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Triolet North Face
© Simon4
4*VOTING: number of votes 9
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To illustrate the situation in :
Simon4 - 05/Dec/13
Good grief. Looks a lot barer and about 2 grades harder than when I last saw it. As well as way more dangerous
pneame - 07/Dec/13
This is the day before we climbed it.
We had to go quite a way left to get across the bergschrund, the description says go between the 2 rock islands in the lower part of the face, we went left of both of them, then up the narrow gully on the left of the upper seracs for the direct finish. Crux pitch on the direct was about 75-80 degrees, but very good ice.
Simon4 - 08/Dec/13
Certainly I have seen a picture (courtesy of John Wilkinson), where it looks significantly whiter, even if the areas of cover are not that much greater, but it does not seem to have the grey ice shown here. John's picture also shows the serac barrier much more clearly, it beggars belief that anyone would NOT do the direct finish to avoid going under it.
Simon4 - 08/Dec/13
Just had a look at my most current guidebook - Collomb and Crew (!!) - generally staying left seems the thing to do - where does the direct finish go? Up that slight;y leftward ramp and then scoot right up the mixed ground that's slightly obscured by cloud?
This was in 1973 after a significant dump - /images/dbpage.html?id=160899
pneame - 11/Dec/13
I had a look at my copy of Glace, Neige et Mixte and oddly it still shows the "correct" route as going directly between the rock islands, yet the big secondary bergschrund that is clearly visible in my picture and in John's is still there, as though it is a semi-permanent feature.
When we got to the lower toe of the upper left rock buttress, we hugged the ice trending left. This is more or less what GNM says, it also says that there is a crux pitch of about 70 degrees, which I found but thought was steeper. That may just have been ice feeling steeper than it really is, or it may have been as steep as I thought.
GNM shows that for the direct you reach the col via the leftmost ramp (which we did),and then go up a gully just visible on the right of the summit ridge in my picture to the summit, which we did not. We did however have a nightmare traverse across the col slope which by now had been in the sun and although not very steep, was disintegrating and horribly frightening.
Simon4 - 12/Dec/13
Thanks Simon - I can picture the disintegrating surface and feel appropriately nauseous!
pneame - 12/Dec/13
The thing was that the face itself had been in shadow all the time we were climbing, it had not occurred to us that the slope below the col and the col itself had been in full sun for several hours, we just looked at the much gentler slope and said "that will be no problem".
Talk about famous last words!
Simon4 - 12/Dec/13
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This picture is copyright. If you want to reproduce or otherwise re-use it, please email the photographer direct via their user profile. Photo added December 06 2013.