At the end of January 2008 Andrej Grmovsek and
Marko Lukic free climbed onsight the Dru North Couloir Direct (VI 6+ M8, 700m),
a line that goes between the Grand Dru and the Petit Dru that Grmovsek
described as "one of the ultimate hard mixed climbs above Chamonix."
The first third of the climb consisted of 60-80 degree slopes and some delicate
climbing on slabs with only a few centimeters of ice and some difficult dry
sections. Jakofcic said that in good winters there is an easy gully leading up,
and last year many teams climbed the classic Dru Couloir, and they didn't
notice any difficulties in this lower part. The second part was a steep and
sometimes overhanging dry mixed corner that Grmovsek said is the "heart of
the direct line and offers five pitches of perfect climbing at quite a high
grade." This section of the climb had some short aid climbing, and
Grmovsek said there was probably less ice than in previous deacades. The last
third of the climb is in the 60-80 degree ice couloir between the Grand and
Petit Drus. Grmovsek and Lukic completed the route in thirteen hours and then
rappelled. Grmovsek said it was by far the best mixed climb he had done.
On the last week of December 2007 Tanja and
Andrej Grmovsek climbed Scotch on the Rocks (IV M7, 450m) on the east face of
Mt. Blanc du Tacul, then M6 Solar (M5+, 200m) and also rarely climbed route on
Petite Verte, Imasscre (V+, 450 m) on which Tina Di Batista joined them. The
routes were almost totally dry at that time.
On picture Marko Lukic leading the overhanging ice exit on the Dru
North Couloir Direct.