Climbed the top pitches via the salle a manger. 4b is about the right grade but relatively sustained at this grade, so I thought harder than AD. Lots of people were in rock boots for these pitches (although we were in big boots and it was fine). The descent is quite long. Our guide book mentioned raps to get you back to the Salle a Manger from the summit, but if you do this you need to down climb a relatively horizontal traverse. On the way up we saw people rapping straight down from the base of the summit abseils, but we missed these. Storm broke as we hit the summit which meant for a long, cold 0 viz descent.
Stuart Johnston - Lead O/S - 24/Jul/15 with Lara Kesterton
Suzana - AltLd O/S - 16/Jul/15 with Agnieszka Wilkon
Hidden - 2nd - 05/Jun/15
Reached the top of an icy couloir above the poor rock traverse then retreated due to time constraints.
MoWalker3 - Lead dnf - 06/Sep/14 with IanC
Hidden - AltLd dnf - 10/Aug/14
Hidden - AltLd dnf - 17/Jul/14
Hidden - AltLd - 15/Aug/13
Hidden - 2nd - 24/Jul/13
Had to alter rout and finish early due to traffic
PtereBradley - 2nd dnf - Jul/13 with Phil Dowthwaite
walts4 - 2013
Hidden - AltLd dnf - 27/Aug/12
Hidden - 2nd O/S - 03/Aug/12
Started up Lepidopteres
bullwinkle - AltLd O/S - 11/Jul/11 with Bart
Hidden - AltLd - 11/Jul/11
Completed the route itself in 3 hours 10 minutes (7 hours 10 min for the round trip from/to Midi Plan station). Although the route was partly snow-covered, we managed with climbing shoes. Near the summit I went off route, ending up in a good HVS 5a crack, followed by a chimney lead by Max, which lead to the main summit directly (bypassing the sub-peak). Abseiled off on the clean slab.
masa-alpin - AltLd O/S - 15/Oct/10 with Max C
Hidden - 06/Sep/10
Pat-H - 2nd - 09/Aug/10
Hidden - 2010
Bristoldave - Lead - Aug/09 with CarolineH
CarolineH - Aug/09 with Dave
Started with Lépidoptères to gain the top of Papillon ridge and wandered along the normal route until the last gendarme, at which we met some other half-lost climbers and a returning guide with a client. The general consensus was that it was better to turn back at that hour.
reima - AltLd dnf - Aug/09 with Nora, Niamh
Hidden - Lead - Aug/09
Hidden - 25/Jul/09
Was in a three with Dave and Mike but that didn't slow us down that much as we mostly moved together. Route finding was tricky though. Crux pitch was fine but then I went off route by following a line more or less straight up from the belay rather than traversing to the right. This was harder than the normal crux and then had to ab off a little ridge to get back on the route, so lost time. Didn't actually quite get to the summit as decided to turn back in the hope of getting the last cable car down (I got to within about 10 metres of the summit before abbing back). The descent took ages though as we had to reverse the entire route to collect axes and crampons (which proved unnecessary as it was possible to get up the neve in big boots, should have checked in the OHM), so we only got to the Plan around 9pm and decided to stay in the hut for the night as didn't fancy the walk down. The nice guardien prepared a meal for us even at this late hour. Big boots all the way of course.
Misha - AltLd O/S - 16/Jul/09
Hidden - AltLd - Jul/09
From the top of the Papillons ridge
JonHarvey - AltLd O/S - Aug/08 with Jay Jackson
Hidden - AltLd O/S - Aug/08
Diccon tried to climb South-West Ridge and kept going for 1 1/2 hrs. We had a spageti moment with the rope.
Paul-Michael - AltLd O/S - 20/Jul/03 with Peter Collins, Diccon Proctor
stokesrees - Lead - 1997 with Ryan Brown
Started up Lépidoptères (Aiguille du Peigne).
ericinbristol - AltLd O/S - Jul/96 with Richard Nadin
Hidden - Lead - Aug/94
Hidden - AltLd O/S - Aug/93
John Marsland - Solo - 12/Aug/85
mark-abz - AltLd - Jul/80 with descent route