300m, 8 pitches.

Rockfax Description
III, 350m. Lesser known than its neighbour but an excellent day out, especially if the Valéria is busy. In good conditions the route will be easier than the grade given but fat ice is rare and in dry conditions the climbing may feel trickier than described.
Approach - Approach on skis - coming from either the Aiguille du Midi or the Helbronner takes the same time. From either direction, ski to the foot of the Pointe Adolphe Rey and skin up the glacial bowl separating it from the Pyramide du Tacul. The routes are on the left, 400m up this. Much of the skin up is threatened by a serac above and right of the routes, so move as quickly as possible. It is also possible to approach the routes from above by climbing the snow gully to the right of the Grand Capucin and then scrambling up to the col between the Roi de Siam and the Petit Capucin. This avoids the serac danger but is longer.
1) 2, 55m. Cross the bergschrund and climb 55 degree snow/ice to a belay on the right. This is pitch 1 of Valéria Gully.
2) 3, 15m. Continue up the snow slope before branching off right and climbing a short step to a belay on the left. If the bergschrund is not too problematic it should be possible to move together in order to link the first two pitches.
3) 4, 55m. Step right and climb featured ice to the left of a rock wall (which has the protection). The ice thins at the top of the pitch, providing some superb technical climbing. Above this, continue up 10m of snow to a bolted belay. A great pitch.
4) 2, 55m. Shoot up easy snow to join pitch 4 of Valéria Gully and follow this.
5) 2, 25m. Climb 5m above the belay then cross a snow slope rightwards to the foot of the chimney above. Again, combining this with pitch 4 is a good idea for competent teams.
6) 4+, 50m. Tackle the chimney/groove straight above the belay. The difficulty of this is entirely dependent on the amount of ice. In fat conditions it is fun mixed climbing, but when thin it will feel bold and technical.
7) 3, 40m. A straightforward ice pitch.
8) 5, 50m. The steep corner above is, like pitch 6, much easier when fat. There is some rock protection available on the right wall, but in thin condition, there won't be enough to make this a comfortable lead. When fat it is a superb pitch. Finish just to the right of the col at the top of the Valéria.
Descent - Abseil on fixed anchors. The belays on the Chippendale Gully are bolted so if the route is empty, the lower half of it provides the best and safest descent provided you have 2 x 60m ropes. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
Graded IV,4 using the modern alpine grading system

Rob84 26/Mar/12 AltLd O/S

Climbed to the top of pitch 4 where the ice ended - very thin conditions and ice more like 85 degrees rather than the 70 the Snow, Ice and Mixed guide suggests.

with Rob Adie
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