/ Classic Alpine peaks under 4000m

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LakesWinter on 03 Nov 2013
In a geeky moment I recently worked out that the vast majority of peaks I've climbed in the Alps are under 4000m, so I thought I'd make a ticklist of 30 or so of the finest routes on the finest peaks in the Alps under 4000m. Hopefully this will also help people planning summer trips to the Alps to avoid the usual fare on the Petit Verte, Cosmiques etc and get on some more inspiring routes. and To live up to my super Alpine punter status I thought we'd go for routes graded between F and D+.

Here are a few of my suggestions so far...

Bluemlisalphorn traverse, Kandersteg, AD

Mont Pelvoux traverse, Aliefroide, PD

Mont Dolent, Gallet Ridge, Chamonix, AD

Pigne - Chelion traverse, Arolla, AD-

Gross Diamanstock East Ridge, Grimsel, D-
MG - on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:
I'd add

Eiger, Mitteleggi ridge D
La Grivola, ENE ridge ADish
Wetterhorn, normal route AD-

Maybe Meije traverse but I haven't done it.
cb294 - on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:

Gross Wannenhorn from Finsterarrhorn hut. Watch everyone else go off for the 4k peaks next door and have a 3990m peak all for yourself. PDish,

CB

jon on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to MG:

Alpine peaks... less than 4000m... pah! Alpine peaks START at 4000m. Well, apart from those already mentioned, I suppose. Oh, and this one: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=128638 Probably the biggest and baddest of them all. The Bietschhorn 3934m.
thegoatstroker - on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: Two which I enjoyed this year were
Tour Noire Traverse PD(+?)
Aiguille du Chardonnet Forbes Arete AD

and a favourite sub 4er in a circle of giants would be
Pointe de Zinal E ridge? PD

Harry
Dave - on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to jon:
> (In reply to MG)
> Probably the biggest and baddest of them all. The Bietschhorn 3934m.

Beat me to it. A fantastic looking mountain which I have to climb one day.

La Meije traverse definately has to be in there. And Piz Badile N ridge. And at the easier end of the spectrum the traverse of the Domes de Miage

LakesWinter on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to jon: O yes, that is high on the list indeed for me, but the walk up to the Baltscheider hut looks formidable!
LakesWinter on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to MG: Have you done the Wetterhorn normal route then? It looks like a great peak but the write up in the AC guide is mixed - did you rate it? I'd be keen for a go at it if the climb is good, it's certainly very historic.
lmarenzi - on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:

Following are all mega classics in the grades you are looking for in the Engadine Valley / Bergell:

Piz Morteratsch
Piz Palu, traverse
Piz Rosegg, Eselsgrat
Piz Bernina, Biancograt (just over 4000m but you'd be a mug to not do it just because its a few feet too high - and you can turn around at Piz Bianco which is technically under 4000 (a strategy only recommended for the most diehard mugs))
Piz Scerscen, Eisnase (do NOT be tempted to ab down direct after the ice nose!)
Piz Badile, Cassin (TD but again, you'd be a mug to not do it, about 6 feet out of 3000 are given 6a+ but you can easily French free them, nothing else harder than 6a for the remainder)

Plenty of other great ones like Piz Kesch, Piz de la Margna and Piz Chapuetschin that are easier in the area.
jon on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:
> but the walk up to the Baltscheider hut looks formidable!

I haven't climbed the Bietschhorn, but I have walked down from the Baltscheiderklause (having come from the Oberaletschhütte via the Nesthorn) and can confirm that it is indeed formidable! The Nesthorn from Oberaletsch is good, easy and remote.

The Wetterhorn is excellent.


LakesWinter on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to lmarenzi: Excellent, thanks for the ideas. Don't worry, Biancograt is on my to do list, I was more just getting suggestions for a public ticklist to benefit people looking for non 4000m options that are classic.
LakesWinter on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to jon: Cool, I'll put the Wetterhorn on the list and I'll do some running before I brave the walk up the Baltschiedertal!
MG - on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: Yes I have. My very first alp in fact. It is very good (maybe I am biased given the last sentence!), as are both the hut approach and the hut.
MG - on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to MG: Ihave been told the E(?) ridge of Monte Viso is excellent at AD.


