Rockfax Description
III, 700m. A fantastic route leading to a superb summit, with mainly scrambling (and the odd section of tougher ground) along the way. The descent does not go back to the start of the route, so carry boots, crampons etc. to the foot of the jammed block corner and leave them here to collect later.
Start at the foot of a light-coloured slabby ramp.
1) 4c. Cross the bergschrund (usually easiest over to the right) and climb glacier-polished ramps to a terrace at the foot of a short corner. Climb this (4c) and step left onto easy ground.
2) Go diagonally up and left across easy broken ground to some slings around a block at the foot of a long, left-leaning chimney/corner with a jammed block halfway up. Climb this in two pitches (4c) and move out of the corner and climb easy slabs to a belay on a ledge with a large boulder.
3) 4b. Traverse horizontally left around a pillar and then go up a tricky looking (but actually easy) corner (3c) to reach the foot of the long, grey couloir leading up to the Aiguille de la République. Climb this via broken and low-angled ground (4b), initially on the right and then moving left, to reach a sweep of slabs.
4) 4b. Pass rightwards behind a small pillar and climb a short gully (4a) to a block at the top left end of a ramp. Downclimb the ramp rightwards (4b) to the foot of another gully, this one descending from the col which separates the summit towers of the République and the Grands Charmoz.
5) 4c. Climb the gully to 30m below the col and then move rightwards and head up broken slabs and corners (4c) to reach a long ledge with the famous 'obélisk' boulder at the start of it. Traverse this ledge, passing behind the obélisk, via some short sections of delicate slab climbing, to reach the foot of the summit tower's east ridge.
6) 5c. Climb two pitches (5b then 5c) up cracks just to the right of the ridge crest to a terrace strewn with boulders. Cross this easily to reach a bolted belay at the foot of the final slab.
7) The slab is aided by most climbers using the bolts - no aiding skills required, just the ability to pull on quickdraws! Apparently the slab can be freed at an extremely technical 6c+ but we were unable to find anyone who could confirm this grade. The summit is staggeringly exposed in all directions - enjoy it!
Descent - Abseil down the final pitch and then scramble across the broken ledge that separates the summit slab from the top of the previous technical pitch. From here, make an extremely exposed abseil from a bolted belay to reach the ledge on section with the 'obélisk' on. From here, descend the route. There are abseil anchors of varying quality all the way down and a combination of abseiling and downclimbing is the most efficient way of descending the moderate ground that makes up the bulk of this route. Abseil the chimney with the jammed block then scramble down 30m further to reach a bolted abseil anchor. Four abseils from bolted anchors (the last two of which are part of République Bananière) lead down to the glacier. Following this line is easier than descending all the way back to the start. © Rockfax

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ROCKFAX Chamonix: Top 50, Big Routes, Alpine Dreamz

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lukegorman 9 Jul Show βeta
βeta: Beni freed the top pitch and confirmed it was around 6c
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βeta: Beni freed the top pitch and confirmed it was around 6c
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Logged Ascents

User Date Style Notes & Partners
Mackinclimb 9 Aug AltLd dnf Bailed before top pitches. Wanted to make the train and did with 30mins to spare. It’s a long way back down!
with Matt Rowbottom
Bailed before top pitches. Wanted to make the train and did with 30mins to spare. It’s a long way back down!
with Matt Rowbottom
Goran Glumac 9 Aug AltLd O/S 20h hut to hut. On the way up traversed from the grey couloir too early to the right and ended up doing a couple of hard pitches which took some time. On the descent our rope got stuck and had to prusik up the rope 2 times to clear it (couple of more hours lost again). Nice and complex route. Tricky bergschund crossing
20h hut to hut. On the way up traversed from the grey couloir too early to the right and ended up doing a couple of hard pitches which took some time. On the descent our rope got stuck and had to prusik up the rope 2 times to clear it (couple of more hours lost again). Nice and complex route. Tricky bergschund crossing
metrorat 30 Jul AltLd
with Euan Maharg
with Euan Maharg
Annika Marie 6 Jul 2nd
lukegorman 6 Jul 2nd O/S long. moving together with Joe on point. french free. Not well acclimatized.
long. moving together with Joe on point. french free. Not well acclimatized.
JoeCoxson 6 Jul Lead O/S BIG ROUTE. Day 1: leisurely start on a 1pm train, then 7hrs approach and the first 4 pitches to a bivi spot on the left after the jammed block pitch + 2 extra pitches to get around the bergshrund (left side, looking up). Bivi was fantastic. Day 2: 6am start, moving together all the way up the couloir and across the ledges to the 3 final pitches, french free of course on the last, then on the summit for just gone 9:30. Spent almost an hour on the summit watching Beni free the last pitch, taking silly photos and faffing with the abseil. Then the descent... a mixture of downclimbing as a pair, and abseiling as a 4; I think I can remember 14 separate abs. 11hrs from leaving the summit to the car park. 15 1/2hrs on the go. Not sure we convinced Beni (who did the last 4km in rock shoes) and Annika on the whole ‘alpinism’ thing ...
