600m.

Rockfax Description
IV, 600m, 6 - 9 hours. An amazing, varied route which should be high on the list of any climber, regardless of their ambition or ability.
Approach - From the Helbronner lift, go to the foot of the north face of the Aiguille du Toule and continue past the Tour Ronde. Continue west as if heading for the Kuffner Ridge before branching off rightwards into the Cirque Maudit and heading straight for the Col du Diable approach couloir. Enter this on the left and then traverse in to the couloir proper.
It is also possible (but 60 - 90 minutes longer) to approach from the Refuge des Cosmiques.
1) Climb the couloir (45 degrees) to reach the Col du Diable. There are several variations on this, which will be more or less appealing depending on conditions. The traditional and most common approach is shown here.
2) Scramble easily around the Corne du Diable on the left to reach the Brèche Chaubert. From here it is possible to climb the Corne via some grade 3 scrambling up its west ridge, before returning to the Brèche by doing a 30m abseil.
3) 5a. Climb the Pointe Chaubert via the east ridge. There is a slabby section on this which may feel tricky in big boots, although the climbing is only 5a.
4) Make 2 x 30m abseils down the northwest face of the Pointe Chaubert to reach Brèche Médiane, directly below the Pointe Médiane.
5) 5b. Move up and right along a ledge system for 20m to the foot of a 40m corner. Follow this (5b) to a spectacularly perched ledge. Step left and go through the 'letter box' gap to reach the summit of the Pointe Médiane.
6) Descend back to the 'letter box' and make an awkward 30m diagonal abseil to the Brèche Carmen.
7) 4b. Just to the right of the crest of the Pointe Carmen east ridge is a wide crack. Climb this (4b) and continue up blocky ground for 10m then traverse rightwards beneath the first summit of the Carmen to reach a gap between the two summits.
8) Climb the second (western) summit and descend easily to a ledge 10m below the summit, looking down to the Brèche du Diable. Make 2 x 30m abseils down a chimney and broken ledges to reach this and then follow the ridge crest over straightforward but exposed ground to reach the foot of the Isolée. It is not necessary to climb the Isolée. If you want to avoid it, downclimb the 10m couloir in the next section before climbing up and right across broken ground to the Brèche d'Isolée.
9) 5c. Downclimb a 10m couloir under the north face of the Isolée before climbing cracks (4c) on the north face to a big overhanging flake. Avoid this on the left (5c) and gain a ledge via a short corner. Continue up a flake and corner (4c) to the top. Abseil 30m down to the Brèche d'Isolée.
10) Stay just to the right of the ridge crest over interesting but not overly technical ground to reach the final step. At the foot of this, move right over some suspect rock and then come back left and follow easy ground to the summit of the Tacul.
Descent - Walk down Mont Blanc du Tacul's North Face and then continue back to the Aiguille du Midi. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
A long and complex traverse over the numerous rocky spires between the Col du Diable and the East summit of the Tacul. Route 54 in Rebuffat's 100 Finest Routes (Mont Blanc Massif).

Ticklists

Rebuffat's 100 Finest Routes in the Mont Blanc Massif, Batoux's 100 finest routes in the Mont Blanc massif, ROCKFAX Chamonix: Top 50, Big Routes, Alpine Dreamz