Any recommendations from anyone for Austrian peaks?
LakesWinter on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to MG: Yeah some Austrian peaks would be great. I'm going to add a route from the Grande Casse too - any other Vanoise recommendations?

The list is up so far but there is plenty of room for more ideas. Thanks for the ones we have so far.
MG - on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to jon:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> Alpine peaks... less than 4000m... pah! Alpine peaks START at 4000m.

Pfft, all the 4000ers have great tracks and fixed-ropes and stuff.


The Bietschhorn 3934m.

Just looked that up. Not easy is it.

butteredfrog - on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:

Rottgrat arête, AD+, ok the Alphublel just scrapes the magic number. but a good day out with some great positions. (Take a couple of cams)
LakesWinter on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to butteredfrog: Rotgrat looks great but the 4000m peaks are quite well known in general so I'm going to keep this list to sub 4000m.

I can't believe I forgot the Salbit S ridge!!!
Trangia - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:

La Meije. A great looking mountain, not quite 4000m, but one of the last of the Alpine peaks to be climbed, because the easiest route up it is amongst the hardest of the "easy" routes.
lmarenzi - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to MG:

Did the Grossglockner, the highest mountain in Austria (3800m?), from Kals, nothing wrong with it but I don't like via ferratas or fixed ropes and it had both.

Fantastic view at the top though, over a cloud inversion, when I was there.

lmarenzi - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:

Spigolo Vinci on Pizzo Cengalo also should get a shout.

A "masterpiece" up to 6a max with no bolts (2011). TD overall, a bit harder than the Cassin and less history perhaps, but overall a much, much better route on perfect granite. In fact its probably better than the North Ridge of the Badile, which is said to be the outstanding rock climb of its grade in Europe. Take some light weight crampons and a walking axe to get to the summit from the end of the ridge (we had bad weather so couldn't summit).

Beware the walk in to the Gianetti hut is a monster when its hot in the valley.

Descent is marked by a horn with tat slung around it right at the top of the ridge itself, then it should be proper bolted rap anchors going down. Don't wander off down the slabs to the right like we did!
tjekel - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: if you do grossglockner vi th nw-ridge at around AD, it becomes a more interesting proposition.

LakesWinter on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to lmarenzi: For the reasons you outline I've not suggested the Gallet Ridge on the Doldenhorn, apparently it has a ladder on the last rock band under the summit. Why?!!?!?!?!
Simon4 - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to cb294:

> Gross Wannenhorn from Finsterarrhorn hut. Watch everyone else go off for the 4k peaks next door and have a 3990m peak all for yourself. PDish,

It is well known that any "peak" below 4000m is a molehill and both it and anyone lowering (carefully chosen word), themselves to attempt it should be viewed with contempt! ***

Unless it is a ski-peak of course. Some interesting options here.

*** - total bollocks alert.

Simon4 - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to lmarenzi:

> Piz Scerscen, Eisnase (do NOT be tempted to ab down direct after the ice nose!)

So you have climbed Scerscen then? It looks pretty serious to me, does it not also have a pretty difficult descent?

chris bedford - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:

Arete de Saille on the Grand Muveran....

http://www.camptocamp.org/routes/56094/fr/grand-muveran-arete-de-saille

Pleasant walk to a very nice hut from the top of the chairlift from Ovronnaz.
Short approach, interesting route finding, a few bolts, a particularly fine crux pitch, and a fun scramble along a narrow limestone ridge to the summit. But a bit loose in places....



jon on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to Simon4:

The Gross Wannenhorn is a very fine peak. Even looks good from the Finsteraarhornhütte. I've done it a number of times - but always on skis. I'm not sure if it'd be as good in summer. Perhaps cb294 can tell us?
lmarenzi - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to tjekel:
> (In reply to LakesWinter) if you do grossglockner vi th nw-ridge at around AD, it becomes a more interesting proposition.