BIG ROUTE. Day 1: leisurely start on a 1pm train, then 7hrs approach and the first 4 pitches to a bivi spot on the left after the jammed block pitch + 2 extra pitches to get around the bergshrund (left side, looking up). Bivi was fantastic. Day 2: 6am start, moving together all the way up the couloir and across the ledges to the 3 final pitches, french free of course on the last, then on the summit for just gone 9:30. Spent almost an hour on the summit watching Beni free the last pitch, taking silly photos and faffing with the abseil. Then the descent... a mixture of downclimbing as a pair, and abseiling as a 4; I think I can remember 14 separate abs. 11hrs from leaving the summit to the car park. 15 1/2hrs on the go. Not sure we convinced Beni (who did the last 4km in rock shoes) and Annika on the whole ‘alpinism’ thing ...
beni 6 Jul Lead
07nhill 29 Jun 2nd dnf Turned back before the last few pitches due to no water left
Turned back before the last few pitches due to no water left
Hidden 28 Jun AltLd dnf
BarneyLoosemore 3 Sep, 2018 AltLd dnf What an epic. Was supposed to be a consolation route after failing to find the approach ladders for the Dru Traverse the previous day (theyve moved). Late wakeup from MDG bivi and only started climbing at 10:30. Accidentally started climbing the ED2 route which provided a few very interesting and time consuming pitches. Got back on route but struggled to stay on it for very long as were climbing without a proper topo - not much of the ‘scrambling’ that is depicted in some guidebook descriptions. Off route at about 6pm and still only two thirds up we decided to bail. Only one headtorch between us and incomplete descent descriptions which made the process extremely stressful and incredibly mentally taxing. A mix of sketchy blind simul downclimbing and endless raps brought us near the glacier and level with another team who had got their ropes stuck. Helped them out and all reached the glacier at about 2 or 3am. Decided wisely against returning to the bivi and so set off for the hut, which we spent a fair amount of time struggling to find in the dark. Kindly got offered some beds from people getting up to climb at about 5:30am. Asleep at 6 after 24hrs on the go. Not sure I’m in a hurry to come back and try the route again!
What an epic. Was supposed to be a consolation route after failing to find the approach ladders for the Dru Traverse the previous day (theyve moved). Late wakeup from MDG bivi and only started climbing at 10:30. Accidentally started climbing the ED2 route which provided a few very interesting and time consuming pitches. Got back on route but struggled to stay on it for very long as were climbing without a proper topo - not much of the ‘scrambling’ that is depicted in some guidebook descriptions. Off route at about 6pm and still only two thirds up we decided to bail. Only one headtorch between us and incomplete descent descriptions which made the process extremely stressful and incredibly mentally taxing. A mix of sketchy blind simul downclimbing and endless raps brought us near the glacier and level with another team who had got their ropes stuck. Helped them out and all reached the glacier at about 2 or 3am. Decided wisely against returning to the bivi and so set off for the hut, which we spent a fair amount of time struggling to find in the dark. Kindly got offered some beds from people getting up to climb at about 5:30am. Asleep at 6 after 24hrs on the go. Not sure I’m in a hurry to come back and try the route again!
Gemmazrobo 3 Sep, 2018 AltLd dnf Longg day out, amazing positions and rock, many variations on way up some intentional as wet, some not so much, all v enjoyable, descent tricky in dark...ropes had to be left stuck on some combination of lowest anchors, kind retrieval would be nice...
Longg day out, amazing positions and rock, many variations on way up some intentional as wet, some not so much, all v enjoyable, descent tricky in dark...ropes had to be left stuck on some combination of lowest anchors, kind retrieval would be nice...
Alpinelegend69 ?Sep, 2018 AltLd O/S
george.rich 1 Jul, 2018 AltLd
PeteDP 30 Jun, 2018 AltLd dnf Extremely lost, summited grand charmoz, lost the bivy, slept in a cave
Extremely lost, summited grand charmoz, lost the bivy, slept in a cave
Rhys Deane 6 Sep, 2017 AltLd dnf poor rockfax description
poor rockfax description
JackM92 6 Sep, 2017 Lead dnf Another failiure on this route, again due to weather. Climbed first 550m in roughly 2.5 hours, before mist closed in and route finding became very difficult. After a solid 4 hours we couldn't work out where to climb...turns out that the rockfax guide shows a different line to Piolas guide, another glossy but error riddled production.
