/ Ailefroide Multipitch, recommended routes 6a+ and under?

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drh02909 - on 11 Jul 2017
Hi all,

We're heading back to Ailefroide at the end of August, and interested in getting some recommendations on multipitch lines 6a+ and below, with 5c probably being the sweet spot. We've done Riviere Kwai and Ecrins Total and liked those, and also Arete a Francis and weren't crazy about that (chipped/improve/glued/contrived).

Thanks,
David
Francois R - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to drh02909:

I can recommend Crétin des Alpes, a bit harder (6b). Fairly long but not sustained route, with a quick abseil descent.

François
GridNorth - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to drh02909:

There's a route called Cascade Blues which can be done at 5+ if you aren't too fussy. I seem to remember the last pitch being a bit on the tough side for 6a.

Al
IanMcC - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to drh02909:

LA Cocarde
PeakDJ on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to drh02909:

L'explosion des calcaneums is superb at about 6a+ and cascade blues is truly world class...especially the pitch where you cross the waterfall.
PeakDJ on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to drh02909:

Snoopy Direct is good too, and the hard bit (6b) can easily be aided. I don't recall any of the other pitches being that hard...
drh02909 - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Francois R:

Thanks Francois... I might be able to handle that with a hang or two. Can the crux be aided?
drh02909 - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to PeakDJ:

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!
Dr Toph on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to drh02909:

+1 for L'explosion des calcaneums - cracking route with a bit of everything and a glorious finish
Just watch out for the correct route on p5!
drh02909 - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Dr Toph:

It does look cool. In terms of route finding on p5, are you meaning that it's easy to wander onto the 7a to the left?
lukehodson on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to GridNorth:

> There's a route called Cascade Blues which can be done at 5+ if you aren't too fussy. I seem to remember the last pitch being a bit on the tough side for 6a.

> Al

+1 crossing a waterfall mid pitch is pretty memorable! Great route
Dr Toph on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to drh02909:


> It does look cool. In terms of route finding on p5, are you meaning that it's easy to wander onto the 7a to the left?
Yes - seems Im not the only one to make that mistake. Just be sure to head rightwards. The 7a to the left creeps in above you, so appears to be the direct line.
drh02909 - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Dr Toph:

Thanks Dr Toph, definitely I've wandered down similar paths before. I think my first 5.9 lead was actually done in that style, the much-coveted"clueless onsight". Run-out and loose to boot as I recall... ????
Stefan Jacobsen - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to drh02909:

Orage D'etoiles is 300 m and 5c. Recommended.
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JamButty - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to drh02909:

technically easier and you need a rack but the Fissure is a classic adventure!
Mike-W-99 on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to drh02909:

We did Pets de Rupricaprius (5c) a few years ago which might be an option. Take plenty of water if its sunny as there isnt much shade on it.
drh02909 - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Mike-W-99:

Wow, that is quite a long route, although it looks a lot of it is pretty mellow. Many of the pitches look fairly straight, do you think it would be fairly easy to link them with a 70 without too much drag?
IanMcC - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to drh02909:
I think rope drag would be a problem
Post edited at 16:58
IanMcC - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to drh02909:

Little Palavar has some great pitches. A Tir d Ail Froid is not bad.
Mike-W-99 on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to drh02909:

Checked back through our photos and we used 50m halves so probably didn't combine the pitches. As Ian says, rope drag (and lack of quickdraws) would likely be an issue.
drh02909 - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Mike-W-99:

Hi Mike, I was noticing that the guide says (making the rather large assumption that I can understand it) that there are some hangers missing from bolts on Rupricaprius. Did you find that to be the case?
GridNorth - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to drh02909:

You should bear in mind that some of the abseils are very long. I did a route there with 50 metre doubles and only reached the next abseil bolts with inches to spare and after the first 5 metres or so it was free hanging all the way. It's also not safe to assume that all routes are fully bolted, one or two routes need a small rack unless you are really confident on ground a couple of grades lower than the hardest pitch. I think it may have been Voix Eteinte that nearly caught me out on both counts. When I arrived at the bottom I was a little worried when a guide arrived and started racking up with nuts and cams. Sure enough without those there are some very long run-outs but the crux is superbly bolted.

Al
drh02909 - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to GridNorth:

Well, as you know Americans do everything to excess, so my "system" last time I was there was leading on my single 70 and trailing a half rope 60. So mostly the problem was far too much rope rather than too little.
I hadn't encountered that spicy spacing on the routes we did, thanks for mentioning it. Any thoughts on how to know when gear might be useful, or did you just carry it on most of the multi pitch routes?
GridNorth - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to drh02909:

No I didn't take any trad gear at all, I just ran it out. I'm afraid I don't know what other routes are like that although one of the guides mentions it if I recall. Trouble is they are all in French.

Al
IanMcC - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to GridNorth:

The easy route Spit on Cup has a problematic first abseil off- do a short abseil of about 10 metres to an ab station on a slab- 50m ropes won't reach the bottom from the first ab point
Mike-W-99 on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to drh02909:

I can't remember what I did yesterday never mind 7 years ago! However Mrs W tells me we didn't find any missing hangers.
drh02909 - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Mike-W-99:
Very similar dynamic is in play at my house. Thanks very much to Mrs W.
Martin Haworth on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to GridNorth:
The latest guidebook to the Ailefroide valley tells you whether a route is fully bolted or not. It also indicates what rack to take where one is required and marks the position of any bolts on partially bolted routes. It takes some of the adventure out of the trad routes but when in France do as....
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Martin Haworth on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to drh02909: Soleil Trompeur is a good route at 5+ with one pitch of A0. It's up the valley about 40 minutes walk from the parking at Madame Pre. A bit more of a mountain feel to it but well bolted from memory.

drh02909 - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Martin Haworth:

Thanks Martin. This is a guide for Ailefroide only? I have the Cambon Oisans guide and the Rolland Briancon guide.
Martin Haworth on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to drh02909:
Escalades Autour D'Ailefroide by Cambon. It only covers the Ailefroide Valley, you can buy it in the village for about 11 euro, it's a great guide, well worth buying.

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