Yes you are probably right. Descent probably by the Normalweg though, ridge doesn't look steep enough to ab and would it be a pain to down climb the whole thing, no?
rif on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to Simon4: (In reply to lmarenzi)> So you have climbed Scerscen then? It looks pretty serious to me, does it not also have a pretty difficult descent?

The classic is to follow the ridge from Scerscen to Bernina then descend the Biancograt. Big day out, though -- c 15 h from memory, and the connecting ridge was far from easy.

I'd second the recommendation for the Piz Palu traverse, and there's a good harder (AD-ish) start up the left-hand pillar on the N face.

Rob F

Babika - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:
IMHO there's only one that can really take the title of a "classic" peak under 4000m and that has to be the Eiger. Whichever route you choose.

All the other are just excellent days out on great summits, but probably not Classic.

My personal favourite would be the Studlgrat Ridge on the Gross Glockner AD+ and 3* definitely.
lmarenzi - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to Simon4:
> (In reply to lmarenzi)
>
> [...]
>
> So you have climbed Scerscen then?

Yes and no. We went up in July, it took us 9 hours to the top of the route.

On the way down oxygen deprivation and mental exhaustion got to me and I decided to ab down, hoping someone had put in anchors to ab, although I knew full well that it was a down-climb to the bottom stance. After 3 abs backing up single 30 year old rusted pegs with hammered ice axes in cracks and holding slings in place by hand we finally gave up and called in a rescue, frustratingly only 150m above the safety of the glacier below. The hang of shame was a lot more embarrassing than I had thought it would be, and the expense much higher than expected too!

Probably best route in the Bernina after Biancogra? PM me if you want details.
LakesWinter on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to Babika: The Eiger is on the list
LakesWinter on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: We should have a route on the Courtes and the Aiguille d'Argentiere really but which ones? I've done that Y couloir on the Argentiere it was good but is the Fleche Rousse or North Face better?
LakesWinter on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: We also need some decent PD and F routes as the list is mostly D and AD at the moment.
MG - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: Gran Serra and La Tresenta are both good at F+
LakesWinter on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to MG: Tresenta added, but the Gran Serra isn't in the logbooks. My mate has done the Simlaun in the eastern alps and rated it, so that can go in at F+
Babika - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:
> (In reply to Babika) The Eiger is on the list

Yes I know.

I was just saying that I think its the ONLY one that fits the title of this thread...however exciting the other routes are

MG - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to Babika: Wetterhorn - first ascent of the Golden Age apparently. Not classic?
jon on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to Babika:

Bit blinkered there, Babika!
cb294 - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to jon and simon4:

I know Gross Wannenhorn is a defective mountain, but if you stand on the higher of the two summit rocks and raise your ice axe you can just about make 4k....

The views are as great in summer as in winter. On the way up you can see the sun rise behind Finsteraarhorn, and once on top you have the steep drop down to the Aletsch Glacier, with fantastic views of Konkordiaplatz and Aletschhorn.

With good firn the route is straightforward, the main difficulty being the crossing of Fiescher glacier half a kilometer or so south of everyone else (you can always join the hordes making the crossing towards Gruenhornluecke and then move south, but the main point of going to GWH is to be on your own).

We did GWH after some days of heavy snowfall (plus two days of letting everything set), which meant keeping an eye on the avalanche risk and breaking trail for the entire route, so it felt a bit more wintery than otherwise.

CB
Simon4 - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to cb294:

> I know Gross Wannenhorn is a defective mountain, but if you stand on the higher of the two summit rocks and raise your ice axe you can just about make 4k....

I bet that doesn't work if you are a shortarse!

