the first day of their North Face trilogy. This makes them the first rope team to succeed in a free ascent in one continuous push.

They completed the Rhem-Vimal (1000 m, M7/M8) on the north face of Les Droites on the second day in 7 hours and 14 minutes. For the No Siesta (1.100 m, ED+, WI6, M8 XR) on the Grades Jorasses they needed 12 hours on the third and final day.

Since we first tied the rope together 16 years ago, we have dreamed of a project that would take us out of our comfort zone. And this time it was finally time.

Benjamin Vedrines

A well-rehearsed team

When they reached the summit of the Grandes Jorasses at 19 p.m. on Tuesday after an epic climb, they sensed something unusual was happening, says Benjamin Védrines. «In the icy cold at 4100 meters, I almost cried because I felt so privileged to be able to experience this feeling of accomplishment. The symbiosis of our rope team worked once again.”

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Credits: Cover photo and article images Benjamin Vedrines and Leo Billon

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