Swiss Direct*** TD
[looking down from swiss direct, 2 kb]320m, 17 pitches. TD 300+ (plus 3 or 4 pitches if the bergshrund is open). Approx 8-10 hrs including descent. Flawless granite tower block at the heart of the vallee blanch in Cirque Maudit.

Most bivi benieth the route before/after. Begin far up the gully to the LH side, climbing broken ground to a prominent corner. Ascend the corner for 120m. come onto the face to climb laybacks (pegs) free at E1 ish to reach a the aid pitch traversing the roof to the right and upwards F6c free. Climb easier ground to reach the summit (3800m) in around 120m.

Good topos can be found here:
and here:
Claude Asper, Marcel Bron, Mario Grossi and Marcel Morel 26/Jul/1956

Photo: looking down from swiss direct © emily roo
View all 4 photos or Submit a new photo of this climb.

This climb is in 49 logbooks, and on 53 wishlists.

Aided the crux 6b/A1 - in awe of Ian and Misha who managed to do it free at 7b(?). Insane. The grades on this seemed mega stiff compared to elsewhere in the massif, but who knows.
alexm198 - AltLd - 30/Aug/15 with Misha Nepogodiev, Ian Cooper

A perfect route! Walked in in the afternoon to bivvy underneath the face. Up at 4.30am (or at least that's when the alarm went off), started the minimal walk in at 6.30. Rimaye impassable except on the right, leading to Flagrant Delire. Ian went to that and said there was a good ledge with a bolted belay, so Alex and I seconded in big boots (tricky) to leave our stuff there as there was no ledge at the start of the rock. Two full length easy pitches moving quickly got us to a nice crack pitch which I led to a ledge at the start of the chimney. Also led the first pitch up the corner (skipped a belay to do a 45-50m pitch). The start is actually a fantastic E1 crack up the face left of the corner. The second half was nice HVS climbing easing to about V Diff - VS terrain, all very enjoyable. Ian did the next pitch, again skipping a belay, more beautiful V Diff to VS climbing. I led the corner crack up the arÍte to a hanging belay. Should have actually carried on up the crack above to the next hanging belay, which is below the crux/aid pitch. Ian did that instead as we thought it was the start of the crux pitch. A sandbag at 5+, we all though it was a decent E1. Slightly less enjoyable due to random stomach cramps but fortunately they soon went away. Ian did a great job on the crux, falling off after being lured into a dead end by following the obvious crack up after the roof traverse - you actually need to move right to another crack just after getting established in the first crack above the roof. I slipped off on the initial traverse right under the roof on a long move sideways to a crack (took a swing and pulled back up some tat). Ian gave me the beta to move right but it looked desperate so I carried on up the first crack hoping to find a way on second but it really blanks out so took another swing and finished up the correct crack. Alex aided it, which looked hard. I took over thinking the next pitch was 4+ though it looked harder and so it was! Actually it was the second half of the crux pitch. Had to pull on gear twice to get past trad 6b moves as it was no place to mess around. Still solid E2 for the bits I did free. Alex then did two easier pitches to the top. What a cool summit! Great views as well. Eight and a half hours from the start of the rock, not too bad in a three. Abbed down a random line in about 10 abs, just over two hours. Bivvied again as was intended. All went to plan, except the following day didn't get up early enough to do the Contamine on the Lachenal on the way back so just did the Cosmiques instead.
Misha - AltLd - 30/Aug/15 with Alex, Ian C

Totally underestimated the appoarch to the route, plus getting to the base of it was difficult because of how open the begshurd was this year. But the rock looks amazing, another year.
zcsharp - Lead dnf - 27/Aug/15 with Steve Gibbs

steve_gibbs - AltLd dnf - 27/Aug/15 with Jamie Roberts

Hidden - AltLd - 21/Aug/15

Hidden - AltLd - 21/Aug/15

Hidden - AltLd - 04/Sep/14

saw only 1 other party on the cap, awesome summit
simondunf - AltLd - 04/Sep/14 with caspar

Awesome. Swiss route into O Sole Mio finish. 6a crack pitch was soaking as was one of the last few easy pitches.
McGuinness - AltLd O/S - 06/Aug/14 with Mike

Hidden - AltLd O/S - Aug/14

Hidden - AltLd dnf - 04/Sep/13

Kris - AltLd O/S - Sep/13

Care needed in approach gully - best get out of it before first sunlight. Fantastic climbing on majority of route; some tough pulling (but A0) on insitu pegs on upper pitches.
nickdonohue - AltLd - Sep/13 with Ian Bryant