I believe that at one stage, the Swiss intended to build a 40m tower on the summit of the Fletschhorn to make it reach the magic number.




jcw on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: I too was going to suggest Galletgrat on Doldenhorn. No ladder when we did it but lots of cornices. Argentiere is a must, I liked the Couloir en Y, but N face good way of getting to the top. Besso SW ridge makes a nice solo. I wouldn't have the Rotgrat in even if it weren't 4000: my experience of it was that it was the Grotgrat! Ravenel Mummery traverse for an interesting outing without the crowds.
Babika - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to jon:
> (In reply to Babika)
>
> Bit blinkered there, Babika!

Yeah, you're right....
Just trying to stir the pot ;)

cb294 - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to Simon4:

In fact you would have to be quite a longarse. I just checked back and realized GWH is 3906m not 3996m.

IIRC for a while everyone climbing Fletschhorn was asked to take a rock up to build a summit cairn that would reach 4k. The plan was even sponsored by the Saas valley hotels, but abandoned after a while.

CB
MG - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to cb294:

> IIRC for a while everyone climbing Fletschhorn was asked to take a rock up to build a summit cairn that would reach 4k. The plan was even sponsored by the Saas valley hotels, but abandoned after a while.


I suspect more accurate surveys were revising the height downwards more rapidbly than stones were raising it upwards! There is an unremarkable cairn up there.
Simon4 - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to cb294: That is even more daft than what I had heard.

As they were Swiss, were they planning to fine anyone who failed to comply? And hang anyone who demolished the thing?
felt - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to Simon4:
> (In reply to cb294)
>
> [...]
>
> I believe that at one stage, the Swiss intended to build a 40m tower on the summit of the Fletschhorn to make it reach the magic number.

It's 3996m so only needs to be 4m; 40m is quite an ask!
Simon4 - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to MG: The summit of Khan Tengri, 6090m when in the Soviet Union, suddenly became 7010m when Kazakhstan became independent, making it the most northerly 7000m peak in the world.

Of course it may just have been more accurate surveying, and the fact that otherwise there was no 7000m peak in Kazakhstan had nothing to do with it.
MG - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to Simon4: Useless fact of the day:

If you measured altitude from the centre of the earth, rather than from sea-level, Finland would have the highest summit.
Simon4 - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to MG: Is that really true?

Surely things in Greenland or Baffin Island would be boosted more by the same effect.
MG - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to Simon4: Hmm according to Wiki, it is actually in Ecuador! I will check my other sources later. Thinking about it the earth bulges out at the centre so maybe I have it back to front and Finland's highest point is the *closest* to the centre of the earth.
Babika - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to MG:
The Belgians built a 6m tower on their highest point to bring it up from 694m to the magic 700m

I went there this summer

Quite bonkers really
Orgsm on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:

The Eiger
Simon4 - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to Babika: So you have dared the highest summit in Belgium? What an Alpinist!

BTW, what is magical about 700m?
LakesWinter on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to jcw: Thanks for the suggestions, I've added the Argentiere and a few more of other people's suggestions, keep em coming, I reckon we should aim at 30.

To the poster who mentioned the Corda Molla, that's a shame, it looked great once. Maybe it still is early in the season?
LakesWinter on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: Here is the list so far... We could do with a couple more from the Ecrins and Vanoise and Austria

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/set.php?id=707
MG - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: Monte Viso must make by o e route or another. I think normal way is F
Simon4 - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: Talking to someone this evening who was singing the praises of Disgrazia. Certainly looks like a fine mountain, not sure about routes though.
Simon4 - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:
> We could do with a couple more from the Ecrins

Well surely the traverse of the Meije qualifies?

I also found the North Couloir of Les Bans pretty good. Nightmare traverse at the top though.
tistimetogo on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:

Les Bans, Dome de Niege/Barre, Dibona are all oustanding experiences in Ecrin area. Sadly I have not yet visited the Meige.

