/ Long Alpine Rock route.
Looking for a Long Alpine Rock route; sort of like an easier Gervasutti Pillar that roughly equates to UK S/HS up a peak or a big wall. Not too fussed on which area.
Never done any rock routes in the alps; always done mountaineering routes either snow/mixed; looking for something different.
I know I'm not being very specific.
Some Dolomites suggestions, all around the 800 metres / grade IV range:
S Face Tofana Dimai
Pala di San Martino Gran Pilastro
I forgot to mention; something with relatively straight forward route finding would be good- I know it's always difficult on a big wall but the easier the better!
Voie Madier, Aiguille Dibona, Ecrins.
Go and play in the Bregaglia. The Nordkante of the Piz Badile has been a dream of mine for several years now. And there's plenty else to go at that is spectacular, not very hard, and unbelievably long.
Watch out for granite bombs, though.
Doesn't it just? Aaargh. Let me at it.
Chamonix area has a variety but most are a little / or a lot harder. The Aiguilles Rouges side is a good place to warm up with 5 to 16 pitch routes, many to peaks. Lots are bolted so route finding is easy. Voie Ravanel is a nice 16 pitch bolted (so no route finding probelems )route to a lovely peak. A couple of French 5c moves but always with bolts by your eyes! South Arete on Perseverance, nice 8 pitches. Gliere South Ridge, last two harder pitches can be missed out if you wish.
Big and more complex routes around the Envers hut. Aiguille Republique is an airy summit - 600 metres. Grepon route - 850 metres.
Charmox / Grepon Traverse.
Miroir D'Argentine is a nice big slab - Direct is a lovely 14 pitch. French 5a. The Plaisir series of guide books have lots of options.
Beg / borrow some guidebooks and dream...
Hey Chay (and Tim!)
Yep the Val Bregaglia area is one of the truly great places to visit in the Alps. The Nordkante on the Badile is a must do with about 25 pitches of relatively easy climbing, but there are lots of other top routes as well such as the Bugeleisen or Flat Iron close by. For inspiration if interested the following is a short video of my trip their last year showing my partner and I on our succesful outings up the Nordkante and Bugeleisen! :-)
Good man (or bird, or whatever species/ genus you are). To be checked out over lunch...
That had it sold for me.
What sort of UK trad grades would you give the routes you did out of interest?
That's solid HVS!
However, the Voie Normal is a good route at around HS and would suit the OP perfectly as a straightforward introduction to Alpine rock.
> What sort of UK trad grades would you give the routes you did out of interest?
The Bugeleisen is 13 pitchs/300M but strangely (I think) is given the alpine grade TD- but it is quite well bolted and has fixed belays so you can ab down from the top of the route to the bottom and the crux pitch is no harder than French 5b according to the topo. It felt like a long sports route in the mountains with beautiful climbing!
The superclassic Nordkante is about 25 pitchs/1000M and is graded AD/D- with the crux pitch being 5a (3 bolts if I remember correctly) but most of the rest ranges from 3a to 4b.
<shrugs> As to how all this translates to UK grades I'm not entirely sure! If you go for the Nordkante on the Badile descend into Italy and stay overnight in the excellent Gianetti Hut, rather than ab back down the ridge. I've heard a lot of horror stories from folks who have attempted the ab... :-)
Hope this helps and bon chance! Cheers Dave
The really important number about the Nordkante is its length.
Nordkante just looks absolutely stunning; how come you've not got it done yet Tim? Time/money restraints presumably?
I'd also recommend one of the easy routes on Le Mirroir d'Argentine.
You could also take a look at the Gross Furkahorn for a long ridge route (ESE?) with a 'summit' in alpine surroundings.
Both have routes sub VS.
> The really important number about the Nordkante is its length.
Yup we stayed in the superb Sasc Fura hut and were walking at 4.30am and got to the start of the route at 6.30am. Being a glorious warm, sunny day there were quite a lot of folks on the route and I think we summitted around 4pm so I guess that made us quite slow but hey ho it is good to savour these things. Anyway we finally got to the Gianetti Hut for about 8pm and being totally mashed, 1 bevoir and a good meal was all it took to collapse in my bunk with a such a big smile it looked like I had a coathanger in my gob... :-)
PM me as I have something you both may find useful!
> Nordkante just looks absolutely stunning; how come you've not got it done yet Tim? Time/money restraints presumably?
In 2009 Adam Henly and I went to Sasc Fura, prospected the route in the evening, got up to do it the next day--and it was covered in snow :-(
We spent two days waiting for the snow to melt. It didn't. So we buggered off to Pontresina and did the Biancograt instead :-) :-) :-)
And that's the only time I've been to Graubunden/ Bregaglia.
Agreed, lots of excellent stuff to go at in the Bregaglia.
Bugeleisen felt to us to be about British 4c/5a in places, but that may have been because its gneiss. It's a wonderful piece of fairly sustained slab climbing in a great situation. Friends who completed the route to the summit (ie after the equipped bit) didn't think the loose rock and choss was worth the extra time and effort.
To the OP: had you thought of the SW Ridge of the Schreckhorn? Really good climbing up the ridge in a superb situation, and there's lots of good, long granite and limestone routes in the vicinity.
