Grandes Jorasses, North Face: the "super routes"
(1) Gousseault Route (Bertone/Claret/Desmaison, 1973, ED3, 6a, IV/6, A2 or M5, 1200m) This is the original start, used on the tragic 1971 attempt, in the first complete climb in 1973,in the 2000 repetition (by Stephane Benoist and Patrick Glairon-Rappaz) and in the January 2006 climb. Maximizing rock climbing, it's more difficult than other variants, but safer.
(1a) the variant used by Tobin Sorenson / Gordon Smith in the 1977 climb (second repeat) and by Francois Marsigny / Olivier Larios in 2003. Maximizes ice climbing, and it's also the most direct start, following completely the "First Ramp". The same start is used by the 1979 "Rolling Stones" line.
(1b) The Linceul - Gousseault link made by Patrick Berhault and Philippe Magnin in 2000 (doing their "Grand Voyage" enchainment of the most difficult routes of the Alps). Because of heavy snowfall, the pair decided to avoid the lower difficulties approaching the Second Ramp of the Gousseault Route via the right hand start of the Linceul. This is a easier and faster variant, but is also less complete.
(2) “Eldorado” (Babanov, 1999, ED4, A3/A4, 6b, 90°,1100m). Babanov original route climbed the lower slopes of the Central Couloir much more on the right of the line shown in the picture. It's possible that he wanted initially to climb closer to the Directe De L'Amitie dihedral, but was forced to find a line of weakness far on the left.
(3) “No Siesta” (Glejdura/Porvaznik, 1986, ED3, 90°, 6b and A2,M6 if free,1000m). This is the line of the third, fourth and fifth repetition - the original route may have been a bit on the left.
(4) "Directe de l’Amitié" (Audobert/Feuillarde/Galy/Seigneur, 1974, 1100m, ED3/4, VI, A2, 55°). The original route follows an evident fault line in the middle of the Whymper "shield". However, several huge rockfalls in the late 90's may have made the central section more rotten and (according to a team who made a recent repeat) far less interesting than it was originally.