/ Cassin route Paz Badile

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rlade - on 04 Sep 2012
Just returned from europe after climbing the Cassin on the Paz Badile. Before going I read articles and checked the route which meanders across the face. I had read there would be pitches of 5b and 5a and it even has a tech grade of 6a TD. Well I can tell you all that there is not one pitch of 6a and certainly no pitches of 5b. There is one pitch of 5a, bridging corner that needs a little thought but that is it.
I would recommend this route to a solid VS climber who has mountain experience. For years I have been put off thinking am I ready for this I should have climbed it thirteen years ago. It is an excellent route that you could take a weaker partner on. It is a long day, we climbed it in six hours and descended the nnw arete in six half, getting the rope caught on each ab. Finding the route is okay but keep traversing at the beginning for 300m.I think the Cassin shoud be D french 5/5+. Happy days Rich
bullwinkle - on 04 Sep 2012
In reply to rlade:

Are you talking British trad grades or sport? As sport grades there certainly are pitches of 6a, 5c+ etc in my opinion. Tech grade wise I would think top end 5a, bottom end 5b would be about right for the crux ...

For the overall route certainly HVS, if not tickling E1 for length and commitment would seem right to me ...
billb - on 04 Sep 2012
In reply to rlade: I would cetaitly not reccommend this to a solid VS leader. Although most of the pitches are VS and some even much easier, there are a few pitches in my opinion around the HVS mark and perhaps touching E1.

That said it is a lovely route but I would say make sure you are competent at E1 and have good mountain experience.
David Rose - on 04 Sep 2012
In reply to rlade: I think this is a silly and irresponsible post. No, it's not a very hard route technically. But it is long and reasonably sustained: even if none of the individual pitches were harder than VS (and I certainly think a few would rate HVS, albeit not high in the grade) you still have to be able to climb them quickly, and with no faffing as to protection. On top of that there is often the risk of a thunderstorm, and also a long and committing descent, whether you choose the N ridge or the Italian option. To suggest it's only D and suitable for relatively inexperienced VS leaders is, frankly, reckless.
Martin Bennett - on 04 Sep 2012
In reply to davidoldfart:
Hear hear to all of that from one who felt lucky to survive the electric storm we had to climb through in 1975. As far as the climbing's concerned my recollection is that it was about Hard VS - I don't think we had technical grades in those days but I reckon 5a would have covered it. To suggest it's a route for a VS leader and a "weaker" chum is irresponsible; this is Alpine climbing with all that entails.

A thought - has the route sprouted bolts for belays? And protection?

Besides - what's the original post all about? If everyone crowed on here every time they felt a bit pleased with themselves after a climb the site would surely implode!
I tried to resist the call to point out the mis-spelling of the mountain's name but couldn't, in the end.
Robert Durran - on 04 Sep 2012
In reply to rlade:

Are you trying to kill someone?
Robert Durran - on 04 Sep 2012
In reply to bullwinkle:
> (In reply to rlade)
>
> Are you talking British trad grades or sport?

The OP is certainly very confused about grades. He says it has a "tech grade of 6a TD". Well nether French 6a nor TD are tech grades. Either he is ignorant of this or he presumably thought it meant UK tech 6a (in which case his estimate of UK tech 5a is in fact about right - but then he could hardly responsibly recommend it to a steady VS leader and his inexperienced companion.
James Mann - on 04 Sep 2012
As well as puzzlement about grades and the general irresponsibility of the post he also appears to be geographically confused. You have not returned from Europe, you live in Europe!
Carless - on 04 Sep 2012
In reply to rlade:

While I agree that it's not that hard (maybe one move of f6a), I think you're understating it a bit

An efficient HVS team with mountain experience should be fine, but be absolutely sure the conditions are reliable before treating it as a long day's cragging. If you get a storm and are not prepared...

The Iain - on 04 Sep 2012
In reply to rlade:

I can't comment on how true or not the OP's beliefs about the route are, but having just had a look around on t'interweb it looks awesome, and will definitely be on the to-do list... though there's quite a bit of experience to be gained first.
Tim Sparrow on 04 Sep 2012
In reply to rlade: And of course if the chimneys are at all damp, they can become the hardest part of the route. Nearly squirted off a few times there. Its a big route on a big face on a big hill, with lots of sustained albeit easy climbing. Don't underestimate routes like that, they often bite!
Tim Chappell - on 04 Sep 2012
In reply to Tim Sparrow:

My partner and I have stood in the nick at the foot of the Nordkante, looking across the face that the Cassin Route takes.

I gather the climbing's not technically all that frightening, but it's a monster of a face. Just getting on to the route looks like a mission to me. And once you're on it I gather the route wanders all over the place. There's 22 pitches of it, so you won't be abbing off in a hurry.

I suspect it's the kind of place you could very easily zoom up in 9-10 hrs if things went well for you. And die on if they didn't.

It's not one of the six classic faces for nothing.
Al Randall on 04 Sep 2012
In reply to rlade: The problem is that like most of the six "Grande Courses" they are all relatively easy until the conditions deteriorate. When this happens it happens very fast and usually when you are high and committed on the route. Even V.Diff pitches become considerably harder, if not impossible, when covered in verglas and retreating in a gathering storm is not a lot of fun. That is why climbers die on them, not because they are 5a or 6a or whatever other grade you want to give it. Comparing alpine grades with UK grades is not only nonsense it's dangerous nonsense.

Despite all that I would agree that a competent VS leader with the appropriate skills, experience and stamina could probably get up this route in good conditions even if they have to pull on a peg or two. As I said above it's not the technical grade that counts.

Al
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steveej - on 04 Sep 2012
In reply to Al Randall: well said

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