An absolutely classic expedition. Approach via the Pelvoux hut, then the Coolidge couloir (beware falling climbers as last section can now be very icy early in the season and then descend via the Violettes glacier and some dubious mixed ground lower down.

Ticklists: Top quality Alps under 4000m.


ClimberDateStyle
neal 31/Aug AltLd

Soloed rochers rouge (Couloir coolidge was not complete). Route ok, but very loose boulder field above (fortunately no other parties around). Zig zag down upper violettes, 1 abseil (50m rope) on 1st part of rock island. Two abseils down rocky couloir, 2nd off rather dodgy pegs. Jog below seracs to fixed rop, then 1 abseil down to neve de palissier. Walked down the traversing path to the bridge below Cezanne and hitched to Ailefroide.

furbrow 24/Aug AltLd O/S

Failed to find start to Rochers Rouge. Learned later we were too far L, there is a big cairn to the R. Coolidge couloir was hard ice but doable, one big rock released from above but missed tho I thought my last day had come. View from summit best in my Alpine experience. Descent fine at first on glaciers, then abseils and walking (first ab is v long for 50m rope), do not think u have done abseiling until you are well down the Palissier, then an unimaginably arduous knee bash to the valley. Far bigger an Alpine day than many 4000m peaks.

with Bruce McC
Monkey_Alan 01/Aug/14 AltLd O/S

Left the hut at 0400, on the summit by 0600. Got down to Ailefroide around 1400.

Hidden ?/Jul/14 -
bvilsue 26/Jun/14 -

a bit of an epic

with John D, Rob, Tomek, Sebastian
augustus trout 25/Jul/13 AltLd O/S
with Stevie G
nking100 ??/2013 -
Gibbo 27/Jul/12 -
Hidden ?/Jul/12 -
Katie Marshall 24/Jun/12 2nd
with Vanessa, Dominique, Jérémy, Yohann
Steve Woollard 25/Aug/11 AltLd
Ken Applegate 12/Aug/11 Solo

Left Ailefroide quite late on the 11th, and walked into the Pelvoux Hut. Soloed the Couloir Coolidge, which was quite straight forwards. The descent via the Violettes Glacier was far more technical, and not obvious in places. Be prepared for a long descent!

with Scott Kirkhope
Hidden ?/Jul/11 AltLd O/S
Sankey 31/Jul/10 -

Superb, up the couloir, which was in good condition, but didn't prevent some randoms from taking a loose rock exit and giving us all a barrage. Take care on the final exit from the vire d'Ailefroide which has steep snow on it, tackling this is preferable to avoiding it on the side, one member of our party was injured by a big rock moving here.

with Ed, Andy E
JGW ?/Jul/10 -

Did with MT and newfound French friend Laurent. Not easy to find the quickest way down - according to the hut warden there are five abseils to get off, we ended up doing seven. A classic - the route of the trip.

with Matt Tilley
Misha 20/Jul/09 AltLd O/S

Descent via the Violettes Glacier after doing the Mettrier Couloir, Complicated - 8 abseils in total, including one over a shrund off an in situ rock buried in the snow. 5 hours up (bit slow, had to wait for Dave and Mike) and 10 down (slow as there were three of us and lost at least an hour waiting for a party of four ahead of us on the abseils - however guidebook time for the descent of 3 - 5 hours still looks very optimistic!).

Calder 11/Jul/09 -
with Mark
Diggler 11/Jul/09 AltLd O/S
with Calder
mulletcocktail2000 03/Aug/08 AltLd O/S

a classic expodition. taking in every aspect of mountaineering.

with joe
Hidden 26/Jul/08 AltLd
Mark Walter ?/Jul/08 AltLd O/S
with Ed and Trish
nickdonohue ?/Oct/07 Lead

Great route in ascent, but beware the long and involved descent. My partner became ill on descent which made things a lot worse. Even after finishing the climb proper, I found that descending in the dark on the exposed scrambling on the steep cliff to reach the valley bottom (with a weak partner) was nerve-racking. Also we couldn't get water at the hut or descend into the stream but got water from puddles (probably why my mate got ill).

with Colin Morrison
Rjukan ?/Jul/07 -

really good although tricky all the way to the valley not a place to lose the "path" above huge hanging slabs

with Tom P
tom.e ?/Jul/07 -
Mr Powly ?/Jul/07 -
Simon Caldwell 25/Aug/06 -

The guidebook mentions 2 abseils - there are now 9 of them, due to decreased snow levels. A fantastic and serious day, took us 15 and a half hours from hut to campsite, not bad considering there were 5 of us on one rope.

with Carmen, Alan K, Peter, and Mike
Hidden ?/Jul/05 -
Ian JL ?/Jul/04 AltLd O/S
with Duncan Henderson
Dave Toseland 06/Aug/01 Solo
with Huw, Bill
Gudge ?/Aug/00 -
with BUMC
Hidden ??/1996 -
beardy mike ??/1995 -
jim_randell 29/Aug/94 Solo O/S
with MS, SL2, WW
Nick Biven 15/Jul/86 -
with Cast of thousands
Users with this climb on their wishlist are:
Hidden, Retro Rowan, Hidden, Hidden, PeteMc, islandlynx, Ronan O Keeffe, Andrew Barker, punj, michaelcycle, Hidden, alexanderpatton
Voting
High PD+
Mid PD+
Low PD+
High PD
Mid PD
Low PD
High PD-
Mid PD-
Low PD-
Votes cast 10
Votes cast 10
Style of ascent
Alt Leads
Soloed
Followed
Lead
Not Set
Onsighted
Not Set