Hey Mr Sun King, have *you* done the Nordkante? Would you like to? I would, and with you would be great :-)
Salbit south ridge would be just about this grade, too.
> Salbit south ridge would be just about this grade, too.
<rubs hands> Yup the Salbit South Ridge is on my hit list (amongst other gems) for my summer Alps trip this year! It looks absolute angel delight... :-)
> Hey Mr Sun King...
Excellent route and I'd have suggested it to were it not a couple of grades harder than the OP is asking for - ie British VS-HVS.
You can keep your Tarkovsky and your Lem; I was referencing Abbey Road :-0
You might be right, it was a while ago. My recollection was of it mostly feeling around HS. Easier than Gervasutti Pillar for sure.
Oops. Terrible memory for these things. Having said that we didn't do the top bit. We encountered a bottle neck so did some trickier weirdess off to the right. Lovely mountain!
> Salbit south ridge would be just about this grade, too.
That looks amazing. Pity about the bolts!
Badile N ridge is indeed very nice. If you chose the Bergell, you could work up to it with the following routes in the Albigna valley, none of them particularly technically hard.
1. Piz dal Päl, nice warm up route to do on the day you arrive at the Albigna hut
2. Piz Balzet S ridge
3. Via Meuli on Punta d'Albigna
Still feeling good? Check out the Biopfeiler Classic route up to F5c but, the odd bolt and OK to protect. Or the Schildkröte on the other side of the valley, or the Fiamma. Feeling REALLY good? Get on the Via Felici, it's F6a but awesome. Hokuspokus is pretty safe but also has a slabby bolt protected 6a move - easy to retreat from this section.
4. Then over to Sciora... Flatiron/Bügeleisen is harder than Badile but half the length. Took us longer to rap than climb, stuck ropes galore. Nice though - it also reminds you why the Cengalo is scary:- loudly shedding tonnes of rock all day.
If you've done some or all of them, you will have a good indicator of how much fun you will have on the Badile.
I strongly support the night in the Gianetti, although the walk to Sasc Füra is loooong.
Hope this helps.
The Noire is beyond long easy climb in my book. I've read the east ridge is loose and mostly used as a descent route.
Way to sandbag. You'd be hard put to find anything on that side of Dibona that's easier than HVS.
To be fair I did the Classic route on the same side as the Madier which is a medley of three other routes (http://www.camptocamp.org/routes/54995/fr/aiguille-dibona-voie-berthet-boell-stofer) and I don't recall any of it being harder than HS/VS sort of standard. The crux F5b pitch was well bolted, IIRC.
I remember the Madier being a fabulous route. It was a long time ago but I keep a diary:
1 August 83, Madier, Dibona - fantastic - best VS in the world.
I'm not usually given to undergrading - in fact usually the opposite as I seem to find things harder than everyone else, so while the Madier is just a bit too hard for the HS that the OP is looking for, it's maybe not the solid HVS that the Engineer remembers?
What about one of the routes on Mont Aiguille? The regular route is easy enough but there may be other routes, too
The one I did, SE Diedre, wasn't very good. I'm sure there are some good ones though.
This one looks very nice. The other routes are few grades harder and about TD.
Yes, I know Enty has done this route three times, so it must be OK!
In the Dolomites one of the most enjoyable routes of reasonable standard I have done is the Pala delle Masanada Colatora Nero ( in fact correctly Via Decima) you can find it in Wilson's translation of the German book of popular Dolomite climbs). Short approach and easy descent. Brilliant.
Another good place to go is on the Nuffenen Pass from where there are two sustained ten full pitch routes at French 5c which actually go to a peak: Picadilly di Bedretta and Tanti Auguri: bolted, ab back down. Very pleasant area see Schweiz Plaisir etc. Also not far away (turn left for the Grimsel rather than right for Nuffenen coming from the west and down the other side of the pass to the Mittagfluh where there are three reasonable 400m routes, that on the left being easiest. Also in the region lots of long reasonable routes on slabs. You can always carry on afterwards to the Salbtschyn.
Nice route, did it last summer (although I'm not sure it really lived up to the hype apart from the bathtubs pitch) But not by any reasonable definition "long"
There is a lot to do in the Ecrins. The Aig Sialouze traverse is very pleasant, as is the traverse of the Petit Pelvoux by the S Ridge. The Boell on the Dibona has already been mentioned; the Madier is mild VS at most except for the last pitch, which can be aided. The normal route on the Meije would fit the bill.
There is stuff in Switzerland too: the Obergabelhorn or Zinal Rothorn, for example; or in the Oberland, some of the climbs around the Oberaletsch and Baltschiederklause huts. Or for something completley differnet - and no glaciers - try the Picos de Europa, where there are routes of 800m plus.
Another vote NOT for the S Ridge of the Noire - awesome route, but it's a mountaineering route, not pure rock climbing.
Why don't you try the Orco Valley, actually the Piantonetto basin? Great long "granite" (it's actually gneiss indistinguishable from granite) routes, excellent mix of traditional and bolted routes, one of the best mountain hut of all the Alps (the mythical Pontese hut), access is actually straighforward and easy... grades are relatively hard but not impossible and there are some interesting intermediate routes
Link to the Pontese
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