A question on the "Bietschhorn." I've always read it in my head as Bitchhorn. Probably I'm completely wrong but does anyone want to set me straight on how that mountain is pronounced?
Tyler - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:

60 replies and no one has mentioned Les Drus, do peaks get any more iconic? Has anyone ever stood in the Chamonix valley and not thought about climbing it?
jon on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to Tyler:
> (In reply to LakesWinter)
>
> Has anyone ever stood in the Chamonix valley and not thought about climbing it?

Yes. Every time I see it. Which is every day as I look straight at it from my living room window. I did think of doing the Bonatti pillar once, then it fell over. Successive rockfalls only serve to make it less attractive.
Solaris - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:
> To the poster who mentioned the Corda Molla, that's a shame, it looked great once. Maybe it still is early in the season?

It's remote, it's a good line, it's a magnificent situation, it's a great mountain, and I suppose you could call it an afficionado's route - it's just that in August when we did it there was a lot of rubble on the ridge, and the headwall - which gets a glowing write up in the guidebook - was disappointing because of the rock that did its best to dispatch two out of four of us. (Yes, I've read McLewin on bad rock and I half agree with him.) Still one of my best days in the hills but almost certainly better early in the season.
Tyler - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to jon:

You must have climbed it before though, surely?
Solaris - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to MG:
We thought PD- for the VN. I haven't done the East Ridge - it was foggy and we couldn't find the start - but at an informed guess (and someone else mentioned it earlier) it would be a better candidate for a classic route on what is definitely a classic peak.
shantaram - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: The Grand Cornier is very wothwhile via either the S ridge or th NW ridge. Both great quality climbing on good rock and I'd be surprised if you met anybody else on these routes due to the fact the peak is sub 4000m. I'm always perplexed why people are so fixed on the height of a peak rather than the quality of the climbing.

The Eveque SW ridge is another classic. Don't overlook Monte Viso either.
Tim Chappell - on 06 Nov 2013
In reply to tistimetogo:
> (In reply to LakesWinter)
>
> Les Bans, Dome de Niege/Barre, Dibona are all oustanding experiences in Ecrin area. Sadly I have not yet visited the Meige.
>
> A question on the "Bietschhorn." I've always read it in my head as Bitchhorn. Probably I'm completely wrong but does anyone want to set me straight on how that mountain is pronounced?


Simple. Second syllable is just the English word "horn", with a bit more R than in southern English perhaps.

And the first syllable is just the English "beach", but say it with a German accent and really bring out the T in it.

Bietsch--horn; Bietsch--Bietsch--Bietsch--horn--horn--horn. Completely phonetic really.

OK, now you're getting there :-)
jcw on 06 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: Yes, it's curious how the Chamonix mts have been so disregarded. Probably because they are so familiar. The trouble with the Dru is there is only one route of the standard you require, as far as I know. It's rather tedious I gather, rather as the Badile ridge I found was. But what about all those Aiguilles. I nominate the Ryan Lochmatter on the Plan at D+ as a worthy candidate for a major summit and with a proper descent too unless you traverse back to the Midi and that is not a walkover.
LakesWinter on 06 Nov 2013
In reply to jcw: Ryan-Lochmatter and Mer de Glace on the Grepon added. Thanks for the suggestion and reminder. Yeah it's meant to be a punters list for classical alpinism and I don't know what state the Dru traverse is in these days, hence I've not added it.
LakesWinter on 06 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/set.php?id=707

Here is the list so far...
Solaris - on 06 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:

Good stuff. A comment and a suggestion: having done the Sth Face of Monte Viso, I'm not sure I'd say it was a classic *route*, though the peak certainly is, so if the list is about peaks, then fine. And how about the voie normale on the Roche Faurio as a quality, modestly challenging beginners' route in an inspiring setting?
tistimetogo on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

Cheers Tim. Not far removed from my imaginings then.

I like this thread. It's made me wonder what I'll be allocating my holidays to.
Blinder - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: what about Bafrin!
Babika - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Simon4:
> (In reply to Babika) So you have dared the highest summit in Belgium? What an Alpinist!
>
> BTW, what is magical about 700m?