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Logged Ascents

User Date Style Notes & Partners
DigitalSteak 22 Jul AltLd O/S 9 hours Torino to Midi
9 hours Torino to Midi
David Kay 20 Jul AltLd O/S
with Dave Palmer, Hoyes
with Dave Palmer, Hoyes
Hoyes 20 Jul AltLd O/S Mega! Approach couloir almost dry - easily climbable in these conditions but a little more objective danger perhaps. Recommend keeping to the left hand side of the couloir (looking up). Once we gained the Breach between Pointe Chaubert and the Corne we put rock shoes on and kept them on throughout. Thought some of the climbing was quite hard (e.g. Pointe Mediane felt like HVS 5a - but hard to judge with a sack on, at altitude, etc). Felt pretty committing - escaping from e.g. mid-way along the ridge if the weather crapped out would be difficult to say the least! Climbed all five pinnacles including the Isolee under duress (Dave P on a mission!) but glad we did it! Think we left the Cosmiques at 3 am and got back around 8 pm so a long day! No problems climbing in a three.
with Dave P, David Kay
Mega! Approach couloir almost dry - easily climbable in these conditions but a little more objective danger perhaps. Recommend keeping to the left hand side of the couloir (looking up). Once we gained the Breach between Pointe Chaubert and the Corne we put rock shoes on and kept them on throughout. Thought some of the climbing was quite hard (e.g. Pointe Mediane felt like HVS 5a - but hard to judge with a sack on, at altitude, etc). Felt pretty committing - escaping from e.g. mid-way along the ridge if the weather crapped out would be difficult to say the least! Climbed all five pinnacles including the Isolee under duress (Dave P on a mission!) but glad we did it! Think we left the Cosmiques at 3 am and got back around 8 pm so a long day! No problems climbing in a three.
with Dave P, David Kay
steve_gibbs 17 Jul AltLd O/S Woke up 02:30, left the bivvy site below Cosmiques Hut 03:00, marched across the Vallee Blanche overtaking everyone on the approach to make it onto the ridge for 05:30, summiting the Tacul at 11:00.
Woke up 02:30, left the bivvy site below Cosmiques Hut 03:00, marched across the Vallee Blanche overtaking everyone on the approach to make it onto the ridge for 05:30, summiting the Tacul at 11:00.
JohnHartley 17 Jul AltLd O/S Amazing varied route, managed to get on the approach couloir first to avoid being hit by rocks. 6 hours bottom to top
Amazing varied route, managed to get on the approach couloir first to avoid being hit by rocks. 6 hours bottom to top
Robbie Blease 10 Jul AltLd Loved this route! Utter quality (apart from the approach couloir)
Loved this route! Utter quality (apart from the approach couloir)
mim tiller 10 Jul AltLd O/S Got off to a wobbly start when we went up the wrong approach couloir, but after that the route was super enjoyable!
Got off to a wobbly start when we went up the wrong approach couloir, but after that the route was super enjoyable!
Giles Eperon 8 Jul AltLd O/S Awesome location and setting! Did in big boots (hard), avoided 5c tower due to confusing beta and wanting to get the lift back. Very alpine - lots of loose stuff at the top, cold winds, etc. Round trip hut to lift took about 14 hours, pitched basically all the technical bits since it made sense with all the rappels. Super fun way up to the Tacul.
Awesome location and setting! Did in big boots (hard), avoided 5c tower due to confusing beta and wanting to get the lift back. Very alpine - lots of loose stuff at the top, cold winds, etc. Round trip hut to lift took about 14 hours, pitched basically all the technical bits since it made sense with all the rappels. Super fun way up to the Tacul.
Hidden 8 Jul AltLd O/S
Hidden 26 Jun AltLd
A Reid 26 Jun AltLd Gear Half set wires Full set cams small to big blue 1 axe Climbing shoes 60m single
Gear Half set wires Full set cams small to big blue 1 axe Climbing shoes 60m single
7toes 24 Jun AltLd Epic. Over 20hrs from/to Torino hut. Pitches on the ridge felt tough at the grade. Lots of loose rock/sections.
with Stuart M
Epic. Over 20hrs from/to Torino hut. Pitches on the ridge felt tough at the grade. Lots of loose rock/sections.
with Stuart M
Hidden 4 Sep, 2018 AltLd
Hidden 11 Aug, 2018 AltLd O/S
piken 3 Aug, 2018 -
Sam Parker ?Aug, 2018 AltLd With limited experience of daft alpine approaches, this felt daft. Felt more akin to attacking helms deep in rollerblades than mountaineering. However this route did earn me a lovely 15 hour kip on the vallee blanche.
with Adam Bowman
With limited experience of daft alpine approaches, this felt daft. Felt more akin to attacking helms deep in rollerblades than mountaineering. However this route did earn me a lovely 15 hour kip on the vallee blanche.
with Adam Bowman
Just Will 30 Jul, 2018 AltLd O/S
with Josh Abrahams, Luke Bounds
with Josh Abrahams, Luke Bounds
Hidden 13 Jul, 2018 -
SJPowderham1 21 Aug, 2017 AltLd Bivied on the glacier at the base of the route. Started climbing at 4. 2hrs to the ridge. Two parties passed as were gearing up and we faced some serious rockfall on the way up. Once on the ridge it was a great 6hrs to the summit. Very broken terrain. 11hrs from bivi to Midi lift
Bivied on the glacier at the base of the route. Started climbing at 4. 2hrs to the ridge. Two parties passed as were gearing up and we faced some serious rockfall on the way up. Once on the ridge it was a great 6hrs to the summit. Very broken terrain. 11hrs from bivi to Midi lift
davidibex 21 Aug, 2017 AltLd
Paul Collins 7 Aug, 2017 AltLd From maybe the 8th Midi lift that day (very busy, first properly sunny day for a while), started up to the ridge at about 10.30, skipped the last tower and topped out the Tacul at 11.30pm, back to the Midi for 2am. Great day, amazing route!
