400m, 14 pitches.

Rockfax Description
III, 400m, 4 - 5 hours. The features on the route are clear and following your nose is easier than trying to stick to a detailed topo so only the crux pitches, or those with difficult route finding, are described individually. On the sections described by the feature they follow, it may be possible to move together in places and to split the pitches - whatever works best for you.
Approach - From the Plan de l'Aiguille, follow the path south towards the Glacier des Pélerins, signposted for the Refuge des Grands Mulets. The path splits; go right to end up on a moraine ridge with the glacier on the right and the west face of the Aiguille du Peigne on the left. Follow the path up the moraine ridge to reach the snowfield at the foot of the west face and then climb this to the start of the route. The snow patch is 40 degrees and although not crevassed, there can be a fairly big gap from the snow to the rock so crampons are usually necessary to get across this.
1) 4c. Climb two 30m pitches (4c) up the slabby runnels above the snow patch and, at the end of the second pitch, traverse right to reach a large horizontal ledge.
2) Traverse the ledge rightwards easily to the foot of a ramp system.
3) 5c. Follow the ramp for three to four (5b/c), aiming straight for a deep-cut chimney which is visible all the way up.
4) Climb cracks below the chimney and belay at the foot of where it really widens.
The next three pitches are described in detail as the section above the chimney seems illogical at first and is the scene of many teams going off route.
5) 5c, 40m. It is best to leave your rucksacks here and haul them up having tackled the chimney. You'll thank us for that bit of advice when you're halfway up, even if it looks innocuous enough from below! Using all the style you have, thrutch up the chimney clipping a couple of welcome pegs and exit rightwards at the top. Step up and left to belay.
6) 5b, 15m. Climb a crack on the left and then step right around a rib to belay on a hidden large ledge.
7) 6a, 30m. Head up the steep wall above the belay via a steep jamming crack to reach an arête. Avoid the overhang above by following another crack rightwards to reach a deep, light-coloured groove. Once in this, step down 1m and go around a rib on the right to reach another hidden ledge and belay here.
8) 5b. Climb the groove above the belay and then follow a ramp (5b, flakes and cracks).
9) 5b. Where the ramp flattens off, head right and climb cracks up a light-coloured slab to gain the ridge just below Pointe 3078m.
Descent - Traverse the ridge rightwards easily to reach a bolted abseil anchor just below where the ridge ends. Make 8 to 12 abseils (depending on the exact line taken) to the right of the Contamine-Vaucher, mainly on bolted anchors. These are not always easy to spot and, at the time of a writing, a couple had been removed so it may be necessary to create your own anchors with abseil tat. Upon reaching the easy traverse (section 2 in the description) reverse this and then abseil the first couple of pitches back to the snow patch. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
13-14 pitches, good belays, nice chimney at half height and crux roof pitch thereafter. Descent is bit tricky as the best rap line is, if one comes up on the far left pointe, found by traversing to the next pointe and locating the rap rings that are on the SW side providing a straight shot down to where boots and bags are left at beginning of climb (think about 10 raps, all with solid rap ring anchors).

Ticklists: Rebuffat's 100 Finest Routes in the Mont Blanc Massif, Batoux's 100 finest routes in the Mont Blanc massif.

Hidden 05/Oct AltLd
SeánM 04/Oct AltLd O/S
Matt Groom 27/Aug -
davkeo 26/Aug AltLd O/S

Really good climbing and quite physical. I got the chimney pitch which must have been much easier to lead than second with the pack. The rockfax & Battoux topos show a big rightwards traverse once you get to the big ledge. This is misleading or inaccurate as we basically climbed up from the right side of the ledge as did everyone else.

with Hugh
DaveThexton 26/Aug AltLd O/S
with Matt Groom
metrorat 20/Aug AltLd O/S
with Amy Wight
James W 18/Aug 2nd O/S
with Mark Thomas
benkelsey 13/Jul AltLd dnf

Team Slow strike again. Got car stuck behind barrier at campsite and walked up, also Wald struggled with the approach snow slopes (but led the crux pitches in style) so started climbing more towards Midday #Britsabroad. Abbed off around half Five some three pitches below the summit. Into Cham for dusk. Good day

with James Oswald
tom.m 08/Sep/16 -
with Tom Coney
Rob Royle 07/Sep/16 2nd

Fantastic route on amazing granite!

with Mountain Guide
QuentinSu ?/Aug/16 AltLd O/S
Hidden 30/Jul/16 AltLd O/S
Gumery 27/Jul/16 AltLd dnf