? Odd comment Simon4!

I was on my way home after climbing the Dufourspitze (AD) from Italy. Try not to make judgements when you don't know the person.



jcw on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: I notice no one has mentioned the Dolomites, probably quite rightly. Most of the worthwhile stuff is on walls and technically fairly hard and is in any case numerically graded. The routes up those summits which might be considered mountains with a proper descent and within your grade standard are usually pretty much rubbish. Nevertheless if you were to consider an entry I would suggest two classics. The first is the Funfingerspitz (Cinqua Dita) via the traverse including the Thumb (Pollice). The second is the Campanilo Basso in the Brenta by the Preuss Wall (V-).which I think comes out of the popular piddling peaks classification with both its descent and the impressive approach from the Via Bocceta. Someone will probably opt for the Fehrmann which I have not done but seen from the outstanding Via Graffer. If we open this can of worms no to the Sella & Vajolet Towers as qualifying (ex cathedra pronouncement!)
Simon4 - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Babika: It was a joke Babika. Possibly not a very funny one, but a joke nonetheless, based on the incongruity of Alpinism being in the same sentence as Belgium.

Er, perhaps I should have added a smiley symbol. It
jon on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Simon4:
> based on the incongruity of Alpinism being in the same sentence as Belgium.

Albert would turn in his grave, Simon.
jon on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to jcw:

> The first is the Funfingerspitz (Cinqua Dita) via the traverse including the Thumb (Pollice).

Be sure, however, to be properly attired for such a timeless classic:
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=134936
Simon4 - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to jon: Well he had a refuge named after him, and the Belgian Congo, what more would he want?

Didn't he also provide the inspiration for Conrad's "Heart of Darkness"?

And not in a good way either.
LakesWinter on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Solaris: Ah, ok. I've not done Monte Viso, though I'd like to. I'll add teh Roche Faurio, good shout. I've not done it but I saw it from the Barre and it looked a good beginners route and the idea is to have an F to D+ list.

Can anyone recommend a classic route on Monte Viso then?
Similarly I nearly tried Mont Pourri a few years back but did other things in the Vanoise instead - can anyone recommend a route on it?
jon on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Simon4:

Have you got the right king?
Simon4 - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to jon: For which, the hut, the Congo or the Heart of Darkness?
jon on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Simon4:

Heart of Darkness.
Simon4 - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to jon: You are right, it was King Leopold of the Belgians in Heart of Darkness.

What did Bertie 1 do?
jcw on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to jon: Excellent photo of modern climbing: PAs nuts and a crash helmet, what more do you want?

Incidentally it was Léopold II of the Etat Indépendant du Congo (Congo Free State), his own private empire (see my forthcoming book!!)
jon on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Simon4:

He was quite a guy. I read a book about him and his exploits and ultimately his death. As I remember, among other things, he'd slip out of Belgium incognito to climb in the Dolomites. Quite a fascinating guy.
Solaris - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:

Re Monte Viso - it's only my opinion. The Voie Normale is interesting as a scramble but I wouldn't put it amongst the most memorable easy routes I've done. But perhaps, given the peak, it deserves to be on the list as an easier route. I *think* it's the E ridge (?AD+) that's generally reckoned to be the classic of the peak. It's what we went to do but couldn't find!

Anyone else?
Simon4 - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Solaris: Where you can't actually find the route - yes, that sounds like an Alpine classic!

I recall a desperate struggle up the start of the Ryan-Lochmatter ridge on the Plan, another classic Alpine route, in mountain boots, finally finishing up becalmed in a sea of steep holdless granite and having to be thrown a rope by a pair of passing German rock athletes in climbing boots and on a bolted line.

