The Croz Spur on The North Face of Grandes Jorasses
This spring I managed to take another step forward in my project called “Alpine Adventures” and returned to Chamonix with the goal in mind to climb bigger routes than I usually climb in the area and something more attractive and challenging. I partnered up again with Alex Prigoana who has already become the most constant and like-minded climbing partner for “scarry, bold and unplanned style” climbing.
I am pretty sure we both had the same main climbing objective in mind but neither of us would have said it out loud, in public. We had already learned from our previous climbing experiences in the Alps that plans at home don’t really match the weather conditions in the mountains.
Actually, one might have better chances to climb good and hard, and to have fun, by simply enjoying the French cheese, the good wine in Chamonix and choosing an objective according to the mountain weather conditions.
After ending our warm-up trip on glacier d’Argentiere where we managed to climb the Swiss Route on the North Face of Les Courtes in bad weather and poor visibility we returned to the valley to check the weather forecast. The good news about the weather encouraged us and we turned our attention to The North Face of Grandes Jorasses. Since we weren’t really fond of climbing the most popular, crowded routes, we became more interested in trying to climb the Croz Spur (with the Slovenian variant). This route is not climbed as often as the Colton-MacIntyre, The Shroud or the Cassin Pillar, and is still quite challenging.
Nobody had climbed the North face for a while due to bad weather conditions so we had no exact information about the ice conditions. However we had a good feeling about it. Leslie Fucsko, our Romanian friend and experienced climber whom we had earlier met in Chamonix also suggested it could be a good time to head for Grandes Jorasses so we became even more optimistic.