Date of climb: 26 Oct 2015
Climbing partner: Gareth Hughes
Topo for Macho Direct_Tacul: here
This climb is not recent, it’s from Oct 2015. Still, I felt like it’s worthy to write about it and have it in my blog.
<<Hey Gareth, I have just seen some pictures posted on Facebook by Jon Bracey with “Macho Direct”. The route looks in good conditions…>>. <<Yeah? I haven’t climb it, sounds good, let’s do it!>>
Actually the pictures I saw were a memory shared by Jon from Sept 2014. Luckily, the route was in condition in Oct 2015 as well. 🙂
First cable car up to Aig du Midi (no skis this time for the approach), and we start the climb at 09:30. The first 400m of the route is easy, so we simul climb placing minimum protection. It’s 13:00 when we start pitching the 100m couloir with short steep sections. See the topo.
After climbing up the couloir, the next 2 pitches represents the Crux. As we switch leading, Gareth starts climbing the first pitch, as I prepare mentally for the last one. The ice was thin in places and the protection was not great. The climb is sustained and very spectacular.
Once the crux was climbed, we followed a ramp in the right, some easy mixed terrain and at 17:30 we were on the top of Mt Blanc du Tacul (4248m).
From the summit of Tacul , we decided to continue towards Triangle du Tacul and abseil via Chere Couloir as the normal route down from Tacul was not in safe conditions. It took us some time to abseil in the dark, so we got at Aig du Midi lift at 22:30, just in time to take a good sleep.
To conclude: Great route, but not to be underestimated! There are no fixed belays, which adds some spice to the climb. Highly recommended!
More photos from “Macho Direct”: here