Gianni Comino on the Ypercouloir des Jorasses
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20 August 1978: Gianni Comino on the second "step" of the Ypercouloir, in a picture taken by Giancarlo Grassi. Gianni is using a normal sized axe, without a curved pick.
This pitch took 4 full hours for Gianni to climb. The perspective of the picture is tricky - Gianni was climbing on almost vertical terrain, and the ice column above was actually overhanging. Ice was so rotten ("ice cream consistence", according to Giancarlo Grassi), than any protection Gianni tried to put was simply pulled away from rope drag. Comino had to use every trick he knew to avoid falling (including improvising a sort of intermediate resting point keeping the axe fixed into the ice just by hand pressure!)
The final pitch took 3 more hours to clear, and Gianni fell for 40 meters. When they finally reached the top, the normally cool Gianni was - according to Giancarlo - visibly shaken.