UKC

/ Supercouloir, Tacul E Face

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Tom Green on 17 Feb 2018

Supercouloir (ED1 6)

Anyone got a recent condition report on this and the other tacul routes (Modica-Noury, M6 Solar, Star Academixte, etc)?

Specifically, is the direct start in with this year’s good snowy weather? Also, what is the Gervasutti start likely to feel like in ski boots? Is the first pitch really French 6a?!

Thanks in advance!

Tom

teh_mark on 17 Feb 2018
In reply to Tom Green:

A team staying at the Ski Station tried the direct start last week and backed off it due to some very challenging mixed climbing. I don't know how far they made it or any particulars though, and they reported that no one else has been on it this season to their knowledge.

Hope that helps in some small way.

Tom Green on 17 Feb 2018
In reply to teh_mark:

Thanks mate

Misha - on 17 Feb 2018
In reply to Tom Green:

My understanding is the direct start can be done when fairly dry at around M6. The bigger question is whether the ice pitches are in. 

There are a few starts up the Gervasutti. The direct up the very nose of the buttress is a fairly evil crack which felt E1 in summer before the sun was up. Wouldn’t fancy it in ski boots and gloves. There may be other starts available, coming in from the left or right, now that there is more snow. Probably easier but not sure about the gear. Think most people do the M6 start now, especially given the improvement in mixed standards. 

Post edited at 11:39
1
Tom Green on 17 Feb 2018
In reply to Misha:

Thanks Misha. Good beta. A couple of pitches of M6 sounds infinitely better than E1 in ski boots!

Graeme Barr on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Tom Green: Did the mixed start a couple of years ago and reckoned it was about Scottish VI 7 at the time. Crux was steep and pumpy but decent hooks and gear. Ice was thin above but seems that is pretty typical. Not hard but don’t expect lots of gear. An strong looking American team did it recently and found it pretty tough with the rock verglassed making gear a bit sparse. Probably the best route I’ve been on! 

 

Tom Green on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Graeme Barr:

Thanks. Was up there last week. Never seen the tacul faces so dry. Even the chere couloir is bare (totally scoured grey old ice) for the first two pitches. 

The modica-Noury and Gabarrou-Albinoni were barely distinguishable there was so little ice in them. 

Supercouloir actually looked best of a bad lot, but we guessed it would be tough given the condition of everything else. Sounds from the American’s experience it was a good call!

Cheers

Tom

Misha - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Graeme Barr:

So it got done recently? Did they say what the ice couloir section was like?

Tommy Harris - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Tom Green:

No wonder all the big names have pissed off elsewhere.. Heading out on 17th so hopefully conditions will change..

I have seen that Pellissier and M6 have been done recently, both very thin though.

http://www.alpine-club.org.uk/ac2/news/chamonix-condtions

 

alexm198 - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Tom Green:

Agree with what Misha and Graeme have said. We did the direct start in 2016 and M6/Scottish VI 7 sounds about right. 

Big Lee - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Tom Green:

Thanks, you've made me feel a bit better about missing a forthcoming trip due to injury! 

smithaldo - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Tommy Harris:

Have you seen the forecast? No chance of conditions changing in the goulottes surely?

can you ski? Might be some good stuff to do going down instead! 

kevin stephens - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Tom Green:

> Thanks. Was up there last week. Never seen the tacul faces so dry. Even the chere couloir is bare (totally scoured grey old ice) for the first two pitches. 

Strange times when Central Icefall Direct in Llanberris Pass was in better condition than the Tacul 

 

Post edited at 17:02
Misha - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to kevin stephens:

Good point, crazy days!

Tommy Harris - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to smithaldo:

Can Ski yes.. there's always something to climb in chamonix no matter what the conditions.. 2 weeks yet anyway so allot can change..  

Tom Green on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to Tommy Harris:

Yep, that was us on M6 Solar. We backed off  as, despite being an ‘any confition’ route, it felt pretty tough without any ice at all. (Although it was the mornin after driving out to Cham so maybe we were just being crap!)

Our ascent of M6 Solar was reported by the team on Pellissier, which looked brutally thin compared to the (also quite thin) cons we had on it last year! The French team didn’t sound like they were having a good time on it, but they got up it at least!

Tom Green on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to Big Lee:

You’re welcome!

Tom Green on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to Tommy Harris:

The valley ice isn’t bad. Apparently the Argentiere gauche and droite icefalls are coming in ok. Heard yesterday that Shiva Lingam was formed (2nd hand beta). Also heard the ice falls above the motorway out of Cham are in great form!

The ice on the Italian side of the range is even better (had a good look driving back to Cham from Aosta today). 

Tommy Harris - on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to Tom Green:

Thanks for the info, I remember doing the Pellisier a few years ago now and it being coated, didn't even feel difficult or like it had a crux, can imagine it being a whole lot harder with no ice..

Heading out next weekend so hopefully something will have come into form so we can get something done.. if not it will be a chance to brush up on my skiing skills..

are you heading up to the Argentiere basin at all in the next week? if you do and have a camera some photos of the Droites NF would be much appreciated.. Can pay in coffee and cake.

Misha - on 10 Mar 2018
In reply to Tom Green:

Thanks. Do you mean the valley ice falls? Wonder if the Hypercouloir of the Brouillard is better than the Tacul faces. If someone wouldn’t mind going to have a look ;-)

Heading out this weekend, will report back. Might go for a ski tour rather than climbing though. 

1
Tom Green on 10 Mar 2018
In reply to Misha:

Yes, was referring to valley ice on Courmayeur side. 

Tom Green on 10 Mar 2018
In reply to Tommy Harris:

Sorry, headed home now. Didn’t bother going in to Argentière as we assumed (rightly or wrongly!) that if the N faces of the Tacul, Tour Ronde, Jorasses, etc were bone dry then it was unlikely that the N faces of the Verte and Droite would be in.

Guessed that the shorter lines like Frendo-Ravenel would probably be a bit crap. 

Having said that, Pepite got done a week or two back, so maybe we were wrong and missed out on the good cons!


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