/ Bivvy ledges on Cordier Pillar

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Coops_13 - on 04 May 2012
We were contemplating climbing the Cordier Pillar on Grand Charmoz over two days this summer. The half-way "easy ledges" look like a plausible place to bivvy. Does anyone have any advice on whether this would be a suitable stop or whether there are any better spots to spend the night?
lowersharpnose - on 04 May 2012
In reply to Ross.Cooper:

Do it in one go.

Why do you want to bivvy?

Coops_13 - on 04 May 2012
In reply to lowersharpnose: To avoid benightment and for the adventure! Considering walk up from Cham in morning then first half in afternoon, then second day do the rest. How long did it take you? Did you ab off down the route? Are there bolted ab-stations?
lowersharpnose - on 04 May 2012
In reply to Ross.Cooper:

We camped by the Balcon path the night before and walked up to get on the route at about 8am, not too early, but was still cold and wet.

We got lost on the upper pitches and wasted some time on a really hard pitch before getting back on route. Maybe got to the top at 4pm and took ages to get down by abseiling - and even got lost doing that right at the bottom.

There are ab stations, IIRC, mostly bolted.

What you plan sounds fine.
alpinist63 - on 04 May 2012
In reply to Ross.Cooper:
great route, upper pitches are excellent! I wouldn't recommend you to bivy on the route as the climbing in the first 2/3 isn't so easy that it would be fun with a heavier backpack. starting at 8 or 9 am is ok, but only if climbing F5c/6a on sight is well within your ability. starting later than the other parties means usually that you're also behind them while rapping the route, and that can be a pain....
there are excellent bivy sites high on the moraine just before the nantillons glacier, with water close by. we bivied there before and after the route, so we were not too much stressed being stuck behind lots of parties on the way down.
if you decide on bivying on the route, the halfway ledges offer very good sites for bivying.
a lakeland climber on 04 May 2012
In reply to Ross.Cooper:

We did it valley to valley in the day taking the earliest 'phrique we could then abbed off and back down via the 'phrique (pretty sure we did as I can't remember walking down from the Lognon). The actual route only took around five hours.

You can either abseil down the route or take the normal route down and then down the glacier (can be exposed to stonefall) most abseil.

As others have said, doing the bottom part of the route in the afternoon means that other parties are going to be abseiling down at the same time with attendant stonefall risks. I don't know if there's a separate descent line these days - when we did it you abbed back down the line of the route.

I can think of better routes to practice bivvying on than the Cordier Pillar.

jon on 04 May 2012
In reply to a lakeland climber:

We did the same as you ALC, first lift and last lift. As I remember we rapped down the top half and scrambled down to the left - looking out - of the bottom half, or something like that...? There are good looking bivvies on the moraine down below the pillar - which would ensure you getting up and down. I can't think of one good reason to bivvy intentionally on it.
Albert Tatlock - on 05 May 2012
In reply to Ross.Cooper:

Did it as a early route of the season, 8 AM cable car from Cham,walk in do the route,leaving heavy kit at the bottom,rapple back down,could not be bothered rushing for the last cable car down ,so walked down to momtenvers and then Cham,supping beer by 9 pm.

If you want to bivvy,do it near the base,and travel light,


take a few lager cams for the upper cracks,top route.

Bruce Hooker - on 05 May 2012
In reply to Ross.Cooper:

There are good bivvy spots on the moraines below the Nantillons glacier - when you get there you'll see where. Just make sure you aren't under the seracs
Petarghh - on 05 May 2012
In reply to Ross.Cooper: Do it in a day, as someone mentioned carrying heavy kit up the lower section to the ledges further up the route would be a ball ache !
Christheclimber on 05 May 2012
In reply to Ross.Cooper:

You don't need 2 days.
Bivi under the route so you are first on it.

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