The Grandes Jorasses was the last and, perhaps, the most difficult and forbidding of the six classic north faces of the Alps to be conquered. It lies in the Mont Blanc massif on the French-Italian border, connected to Mont Blanc itself by the frontier ridge. Its northern aspect (on the French Side) is an almost vertical bulwark of rock and ice. This face was fist climbed in 1938 by Riccardo Cassin. He had climbed the Badile the previous year, and in 1938 had designs on the Eigerwand but was forestalled by the successful German-Austrian team that was led by Heckmair. Cassin then turned his attentions to the Walker Spur on the Grandes Jorasses. He and his friends Esposito and Tizzoni came unobtrusively from the Dolomites and climbed it on sight, taking three days. This somewhat disconcerted local experts. Eleven years later the Walker Spur on the Grandes Jorasses was no easier and had been climbed only twice more by French teams, but was blithely selected by Bonatti and his friends for the climatic feat of their very first Alpine summer. Its ascent marked the real beginnings of Bonatti’s career as an extreme climber.