The Spainards Roger Cararach Soler, Marc Toralles and Bru Busom repeated Japanese Route in the Mont Blanc Massif on September 29th, 2018. The Japanese Route, also called the Central Couloir, is a rarely repeated 1,100-meter route located in the center of the Grandes Jorasses, dividing Pointe Walker and Pointe Whymper, the two tallest points on Grandes Jorasses. The route was first climbed by a Japanese team consisting of Kazuhide Seito, Yasuo Kanda, Hideo Miyazaki, Toku Nakano and Yasuo Kato in 1972 over the course of ten days. They graded the climb VI 6, 6a, A1 / A2.
Since then, only two other teams have summited the Grandes Jorasses via the Japanese Route. The route didn’t see a repeat until 2008 by French climber Julien Désécures and Arnaud Guillaume, nearly thirty six years after the first ascent. Then, in 2014, British alpinists Jon Griffith and Adam George repeated the route in a one-day push after bivying at the base of the climb.
One of the difficulties of the Japanese Route lies in the conditions. Despite slightly less than ideal conditions and slightly less ice than anticipated, Soler, Toralles and Busom were able to make the fourth known ascent of the Japanese Route in a single 24-hour push.