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.

SJPowderham1 21/Aug/17 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

Paul Collins 07/Aug/17 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
feilx 27/Jul/17 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 Niko
Freezer 27/Jul/17 AltLd O/S
with feilx
niallsash 06/Jul/17 AltLd

Hard day but worth it

davkeo 06/Jul/17 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.

Hidden 20/Jun/17 AltLd O/S
masa-alpin 13/Aug/16 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.

perrys 13/Aug/16 -

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 Sakano
robgixer 13/Aug/16 AltLd
Rob N 09/Sep/15 -
SeánM 09/Sep/15 AltLd O/S
MSchobitz 07/Sep/15 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
liamo333 ?/Sep/15 -

Great route, gully was completely dry which was unpleasant but just about passable.

Rhys Macallister 23/Aug/15 Lead
with Lauren Evanson
alexm198 28/Jun/15 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.

Hidden 28/Jun/15 AltLd
Hidden 27/Jun/15 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
Ben Briggs 25/Sep/13 -
Cham32 ??/2011 -

corne and mediane iced up but isolee a real pleasure!

Hidden 18/Oct/02 AltLd
jcw ?/Aug/65 -
with Christian Mollier
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