Another failiure on this route, again due to weather. Climbed first 550m in roughly 2.5 hours, before mist closed in and route finding became very difficult. After a solid 4 hours we couldn't work out where to climb...turns out that the rockfax guide shows a different line to Piolas guide, another glossy but error riddled production.
Hidden 28 Aug, 2017 AltLd dnf
Hidden 27 Aug, 2017 AltLd
adam088 25 Aug, 2017 AltLd O/S 16 hours hut to hut
with Jon Turner, jbuoey
16 hours hut to hut
with Jon Turner, jbuoey
calumhicks 24 Aug, 2017 - Topped in perfect sunshine, breathtaking exposure and position. Got caught in a small storm on the way down. 6.5 hours to summit (stuck behind a few groups), 4 hours back down. Take 10 draws for top slab
with Jack
Topped in perfect sunshine, breathtaking exposure and position. Got caught in a small storm on the way down. 6.5 hours to summit (stuck behind a few groups), 4 hours back down. Take 10 draws for top slab
with Jack
Hidden 24 Aug, 2017 2nd dnf
Rharrison 21 Aug, 2017 - A little longer down than up!
with Tyler
A little longer down than up!
with Tyler
mim tiller 22 Jul, 2017 AltLd O/S Really cool route with amazing exposure at the top. However it turned into a bit of an epic later on when our rope got cut on an edge and a storm came in
Really cool route with amazing exposure at the top. However it turned into a bit of an epic later on when our rope got cut on an edge and a storm came in
Hidden 12 Jul, 2017 AltLd
Julian Prieto 12 Jul, 2017 AltLd dnf Bailed 4 pitches from the top. Got delayed with bad glacier condition on approach and after moving together quickly on lower pitches we went the wrong way and lost a lot of time. With clag and wet rock on the upper pitches we turned around at 15:00. Left hut at 04:00 and got back at 21:00.
Bailed 4 pitches from the top. Got delayed with bad glacier condition on approach and after moving together quickly on lower pitches we went the wrong way and lost a lot of time. With clag and wet rock on the upper pitches we turned around at 15:00. Left hut at 04:00 and got back at 21:00.
janegallwey 26 Jun, 2017 AltLd O/S Long descent in bad weather.
Long descent in bad weather.
Hidden ?Jul, 2016 2nd
Matt Harle 6 Jul, 2015 AltLd
alexm198 6 Jul, 2015 AltLd O/S Moved together until the headwall pitches. Stunning route, fantastic atmosphere on the summit. Descent is loooong. 5 hours up, 5 hours down.
Moved together until the headwall pitches. Stunning route, fantastic atmosphere on the summit. Descent is loooong. 5 hours up, 5 hours down.
alexm198 20 Jun, 2015 AltLd dnf Shut down by the weather at about 3100m.
with JackM92
Shut down by the weather at about 3100m.
with JackM92
JackM92 20 Jun, 2015 AltLd dnf Turned around at 3100m after weather closed in whilst off route.
Turned around at 3100m after weather closed in whilst off route.
walts4 ??, 2015 -
walts4 ??, 2015 -
Gumery 1 Aug, 2014 AltLd O/S
Hidden 1 Aug, 2014 AltLd
Grant Fulton ?Aug, 2014 - Excellent summit and last 4 pitches- hassle getting down
Excellent summit and last 4 pitches- hassle getting down
Hidden 6 Jun, 2014 Lead dnf
jimmatthews 18 Aug, 2013 AltLd
with Joe Toller
with Joe Toller
tomtom89 ?Aug, 2013 AltLd O/S
with jac00
with jac00
jac00 31 Jul, 2013 AltLd A long, long day. 7.5 hrs up, 7.5 hrs down.
A long, long day. 7.5 hrs up, 7.5 hrs down.
tomtom89 31 Jul, 2013 AltLd
with jac00
with jac00
Adam Coles ?Jan, 2013 AltLd
with hilty
with hilty
Adam Coles ?Jan, 2013 AltLd
with hilty
with hilty
Adam Coles ?Jan, 2013 AltLd
with hilty
with hilty
Adam Coles ?Jan, 2013 AltLd
with hilty
with hilty
hilty ??, 2013 AltLd O/S Adam aided top pitch. Great day out!
Adam aided top pitch. Great day out!
