|450m, 12 pitches. |
An impressive route, especially considering the date of the first ascent! A well-balanced team is needed, both mentally and physically, as the two crux pitches are long traverses. The route is liberally equipped with pegs of varying quality. There is a bivvy following the traverse pitches for those running out of time - don't expect to be comfortable though. The rock quality is not excellent but has cleaned up with repeats. The upper half suffers from seepage after rain and snow can persist early in the season. It should also be noted that it is nearly impossible to retreat once the traverse has been completed. All in all, a serious route that is not to be underestimated.
Start 40m right of the north face's rightmost arete, on a ledge a few metres above the scree base. The original route began in a corner to the left of the arete, but this is now a harder and less commonly climbed variant.
1) III, 30m. Climb easily from right to left.
2) III, 30m. Continue moving to the left via a crack formed by a flake.
3) III, 30. Continue left on partly shattered rock until a traverse leads left along a ledge to the base of a crack.
4) IV, 20m. Climb the crack to the top of a grey pillar.
5) V+, 40m. Climb the vertical wall above, moving gradually left, then climb a crack direct. Exit slightly right above this on a good ledge.
6) VIII, 20m. Move left along the ledge for a few metres, then begin a rising leftwards traverse on overhanging rock.
7) VIII, 20m. Continue the sustained traverse to arrive at the right edge of the large roof.
8) VI, 50m. Traverse left under the large roof with bold and strenuous moves (intermediate belay possible) to reach a stance 50m right of the large black vertical break in the face. From here it is possible to traverse easily left along a ledge to reach the bivouac.
9) VII-, 30m. Climb direct through the overhanging rock above the ledge then move diagonally left to a stance just right of the black rock.
10) VII-, 20m. Continue direct up steep rock. A possible variation traverses left from the belay, crossing the black streak, then going direct to join at the stance above.
11) V, 35m. Traverse left from the belay, crossing the black streak then climb direct up easier ground to a good stance below the roofs.
12) IV, 20m. Traverse left along the large ledge.
13) VI, 20m. Climb a crack through the left-hand side of the roof, then move right to the base of a yellow corner.
14) IV, 20m. Climb the corner to half-height.
15) V, 30m. Continue up the corner and exit to the left, keeping left of the black streak.
16) V-, 30m. Continue up the vague continuation corner above, trending gently rightwards.
17) V-, 30m. Climb direct, keeping left of the black streak, up cracked slabby rock.
18) V, 20m. Continue in the same line.
19) V-, 25m. Continue direct, then move gently right, on slabby rock.
Recommended finish (without summit)
20-21) III, 70m. Climb rightwards up easy but loose rock to reach the large ledge that contours the upper tier of the peak and continue on to the descent
Original finish to the summit (easy but loose)
22-24) III+, 100m. Climb diagonally left, on shattered rock, to reach the summit. © ROCKFAX
Photo: a perfect day on the cassin © alpinist63
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