/ Alpine north faces
I know it's a general question but for example the Tour Ronde, what would the scottish equivilent grade be? Likewise something like the Schmidt route on the Matterhorn, what is the hardest rock/scottish winter grade you are likely to find on there?
I can't find any topos for those sorts of routes
They vary obviously but friends who've done the Schmidt route (a long time ago and they wished they hadn't even then) reckoned it was technical 4 at the most but on poor rock and with little protection.
I've heard grades of the 1938 route on the Eiger range from summer VS to winter VI depending on conditions.
North Face of the Tour Ronde - Scottish II (II overall with potentially a passage of III through the narrows depending on conditions).
Like above, Tour Ronde is no harder than III.
The Comici on the Cima Grande in the Dolomites was E2/3 5c.
As ALC has commented, the Schmidt route on the Matterhorn North Face can be about 4 on average, although when I did it, it was heavily iced up, which made it harder, but also much better.
As for the Eiger well it can be anything from VS/HVS, to impossible - although that could just be my own personal experiences of 2 horrendous attempts :-)
The general rule of thumb on North Faces, is expect the unexpected, and in poor weather, grades go out of the window.
the easiest route on the n face of the dru is HVS if you can route find round the harder crux crack which is e1 ish.
Most people climb these routes as rock climbs in stable weather. This can become a waiting game and some years things never come together.
the more experienced will climb these sorts of routes in more challenging conditions check out will sims/john griffiths photos of a very snowy walker spur for example.
During several of the summers i've spent in the alps snowy n faces have been impossible as its just been far far far too hot.
climbing an unfrozen snow arete on the frendo is not something i'll do again.
Are you talking in winter? I don't remember any artificial pitches or even aid pulling on the Gervasutti? And that was back in 1969!
> Like above, Tour Ronde is no harder than III.
A lot of people get killed on it though, often as groups. It has happened to British parties more than once.
> I don't remember any artificial pitches or even aid pulling on the Gervasutti?
Oh, I do! On that one pitch, I changed from rockboots to big boots to crampons and back to rockboots, interspersed with aid moves... I may have been off route?! It was a pitch before you go up a long R-wards ramp and then left through a little brèche to reach the final easy bit.
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