Aiguille du Dru


Aiguille du Dru

Infobox Mountain
Name = Aiguille du Dru
Photo = Drus-2006.jpg
Caption = The west and south-west faces of the Aiguille du Dru (May, 2006)
Elevation = convert|3754|m|ft|0
Location = FRA
Range = Graian Alps
Type = Granite
Prominence =
Coordinates =coord|45|55|58|N|6|57|23|E|region:FR_type:mountain|display=inline,title
Topographic

First ascent = 12 September 1878 by Clinton Thomas Dent, James Walker Hartley, Alex­ander Burgener and K. Maurer
Easiest route = AD

The Aiguille du Dru (also the Dru or the Drus; French, Les Drus) is a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif in the French Alps, lying to the east of the village of Les Praz in the Chamonix valley.

The mountain has two summits:
* "Grande Aiguille du Dru" (or the "Grand Dru") 3,754 m, and
* "Petite Aiguille du Dru" (or the "Petit Dru") 3,733 m.

The two summits are located on the west ridge of the Aiguille Verte (4,122 m) and are connected to each other by the "Brèche du Dru" (3,697 m). The north face of the "Petit Dru" is considered one of the six great north faces of the Alps.

Ascents

The first ascent of the "Grand Dru" was by British alpinists Clinton Thomas Dent and James Walker Hartley, with guides Alex­ander Burgener and K. Maurer, who climbed it via the south-east face on 12 September 1878. Dent describes the scene upon reaching the top:

The "Petit Dru" was climbed in the following year, on 29 August 1879, by J. E. Charlet-Straton, P. Payot and F. Follignet via the south face and the south-west ridge. The first traverse of both summits of the Drus was by E. Fontaine and J. Ravanel on 23 August 1901. The first winter traverse of the Drus was by Armand Charlet and Camille Devouassoux on 25 February 1938.

The west face

This 1000 m-high rock face has seen serious rockfalls in 1997, 2003 and 2005, which have considerably affected the structure of the mountain and destroyed a number of routes. Although at the time of the first ascent of the north face (Pierre Allain and R. Leininger on 1 August 1935), Pierre Allain considered the west face to be unclimbable, the team of A. Dagory, Guido Magnone, Lucien Bérardini and Mr. Lainé succeeded on the face in a series of attempts on July 5 and 17–19 July 1952 using considerable artificial aid. From 17–22 August 1955, the Italian climber Walter Bonatti climbed a difficult solo route on the south-west pillar of the "Petit Dru" (the "Bonatti Pillar"); this route – like many on the west face – no longer exists in its original state owing to rockfall, the scars of which remain clearly visible from the Chamonix valley. Seven years later, from 24–26 July 1962, Gary Hemming and Royal Robbins climbed the 'American Direct', a more direct route up the west face than that taken in 1952. On 10–13 August 1965, Royal Robbins, this time accompanied by John Harlin, climbed the 'American Direttissima'. [cite journal
last = Harlin | first = John | authorlink = John Harlin
coauthors = | title = Petit Dru, West Face Direttissima | journal = American Alpine Journal
volume = 1966 | issue = | pages = 81 - 89 | publisher = The American Alpine Club
location = New York City, New York, USA | date = 1966
url = http://www.americanalpineclub.org/AAJO/pdfs/1966/Harlin_PetitDru1966_81-89.pdf
doi = | id = ISSN 0065-6925 | accessdate =
]

ummit statue

On 4 September 1913 a party of climbers led by Camille Simond and Roberts Charlet-Straton attempted to carry a hollow metal statue of Our Lady of Lourdes up the peak. The statue, almost a metre high, weighing 13 kilos and made of aluminium, had to be left in a rocky crevice at 3,000 m because of poor weather, and it was only on 18 September 1919 that the statue was finally hoisted to the summit by a party from Argentière: Alfred, Arthur, Camille, Joseph, and Jules-Félicien Ravanel together with the village priest, abbé Alexis Couttin.http://www.alpinisme.com/FR/histoire-alpinisme/les-drus/index.php?fic=p7 Account of the hoisting of the summit statue (in French)

References

External links

* [http://www.summitpost.org/mountain/rock/150757/aiguille-du-dru-or-les-drus.html#chapter_7 The Aiguille du Dru on SummitPost]


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