Starlight and storm is Tom Ballard challenge to climb, during this winter, all six classic north faces of the Alps, alone.
In mountaineering, the six great north faces of the Alps are known for their difficulty and great height. They are: Cima Grande di Lavaredo, Eiger, Grandes Jorasses, Matterhorn, Petit Dru, Piz Badile.
Attaining the first ascent of each of these six faces was a major preoccupation of the best European climbers in the 1930s. French alpinist Gaston Rébuffat was the first to climb all the Six. His 1954 work, Etoiles et Tempêtes (Starlight and Storm), chronicles these climbs. In summer 1993 Alison Hargreaves, Tom’s mother, was the first alpinist to solo all the Six in a single season.
Tom is a jung and very talented English alpinist; with his father James, they set their tents in Val di Fassa, their base camp since a year now.
In the last weeks Tom has already succeeded in climbing the Comici route on the Cima Grande di Lavaredo and the Cassin route on the Piz Badile.
I’m following the Ballards and will report here their adventures.