Will an abundance of information help us reach peaks of change?

In 1938, Riccardo Cassin attempted the north face of the Grandes Jorasses for the first time.

An incredible undertaking from an alpine perspective, of course. But it made history for another reason: he did it having never seen the Mont Blanc massif if not on a map.

At the hut, he simply asked the manager to point the way and, with only a photo received from a journalist friend to suggest the route, he took off for the climb.

Pillola

Today, something like this would be unthinkable.

Dozens of maps and itineraries, alpine or not, are within reach for everyone online. There are even real time videos of alpine expeditions, detailed minute by minute. We can see how to reach the peaks of the Mont Blanc or any other mountain from the comfort of our own home. Today, potential knowledge is exponential.

But does this mean that climbing the Grandes Jorasses is easier, more accessible, to all those that have the information at their fingertips? Will studying and watching video after video make reaching the top of Europe an easier task than it was before?

Complexity can be either a friend or an enemy depending on how it’s confronted. The abundance of information that we are surrounded by today can support those who know how to take advantage of it and apply appropriate strategies to manage it. It can be dangerous, however, for those who take it too lightly or under evaluate it. 

The mission of change management consultants, then, is not to control all the variables, but to be able to gather them and analyse their potential - may it be positive or negative - with clarity of mind in order to address the environmental complexity in a beneficial way. In M4810 this means balancing physical preparation with a heavy load of awareness. Careful study of the routes, the risks, the techniques. But also, detailed understanding of personal abilities and limits. Distinguishing limits that objectively impassable from limits that we put up in our own minds, that impede us from improving, is fundamental.  

How is this done? It’s certainly not about any innate capacity, and it’s not based on abstract hypotheses. It’s about constant gathering and analysis of data. Past studies and the selection of new empirical data can inform us, in an ever more precise way, how people react to determined conditions.

We have all the necessary information – maybe even too much of it. It’s the ability to understand the truly useful information, and to make choices based on it, that will bring us to the top. 

The journey

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Mont Fallère

Methodos - M4810 - Mont Fallère

It is the first peak over 3.000m of our project

Mont Fallère is found in the Grand Combin Alps in the Aosta Valley.

Found between the Gran San Bernardo Valley and the Valdigne, it’s a great introduction to the magical world of the 3000s. Mont Fallère, situated in the heart of the Aosta valley, proposes a 360° panorama of all the Aosta valley peaks. Its layout is not the be underestimated, but overall it doesn’t present great difficulties, even if we need to be really careful in the final part of the ridge.

We go up in two stages: the first day up to the Fallère Hut; the second day we arrive at the summit and then we go down to the valley.

Read the story :)

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Pointe Lechaud

Our first alpinistic climb to a summit

Pointe Léchaud (3.128m) is located along the borderline between Italy (Valle d'Aosta) and France (Savoy).

It is located south of the Col de la Seigne (2.512m) between the Veny Valley and the Savoy Valley of the Glaciers.

We climb in two stages: on the first day we walk from La Visaille to the Elisabetta Soldini Hut (2.195m); on the second day up to the top and back to La Visaille.

From the hut we go up to the Col Chavannes (2.603m); from the hill we have to leave the marked path that begins to descend into the Chavannes valley, following a path on the right that crosses the very steep eastern slope of Mount Lechaud. The trail continues on the right, again not far from the crest of Mount Lechaud and crosses a small valley of stones or snow, reaching the wide basin where the Chavannes Glacier is located. Once we have put on crampons, we set foot on the glacier going diagonally to the left. From this point we gradually turn to the right pointing directly to the top, which can be reached by overcoming some easy rocky steps. What we see is a vast and spectacular panorama on the Italian side of Mont Blanc.

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Vallée Blanche

Methodos - M4810 - Vallée Blanche

Crossing the Gigante glacier towards the Aiguille du Midi

Although it may seems like a "scenic walk", the Vallée Blanche should not be underestimated, as it is an itinerary that involves crossing the Gigante glacier. It is always necessary to be accompanied by an Alpine Guide who knows the itinerary very well and knows how to avoid the dangers.

We go up by cable car to Punta Helbronner (3.462m), we wear harnesses and crampons and we tie ourselves together.

The first section makes us lose altitude and then we start to climb towards the Aiguille du Midi. The last section includes the ascent of the snow-covered ridge of the Aiguille du Midi, reaching 3.842m.

The return is with the panoramic cable car which takes us back to Punta Helbronner.

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Gran Paradiso

Methodos - M4810 - Gran Paradiso

The Gran Paradiso is the only mountain over 4000m that is fully on Italian territory

The Gran Paradiso is the only mountain over 4000m that is fully on Italian territory. A classic and fascinating climb: after a first part on ice, to be able to reach the peak marked by a statue of the Virgin Mary, you must pass some simple rocky crossings.

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Monte Rosa

Methodos - M4810 - Monte Rosa

2 full-immersion days of technical alpine skill training on Monte Rosa

The Monte Rosa is a mountain range that is found in the Pennine Alps, along the watershed line between Italy (on the border of the Aosta valley and Piedmont) and Switzerland. It gives name to the Monte Rosa Alps supergroup, which in turn is composed of various important groups and subgroups, east of the Cervino and south-east of the Mischabel range. It is the most extended range in the Alps, and second in height after the Mont Blanc. It is the highest mountain in Switzerland and the second in Italy, and has the highest average height, containing 9 of the 20 highest peaks of the chain.

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Monte Bianco

Methodos - M4810 - Monte Bianco

Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco in Italian) is a mountain situated in the North-occidental Alps, in the Graian Alp range, on the watershed line between the Aosta valley (val Veny and val Ferret in Italy), and Haute-Savoie (the Arve valley in France), in the territories of Courmayeur and Chamonix, which give name to the Mont Blanc Massif, belonging to the subsection of the Mont Blanc Alps.

It’s 4808,72m (the last official measure was taken September 13, 2017) make it the highest mountain in the Alps, in Italy, in France, and in general in Europe if we exclude the Caucuses. This is why it’s called the King of the Alps. It shared a spot on the list of the highest Seven Summits with Mount Elbrus in the Caucuses.

Primarily granite full of peaks and crests, cut by deep glacial valleys, it is internationally renowned for its climbing and, from a historical point of view, the birth of mountaineering coincides with its first ascent: August 8, 1786.