Ollie B 31 Jul, 2012 - Cool summit
with T.Livinstone
Cool summit
with T.Livinstone
Tom Livingstone 30 Jul, 2012 AltLd O/S
with Ollie B
with Ollie B
Hidden 26 Jul, 2012 AltLd dnf
yashvi 10 Jul, 2012 - Did this route with Ed Mitchell. Hard and long with a particularly hard berschrung. Nearly 15 pitches of climbing and then 15 abseils down.
with Edwin Mitchell
Did this route with Ed Mitchell. Hard and long with a particularly hard berschrung. Nearly 15 pitches of climbing and then 15 abseils down.
with Edwin Mitchell
edmitchell 9 Jul, 2012 Lead O/S Bergschrund awkward but not impossible, started on 4b corner/chimney. Approx 15 pitches to summit, with a lot of moving together in the middle in the couloir. 10 quickdraws needed for top pitch if aiding. 5b pitches feel around HS/VS, but with lots of exposure. A full set of cams (0.5-3) and half a set of nuts was all that was needed. 16 abseils, worth finding the top anchor (double bolts) of the top bottom four abseils. Leave ice axe/crampons here.
with yashvi
Bergschrund awkward but not impossible, started on 4b corner/chimney. Approx 15 pitches to summit, with a lot of moving together in the middle in the couloir. 10 quickdraws needed for top pitch if aiding. 5b pitches feel around HS/VS, but with lots of exposure. A full set of cams (0.5-3) and half a set of nuts was all that was needed. 16 abseils, worth finding the top anchor (double bolts) of the top bottom four abseils. Leave ice axe/crampons here.
with yashvi
hilty ?Jul, 2012 AltLd O/S Did this as first ever alpine route and had an epic, really learned a lot from this route.
Did this as first ever alpine route and had an epic, really learned a lot from this route.
Adam Coles ?Jul, 2012 AltLd
with hilty
with hilty
david0811 23 Sep, 2011 AltLd dnf Unfortunately lots of snow/melt water still on route from heavy snow fall 3 days previously. Approached route from left hand side of glacier when facing the mountain. Right side of glacier is inaccessible due to heavy crevassing.
with Mark Reid
Unfortunately lots of snow/melt water still on route from heavy snow fall 3 days previously. Approached route from left hand side of glacier when facing the mountain. Right side of glacier is inaccessible due to heavy crevassing.
with Mark Reid
David Horwood 15 Sep, 2011 -
Rich Cross - Alpine Guides ?Sep, 2011 Lead superb summit and a great end to the season
with David Horwood
superb summit and a great end to the season
with David Horwood
1poundSOCKS 31 Aug, 2011 2nd dnf
Pete Rigby ?Aug, 2011 AltLd dnf
with Kelli Roberts
with Kelli Roberts
chrissloan84 ?Aug, 2011 Lead dnf
with paul
with paul
ferdia 16 Jul, 2011 AltLd dnf set out late so had to turn back before the hard pitches. got down at nightfall.
set out late so had to turn back before the hard pitches. got down at nightfall.
stratfol 15 Jul, 2011 AltLd dnf way too slow from the first Montenvers, did not fancy rapping in the dark, legged it back for last train instead!
with Sergey Gitlin
way too slow from the first Montenvers, did not fancy rapping in the dark, legged it back for last train instead!
with Sergey Gitlin
Andy Moles 15 Jul, 2011 AltLd dnf Started a little late and had to start abbing 4 pitches from the top.
with Marcus, ferdia, Hertha, CalumC
Started a little late and had to start abbing 4 pitches from the top.
with Marcus, ferdia, Hertha, CalumC
garethsteel 8 Jul, 2011 AltLd
Hidden 8 Jul, 2011 AltLd dnf
climbinmunkey 3 Jul, 2011 AltLd dnf My first Alpine route. First time on crampons, using an ice axe and moving together. Went OK up to the couloir then got slowed down picking a way through the snow and jumble of rocks. Turned back 4 pitches from the summit and made it back to the glacier just as it got dark. Many lessons learned and would like to come back for another go.
with Ken
My first Alpine route. First time on crampons, using an ice axe and moving together. Went OK up to the couloir then got slowed down picking a way through the snow and jumble of rocks. Turned back 4 pitches from the summit and made it back to the glacier just as it got dark. Many lessons learned and would like to come back for another go.
with Ken
kelliroberts3 ?Jul, 2011 AltLd dnf
feilx ?Sep, 2010 AltLd O/S no aid
with Tom
no aid
with Tom
mcaterina ?Aug, 2010 2nd First "real" alpine/rock climb - guided
First "real" alpine/rock climb - guided
Hidden 14 Jul, 2010 -
Hidden 21 Jul, 2009 Lead dnf
mathquirk 18 Jun, 2009 AltLd Bailed on the last pitch due to weather and the realisation we were climbing on a lightning conductor!
with Ali
Bailed on the last pitch due to weather and the realisation we were climbing on a lightning conductor!
with Ali
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Voting
High TD-
Mid TD-
Low TD-
High D+
Mid D+
Low D+
High D
Mid D
Low D
Votes cast 8
High 6a
Mid 6a
Low 6a
High 5c
Mid 5c
Low 5c
High 5b
Mid 5b
Low 5b
Votes cast 9
Style of ascent
Alt Leads
Lead
Followed
Not Set
DNF
Onsighted
Not Set