Rapped after the Chimney to avoid the rain

with Alex Marchant
Hidden 12/Aug/15 AltLd
saaruli 12/Aug/15 AltLd

Erik lead the crux pitch under the roofs, I lead the rest.

with Erik
alex toomey 24/Jul/15 AltLd dnf

Abbed off, one pitch from the summit due to thunder storm and increasing lightening

Hidden 22/Jul/15 AltLd rpt
alexm198 10/Jul/15 AltLd O/S

Nice route on good granite, though the grades shouldn't be underestimated - proper old school thuggery, serious value. After the chimney pitch we headed up too high rather than traversing right on the terrace as seems to be the way, and ended up on a super gnarly crack/slab nightmare...

Hidden 10/Jul/15 AltLd
Hidden 25/Jun/15 AltLd
monsteratt 06/Jun/15 AltLd O/S

Great day out, interesting pitches, climbed in good style and speed. Avoided thunder and lightning. Happy bunnies

with Peter
walts4 06/Jun/15 -
with monty
Hidden ??/2015 -
Misha 21/Aug/14 AltLd O/S

A long day! Turned up at the lift to find it was delayed by an hour due to fresh snow at the top. About 45 mins to approach with a short neve at the end, crampons useful but no need for an axe. Started the route at 9am. I started out hoping to link the first two pitches and get to the terrace. Easy climbing led to more difficult ground in the same line, which proved pretty exciting as it was damp and both my fingers and toes were cold! After negotiating a tricky section I belayed on old bolts and gear and Nic led through up a damp groove - great lead, I found it sketchy seconding! Never before have I had to pull on frozen grass when rock climbing! All this easily cost us an hour. In fact there's a bolted belay slightly to the left at around 40m and the pitch above that is fairly easy and dry (saw it on abseil). Overall it's about 70m to the terrace as had to scramble down a bit on our last ab down from the terrace. I led the easy groove above the right hand end of the terrace, Nic led the easy ground above and moved together for the next pitch (a bit tricky in places) to get to the shallow groove below the chimney. I did a long pitch to belay on pegs and gear below the squeeze chimney. Nic led that (thankfully easy, actually not much chimneying involved!) and the tricky groove above to a platform. All very traditional on this section. I did the tricky crack on the left (camptocamp suggested French 4c - it's harder!), traversing right to a platform below the crux pitch. Nic led that - several full on jamming sections and some exciting traversing, would be a gnarly grit HVS! I did a long pitch up vertical flakes which all felt a bit suspect but were ok if a bit damp in places - didn't really enjoy it! Nic carried on up a slanting chimney/groove line and carried on moving together up easy ground up and right. I finished off to get onto the ridge just right of the gendarme. We did it in 11 pitches with some moving together. Nic spotted the ab station amongst the swirling clouds at a pointe about 30m along the ridge away from the gendarme. The ab line is more or less straight down to the slabby middle section and has at least one new bolt on each station, happy days! Then a few more abs down the slabby section, not quite following the route we took on the way up. The ab stations there are older but ok. Nightmare to sort the ropes out though as it isn't steep enough! About 12 abs in total. Not the best weather and conditions - started off cold and damp in places as out of the sun, then just as the sun crept round around midday the clouds came in and we were in the clag for the rest of the day with visibility mostly down to a pitch! On the ridge at 5pm, back down at 7.30pm so had to walk down, which was another two and a half hours. Second time I've walked down that path so knew it was long but had forgotten just how long - murder on the legs! Overall, some good, fun climbing, especially in the chimney section and on the crux but much of the rest is nothing to write home about, so I think the two stars given here is right. Would no doubt have enjoyed it more in the sunshine!

with Nic
Hidden 21/Aug/14 AltLd O/S
jimmatthews 27/Jul/14 AltLd dnf

Wet & fun. Abbed after difficulties.

with Stuart Bygrave, Chris Andrews
Hidden 27/Jul/14 AltLd dnf
ndraper1 25/Jul/14 -

climbed 10 pitches and bailed from swirling clouds and so jessie could get the lift back whilst I took the shoelace express. Perfect granite, imposing chimney pitch!