Turned out we were half a mile from where we should be, on the wrong Aiguille.
Jerry67 - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: How about the La Nonne traverse above the Couvercle hut, AD I think.
Jerry
Solaris - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Simon4:

Some might observe that our experiences just prove that we are Brits!
ads.ukclimbing.com
Simon4 - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Solaris:

> Some might observe that our experiences just prove that we are Brits!

Continentals tend to think that my clothing confirms that especially when skiing in buffalo gear. Or as someone rather unkindly pointed out, Alpine climbing in Ron Hills :

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=223171
LakesWinter on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Jerry67: I've not done it, but is it a classic in the same way that the other routes on the list are? I'm not sure and it does look like a nice route. Anyone else got suggestions? I'm thinking something like the Grande Ciamarella N face for one of the last slots. What's the Konigspitze like in Austria? That looks like a peak and a half, or the Ortler?
MG - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Simon4: Buffalo, Ron Hills and Dachsteins. A kindred spirit! Do you have a white floppy sunhat too?
Simon4 - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to MG:
> Do you have a white floppy sunhat too?

No, but my partner does.

I still have some very interesting suntan lines from approaching the Forche bivi hut half-naked this Summer.
Solaris - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Simon4:

MG tells me we're members of the same club, so I'm relieved to see that sartorial standards are being kept up and that the continentals know who's top!
Simon4 - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Solaris: Well I see you have climbed the Schreckhorn, so are one up on me!
Simon4 - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Simon4) Buffalo, Ron Hills and Dachsteins. A kindred spirit!

Peccavi, I have just ordered a new pair of Dachsteins.

cb294 - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:

Koenigsspitze is in Italy (South Tirol), and used to be great. I have not climbed it in recent years, but have heard that the gully formerly used to reach the upper slopes has become a stone fall death trap. Only recommended in early summer, apparently.

CB
LakesWinter on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to MG: ooo I have a white floppy sun hat and dachstein mitts too, just need some ron hills to complete the set
jon on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:

Nooooo, don't do it! Have you no pride?
LakesWinter on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to jon: Ha, no, no pride left but I prefer my £5 decathlon trackies for now....
LakesWinter on 10 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/set.php?id=707

The final list is here, comments welcome and I'm not sure about the fact Monte Disgrazia doesn't feature at the moment...
MG - on 10 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: Nice! A few thoughts
Any way of getting peak and route names in the list?
La Grivola should be there, I think.
You need a "stopper" top prevent completion!
LakesWinter on 10 Nov 2013
In reply to MG: The Grivola is in there, North East Ridge I think. Hmmm, I thought the Renaudie and East Ridge of the Plan would be tricky for most people climbing F to D+, but maybe something that is rarely in, but classic should be in instead.... Or something in a weird part of the Valpelline
Simon4 - on 10 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: So its score counting time. Looks like 4 only unfortunately.
jon on 10 Nov 2013
In reply to Simon4:

Pah! And I thought I was doing badly with eight... I wonder how many that MG has got.
Dave - on 10 Nov 2013
In reply to Simon4:

7 for me. Nice list, though there's loads more contenders.
LakesWinter on 10 Nov 2013
In reply to Dave: yeah as I got into the list I realised there were loads of contenders and there's a lot I've not added/included that look or are great my score is 6 done and 2 others attempted unsuccessfully.
alasdair19 on 10 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: you mean theres a popular part of the valpelline!!

les Jumeaux sw ridge PD+, nice bivvy hut that took us a while to find for access, and another on the col for people into zinc coated garden shed ticking.

gives me a reason to go back... we took about 3 hours to cross the tricky glascier leaving little time and less nervous energy for the ridge itself.

disgrazia really should be in. N ridge of the badile surely. the grand cornier is a minor classic with a cool hut. the eveque traverse is superb and pleasingly shortish and you get to stay in the bouquestins hut which is lovely.

