Granite Alps | Part 1

Petites Jorasses

A team of four Bulgarian climbers recently returned from a training expedition called “Granite Alps”. It was Martin Marovski, Victor Varoshkin, Grigor Vutev & Ruslan Vakrilov’s preparation and synchronisation trip before the upcoming adventure in Patagonia named “Dragon’s Tail 2015”.

Dragon's Tail Team

The crew made first Bulgarian ascents of the following routes on the south side of Mont Blanc.

  • Two ascents of Petites Jorasses’s south side (Martin & Victor; Rus & Grigor)

Petites Jorasses

Petites Jorasses

  • Trident du Tacul (Rus & Grigor)


Rus & Grigor, Trident du Tacul

  • Peuterey Integrale (Martin & Viktor)

Peuterey Integrale

  • Piller Rouge du Brouillard (Martin, Viktor & Rus)

Piller Rouge du Brouillard

Pilier Rouge, Martin Marovski

The alpinists consider Peuterey Integrale and Pilier Rouge du Brouillard the most significant climbs of the trip.

Peuterey Integrale is one of the longest routes in the Alps, with more than 4500m of technical & mixed climbing including.

For the ascent of Pilier Rouge du Brouillard Martin, Viktor & Rus crossed the Brouillard glacier, then followed the Piller Rouge needle through Directissima (7a+, 400m), and climbed several towers in mixed climbing style with overall height of 700m. Normally alpinists who take this route on their way to Mont Blanc would make one or two bivouacs (Monzino hut & shelter Ekklesia), but considering the poor state of the glacier and the difficult access to the shelter the team climbed the 3300m route in a single push without rests in just 26 hours from Val Veny to Mont Blanc.

Due to the warm weather and frequent rock falls, one of their goals was left undone – the route Divine Providence. Irregardless, the rest of the climbs have satisfied the team and everyone feels they have completed their mission to create a strong team ready for Patagonia.

Team members would like to thank all people and the sponsors who supported Granite Alps expedition, an adventurous preparation for Dragon’s Tail – Patagonia 2015 starting in December this year.

Stay tuned for more in Granite Alps | Part 2!

text & photos: Rus Vakrilov, translation: Balkan Vagabondz

Watch the Adventure Film: Granite Alps

Ruslan Vakrilov is part of the Balkan Vagabondz collective and is available for guiding in the Bulgarian mountains when he is not busy expeditioning.