By amazing coincidence you climbed the Brenva around the time I did back in 1984! You kindly voted on the TR I wrote. I had to guess the date we climbed the route as 20th July, but given the condition of the ice we found, it may well have been later in the season - maybe even the day you climbed it. A couple of Italian climbers passed us on the big ice-field climbing un-roped... was one of them by any chance you?
best wishes, Mark
The crux in conditions we had was the big ice field above the horizontal snow ridge. It was hard ice and very intimidating although angle no more than 55 degrees. We were all the more intimidated as there had been a big avalanche kill 2 climbers on one of the other routes on the face day before, then another climber injured by stonefall on our route. See my trip report: Mont Blanc Brenva face 1984.
I'm really stoked on this one, my partner and I completed this by ourselves after a guided party we were leapfrogging bailed. We even bootied one of thier screws! This one really opened my eyes and boosted my confidence.
"After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, which is the most horrible thing in the world."
--Oscar Wilde on Absinthe