the bitchhorn or however is spelt is pretty cool we did the s ridge i think a nice ridge climb and I heard good reports of the other slightly easier ridges. the normal route is probably only really good early season. we had some hard hard snow to descend and lots of looseish scrambling. not crazy loose but not massively fun either.
MG - on 10 Nov 2013
In reply to jon: Six. After a recount!
MG - on 10 Nov 2013
In reply to MG: No five! Has the Wetthorn gone?
jon on 10 Nov 2013
In reply to MG:

No, it's number 12.
Simon4 - on 10 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter, Jon, MG, Others : So how many of these are skiable?
MG - on 10 Nov 2013
In reply to jon: Ah. Still 5
MG - on 10 Nov 2013
In reply to Simon4: La tresenta mostly. I would avoid the Mitteleggi.
Simon4 - on 10 Nov 2013
In reply to MG: No cheating MG, you know how strict Jon is!
Simon4 - on 10 Nov 2013
In reply to MG:
> I would avoid the Mitteleggi.

Might be amusing to carry a very small, very light pair of skis just to wind up the Swiss guides.
MG - on 10 Nov 2013
In reply to Simon4: All have photograhic evidence!
LakesWinter on 10 Nov 2013
In reply to alasdair19: Hmm, maybe I should add a couple more, I've always fancied doing the Eveque traverse as well. Bietschorn is on, North Ridge I think
Gustav - on 10 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:

Hmmm, 3 done. Must try harder. Think Blumlisalp route on the list should be the traverse as it is in the logbooks.
Bietschorn next???
ads.ukclimbing.com
Solaris - on 10 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:
Good list - plenty to go at there. Thanks for putting it together.

From a beginner's point of view it might be looking a bit "top heavy". How about the South ridge of Ailefroide Orientale - PD on UKC and in the AC book, I think? F on this website which describes it as "une des grandes classiques du massif de l'Oisans" http://www.montagne-virtuel.com/05/alpinisme/ailefroideorientale/sortie.php

Or how about the Voie Normale on Les Agneaux: http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=133301 ? Facile when I did it...

What do others think of those two as candidate routes for people in their first alpine seasons?
LakesWinter on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to Gustav: Yeah Bietschorn next year sounds great, I could summon some Alpine psyche for that.

I tried to get the Bluemlisalp traverse in as the route but UKC wouldn't locate it in the logbook, even though it is there and we have both ticked it. Weird.
LakesWinter on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to Solaris: I've done the Agneux voie normal and it's ok, but not totally classic in my view. The Ailefroide route is a great shout - I'll look it up
Solaris - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:

Fine by me.
jonesieboy on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to Solaris:
I really enjoyed Les Agneaux this Summer, but not sure either that it merits "classic" status. Harder than F with the chossy scramble up onto the ridge from the diminished glacier.

Traverse of Piz Palu, on the other hand, is definitely a classic in my book.
shantaram - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: No need to add it to the list, but don't forget about the Grand Cornier next door to the Dent Blanche. Up the S ridge and down the NW ridge makes for a classic traverse on good quality rock most of the way. You won't be disappointed.
LakesWinter on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to shantaram: Thanks for the heads up, looks great!
alasdair19 on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to shantaram: how do the logistics for that work.? Can you get back to evolene by foot or is it a post bus job?
shantaram - on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to alasdair19: Post bus I'm afraid fella. not aware of an easy way to cross from valley to valley on foot, although somebody might come along and suggest a way. Alternatively you can up and down either route, which is not a bad second prize.
jcw on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: Been away 9. Amused by Simon4 on Ryan
Conversation with Martin when doing The Crocodlile. Sure this is the right way Martin?
Course I'm bloody sure!
Wrong mountain It was the Ryan
Simon4 - on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to jcw: We should have done a swap, then both could have claimed we had done what we set out to do (except that we didn't, had to be rescued by a couple of Krauts, grr, don't mention the war!).

I did eventually manage the RL, it was hard!

(On the 5th attempt - no wonder the 4000s are taking me a long time)
jcw on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to Simon4: Knowing a bit of what you've done I don't believe it.
whispering nic - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: Triglav!

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