Hidden 22/Jul/14 AltLd O/S
kelliroberts3 06/Jul/14 AltLd
Pete Rigby 06/Jul/14 -
with Kelli Roberts
fulton333 ?/Jul/14 AltLd dnf

Abbed off after awesome chimney pitch, climbed slowly.

with Iasiah, Charlie Edwards
mike mo ??/2014 -
Hidden 04/Sep/13 AltLd dnf
Hidden 04/Sep/13 AltLd dnf
Hidden 29/Aug/13 AltLd O/S
Dave Searle ??/2013 -
James Thacker ??/2013 -
jcw ??/2013 -
Stuart Johnston 14/Aug/12 AltLd O/S

Tricky route finding. The chimney pitches felt harder than VI+!

with Misha Gopaul
Colin Knowles 11/Aug/12 2nd O/S

Great route - made up for failing about twenty years ago. Very tiring though if you are the rucksack carrier.

chrisallan 31/Jul/12 AltLd O/S
theotherpetehill 30/Jul/12 AltLd O/S

To the top of the gendarme. Excellent!

Tom Livingstone 27/Jul/12 AltLd dnf

what he said. great climbing though

Ollie B 27/Jul/12 AltLd dnf

Upto halfway but slwo parties in front would have meant we missed the last lift so bailed.

with T.Livinstone
Drew M ?/Sep/11 AltLd
Hidden ?/Aug/11 AltLd
Hidden 06/Sep/10 AltLd O/S
liz j 06/Sep/10 -
with Matt Dickinson
noskki ?/Sep/10 AltLd O/S
tumbling wizard ?/Aug/10 -
with andrew marshall
stuart34 18/Jul/10 AltLd O/S

With bags, moved together on 4+ pitches, charles led the 6a+

with Charles Spanyard
C Mclean ?/Jul/10 AltLd
with Tom Nichols
hamish2016 13/Sep/09 AltLd
with sergey, tom grant
inuklm 23/Aug/09 -
with Dave Gent
davidgent 23/Aug/09 -
with Kunal
Somerset swede basher 10/Jul/08 AltLd
with George Taylor
Hidden 01/Sep/06 AltLd O/S
mattyork2 ?/Jul/06 AltLd O/S
feilx ?/Jul/05 AltLd O/S
dannyboy83 ?/Jul/05 AltLd O/S
Hidden 28/Aug/03 AltLd O/S
Hidden ?/Aug/03 -
NeilGriffiths ??/2002 -
with James Hubbard
dan gibson ?/Aug/01 Lead O/S
with helen gibson
Grezza ?/Jun/01 AltLd


with Paul E
stokesrees ??/1997 Lead
with Ryan Brown
NickJH ?/Jul/96 AltLd O/S
with LiamG
Climbingspike ??/1996 -
Hidden ?/Aug/95 AltLd
tompercy 10/Jul/95 AltLd
with Amos Preminger
alkira 06/Aug/93 -
with bruce goodlad
alkira 06/Aug/93 -
with harvey mullen
nokishatov 25/Aug/92 AltLd O/S
ste_d 25/Aug/92 AltLd O/S
with mik
alpinist63 ??/1992 -
Tony Kartawick ?/Aug/90 Lead O/S

Had to lead all pitchs 'cos had damaged both thumbs kayaking. could only clip gear ....no unclipping. Finnished up SSSW arete of Aig. du Paine in a storm had to cut ropes, nearly died!!!!!!!!!!!

with James Thomas
Tony Kartawick ?/Aug/90 AltLd rpt

this part of the route was smooth. getting off from the summit was epic

with James Thomas
Alan James - UKC and UKH 06/Aug/89 AltLd
with Phil Baker
Hidden ?/Jun/89 AltLd
michael burrows 26/Jul/88 AltLd O/S

did the SW ridge after

with steve williams
Hidden ?/Jul/88 AltLd
Richard Weller ?/Jul/86 -
with john sanders
Hidden ??/1986 -
Lone Rider ??/1986 AltLd
garywalker147 ??/1986 AltLd
John Marsland 05/Aug/85 -
with Dave Soles
Hidden ?/Aug/85 AltLd
garywalker147 ??/1985 AltLd
with Alistair
Hidden ?/Jun/84 -
Robmwatt ??/1984 -
with Gaz Morgan
John Marsland ?/Aug/83 AltLd dnf
with Paul Cook
Hidden ?/Aug/82 -
mark-abz ?/Aug/81 AltLd
with ?
Falko 01/Aug/80 AltLd O/S

First sighting of a jammed 'Friend' Brilliant route - perfect for a gritstone jammer.

with Al W.
Hidden ?/Aug/78 AltLd
uphillnow ?/Aug/78 Lead
with Andy Bennett
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