Petar Samkov - Lead O/S - 17/Aug/13 with Iliqn Kinov Ivo Ninov

Route was primarily Swiss Direct. Fifth pitch to the good shoulder was tricky for the lead owing to snow and melt-water. Had to veer off course on upper pitches owing to ice in upper cracks. Last pitches were possibly the hardest, whatever it was we ended up on. Had some loose rock early on. Not a sinner for miles, whole of the Grand Capucin to ourselves. All pitches led by Ramiro Villanueva.
Sheakinstevens - 2nd O/S - 12/Jun/13 with Ramiro Villanueva

Hidden - AltLd - 21/Aug/12

Hidden - AltLd - 21/Aug/12

Aided 6b pitch which felt hard for the grade
Wils - AltLd O/S - 18/Aug/12 with Gareth clendinning

Lift to Lift. Avoided the aid pitch and finished up O Sole Mio. Great combination and a great day!
Ollie B - AltLd O/S - 11/Aug/12 with T.Livinstone

Lift to lift from Midi = grand vitesse! Climbed the top 3rd of O Sole Mio which is mega
Tom Livingstone - AltLd O/S - 11/Aug/12 with Ollie Burrows

guy757 - AltLd - 03/Aug/12

My favorite route of the trip - the 1980s French guidebook photocopy given to us at the Chamonix guides office was near to useless. We simul-climbed the first few pitches with me leading and routefinding, then pitched from the 6a+ onward, turning back at the belle terrase as snow started to fall. Be warned, the guidebook underestimates the grade! I'd put the 6a+ pitch at b+ at least! both of us fell at the upper of it's two cruxes. Bolted belays with chains or rope connectors and lowering rings allow for a quick escape. 30m spacing allows two parties on 60m half ropes to lower from alternate stations.
cbeard - AltLd dnf - 09/Jul/12 with John Bennetts

A great route and harder than I excepted, abseiled down in the dark, and including walk ins a 20hr day.
roberto18 - AltLd - 15/Sep/11 with Sasha Doyle, Tom Nickols

Route finding difficulties
danJBA - AltLd dnf - 14/Sep/11 with Nick Valentine

Hidden - AltLd dnf - 20/Aug/11

Sam Simpson - AltLd O/S - 10/Aug/11 with Calum

stevepotter - 02/Aug/11 with Matt

Swinging leads: Matt led 6a pitch. I aided through the roof. Amazing experience!
sam820 - AltLd - 02/Aug/11 with Matt Keyse

Hidden - 29/Jul/11

crowded, up to five teams on a stance, best climbed outside of peak season. fantastic route, roof pitch not 6b, closer to 7a! (used aid).
stratfol - AltLd O/S - 11/Jul/11 with Sergey Gitlin

fantastic route!,the pitch below the aid was brilliant climbed all the hard pitches then had to bail two pitches from the top as my partner needed to get the last bin down for work, gutting
Ginger McGrath - AltLd dnf - 29/Jun/11 with graham pinkerton

Description above is incorrect. Stunning route, very crowded, snow melting off ledges made things very wet. Cold for July.
liamo333 - 2011

Didn't climb last 3 pitches due to weather turning, Kim led difficulties.
stuart34 - AltLd dnf - 20/Aug/10 with Kim Ladiges

Hidden - AltLd dnf - Jul/10

Hidden - AltLd - 06/Sep/09

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 05/Aug/09

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 05/Aug/09

Great route.....
andyinglis - AltLd - 29/Jul/09 with neil adams

Neil Adams - AltLd O/S - 29/Jul/09 with Andy Inglis

Hidden - 15/Aug/07

josephwilliams - Jun/07

Hidden - AltLd - Jul/06

Hidden - AltLd - Sep/05

Jan.Hrb - AltLd - 2004 with Petr D.

Awesome route, incredible exposure, Late start Aided roof & watched sunset from summit. Abseiled down in dark. Great fun.
marcoleptic - AltLd O/S - Jul/03 with Darryl

Hidden - Lead O/S - 31/Jul/96

NeilGriffiths - Aug/95 with Duncan, Paul

Robmwatt - AltLd - Jul/91

Hidden - Lead - Aug/89

Users with this climb on their wishlist are:
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Total votes cast 16
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