with Ryan O'Hanlon
From maybe the 8th Midi lift that day (very busy, first properly sunny day for a while), started up to the ridge at about 10.30, skipped the last tower and topped out the Tacul at 11.30pm, back to the Midi for 2am. Great day, amazing route!
with Ryan O'Hanlon
feilx 27 Jul, 2017 AltLd O/S 70cm of fresh snow slowed us down, we also took the wrong approach couloir between the correct couloir and the couloir de tacul. Result was a 22h day, 1h approach from grand cap, 2h in couloir, 11h30 on arete, 4c pitch felt scary, iced up in crampons with 1 luckily technical axe. Walking back to tent was slow again because we were tired and stopped to shelter from rain.
with Freezer
70cm of fresh snow slowed us down, we also took the wrong approach couloir between the correct couloir and the couloir de tacul. Result was a 22h day, 1h approach from grand cap, 2h in couloir, 11h30 on arete, 4c pitch felt scary, iced up in crampons with 1 luckily technical axe. Walking back to tent was slow again because we were tired and stopped to shelter from rain.
with Freezer
Freezer 27 Jul, 2017 AltLd O/S
with feilx
with feilx
niallsash 6 Jul, 2017 AltLd Hard day but worth it
Hard day but worth it
davkeo 6 Jul, 2017 AltLd O/S Long and brilliant route. Left peroux hut at 1:40am & topped out MB du Tacul 11.5hrs later. We only managed 1 hour sleep each & it caught up on us later in the day.
Long and brilliant route. Left peroux hut at 1:40am & topped out MB du Tacul 11.5hrs later. We only managed 1 hour sleep each & it caught up on us later in the day.
Hidden 20 Jun, 2017 AltLd O/S
masa-alpin 13 Aug, 2016 AltLd Started from Torino hut at 2am. Took a wrong approach gully and wasted hours, as the top part of the gully was found to be too hard, which we circumvented later. We topped out to the point after the first pinnacle (and so skipped it). Rob and I lead alternatively. I took a bad fall for 5m at the fourth pinnacle, twisting my right ankle. We circumvented the last pinnacle (Isolee), summitted Tacul and walked to Midi. 14.5 hrs activity.
Started from Torino hut at 2am. Took a wrong approach gully and wasted hours, as the top part of the gully was found to be too hard, which we circumvented later. We topped out to the point after the first pinnacle (and so skipped it). Rob and I lead alternatively. I took a bad fall for 5m at the fourth pinnacle, twisting my right ankle. We circumvented the last pinnacle (Isolee), summitted Tacul and walked to Midi. 14.5 hrs activity.
perrys 13 Aug, 2016 - Went off-route when finding the gully. This lost us a lot of time, so we needed to skip the two optional towers. Amazing route, so exposed.
with Rob Goodman, masa-alpin
Went off-route when finding the gully. This lost us a lot of time, so we needed to skip the two optional towers. Amazing route, so exposed.
with Rob Goodman, masa-alpin
robgixer 13 Aug, 2016 AltLd
Rob N 9 Sep, 2015 -
SeánM 9 Sep, 2015 AltLd O/S
with Rob N
with Rob N
MSchobitz 7 Sep, 2015 Lead dnf Bivied below the choss gully under a rock melted into the glacier, probably started too late (around 6) due to the late sunrise, and subsequently only got to the start of the climbing at around 9:30. Not being acclimatised and not having the freedom of missing the last lift we bailed. Took about 12 abseils and 3hours back down the choss gully. Will be back to at least clean the damn tat I've left. Apologies to the mountain.
with Daniel
Bivied below the choss gully under a rock melted into the glacier, probably started too late (around 6) due to the late sunrise, and subsequently only got to the start of the climbing at around 9:30. Not being acclimatised and not having the freedom of missing the last lift we bailed. Took about 12 abseils and 3hours back down the choss gully. Will be back to at least clean the damn tat I've left. Apologies to the mountain.
with Daniel
liamo333 ?Sep, 2015 - Great route, gully was completely dry which was unpleasant but just about passable.
Great route, gully was completely dry which was unpleasant but just about passable.
Hidden 23 Aug, 2015 Lead
alexm198 28 Jun, 2015 AltLd O/S So long. About 9 hours on the ridge itself, had to sack off the Isolée for fear of missing the last bin back to Chamonix - went up the gully on the RHS instead. Worth noting that Batoux's route description is all over the place on this one - the '4c' corner on the Mediane is in fact the 5c crux, and at the top of the Mediane, do not go to the left of the letterbox, as suggested, but instead go through the left-most of the two letterboxes that comprise the summit.
So long. About 9 hours on the ridge itself, had to sack off the Isolée for fear of missing the last bin back to Chamonix - went up the gully on the RHS instead. Worth noting that Batoux's route description is all over the place on this one - the '4c' corner on the Mediane is in fact the 5c crux, and at the top of the Mediane, do not go to the left of the letterbox, as suggested, but instead go through the left-most of the two letterboxes that comprise the summit.
Hidden 28 Jun, 2015 AltLd
Hidden 27 Jun, 2015 AltLd
Simon4 ??, 2015 - Well, we didn't die on this. So clearly the devil DOES look after his own, even if he frequently gives them a hell of a fright.
with Wayne Horsfall
Well, we didn't die on this. So clearly the devil DOES look after his own, even if he frequently gives them a hell of a fright.
with Wayne Horsfall
Ben Briggs 25 Sep, 2013 -
Cham32 ??, 2011 - corne and mediane iced up but isolee a real pleasure!
corne and mediane iced up but isolee a real pleasure!
Hidden 18 Oct, 2002 AltLd
jcw ?Aug, 1965 -
with Christian Mollier
with Christian Mollier
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