Grand Capucin with Vanessa

During this end of May and beginning of June, a certain amount of time, energy and thoughts were dedicated to the next project of our friend Vanessa François: climbing the Grand Capucin in Chamonix, despite the fact Vanessa lost the use of her legs after a climbing accident. Not a small project to say the least! The Grand Capucin is a really aesthetic face of 400m high, reaching the height of 3838m. Climbing the Grand Capucin felt like a logical next step for Vanessa after her climb of Zodiac, on El Cap, Yosemite. And the whole group of friends around her was psyched to help and make this new project happened.

Climbing the Grand Capucin face is way different than climbing on El Cap. There is a glacier approach, the bergschrund, a wall not as steep as Zodiac, 400m of abseils, altitude and cold… And above all the need for a perfect stable weather for four to five days. With the Grand Capucin we are in the heart of high mountains, a place that is so important and special for Vanessa.

So here we were, into the preparations, training, brain storming, finding gear solutions and resolving logistical problems. And I promise, there was a lot of things to think of! Little by little we got better organised, but we also found out all the complexity of such an amazing project.  Little by little, and for many reasons we realised we would not go in june. Weather became suddenly really stormy and other factors led to the wise decision of having the project postponed for a few months. September is our new timing project now and it’s only two months away. During those two months we will still try new technics and get more and more efficient with some specific things we don’t do or use for a “normal” climb. Vanessa will go in altitude and will probably have a bivy or two.

Speaking of bivy, below is a nice little edit about a bivouac we did last september in order to prepare the Grand Capucin climb. It was a great adventure with a wonderful team of people. I hope you’ll enjoy it! :)

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