Rockfax Description
III, 400m, 4 - 5 hours. A brilliant climb which sees far more ascents than the Integrale and was included as one of Gaston R├ębuffat's 100 Finest Routes book. It shares its difficult sections with the Integrale but reaches it by moderate climbing up the face.
Approach - From the Refuge du Couvercle, follow the high-level path back to the Montenvers train for 50m and then cut right up to the foot of the tiny glacier/snow patch at the foot of the south face. This takes 20 minutes from the hut.
1) Cross the bergschrund and climb up 50m of glacier-polished slabs and runnels to reach a long ledge system leading out left. Follow this across the foot of the face to where it steepens into a wide chimney with a boulder blocking it.
2) 4b. Climb the chimney (4b, awkward) to access another ledge system, this time leading up and right. Follow this for 50m and then climb a wide gully on the left (4a maximum) for 100m to hit the south ridge itself and junction with South Ridge Integrale.
3) Drop onto the far side of the ridge and climb up an easy broken gully for 50m before moving left onto the ridge crest and going along this for 25m. Cut left across a ledge system for 20m to the foot of a 70m chimney system, below and left of a boulder which is somehow perched on top of a pinnacle on the ridge.
4) 4c. Climb the chimney (4b) for one pitch onto a large ledge. Traverse right for 5m and climb a second chimney (4c), which is steep but easier than it looks, to a belay 10m below the ridgeline, beneath harder-looking climbing.
5) 5c. The steep ground leading to the notch is thrutchy and tough with a pack on (5c). Bring up your second and descend for 3m onto the right-hand side of the ridge before traversing for 10m to a left-leaning corner. Climb this (3c) to reach a large ledge on the ridge crest.
6) 5b. Drop off onto the left of the ridge and traverse for 30m before making a long step down over a gap to the foot of a corner with a couple of wooden wedges and slings in it. Climb this (5b, strenuous) and a narrow 4c chimney above to a good ledge.
7) 4c. Downclimb the ridge for a couple of metres then climb a wide crack, past a couple of chockstones, to another large ledge. Climb a crack up and left to a notch, then head up the crack (which also has a large chockstone, 4c) to yet another terrace.
8) 5c. A final short chimney leads to a short, steep wall. Head up this (5c) and follow the ridge more easily for 50m to the summit.
Descent - Descend the south face. Most of the descent is exposed downclimbing and requires concentration. It is possible to abseil virtually all of the technical sections using fixed anchors (some of which might require backing up). The ability to keep up a good pace while downclimbing safely and making the transition between abseiling, soloing and moving together on the way down is the key to getting off the peak efficiently. All of the abseils are shorter than 25m so a single 50m rope is sufficient for any of these routes. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
At the foot of the south face where two routes start you can see a prominant couloir leading up the face. Start climbing up this normally snow free couloir and immediately turn left across a system of ledges for 200m. Over these ledges protection can be found from the odd bolt and from putting slings over pillars of rock. It is possible to move together here.

Where the ledges end ascend up and to the right up easy ground before turning left again to reach the ridge below a large gendarme which looks like a double headed hammer. It may be necessary to pitch the last move onto the ridge. On the ridge continue up and then alond a ledge on the south west face to a diedre. Climb a crack on the back (IV, 4m) and then a chimney above (III). Further up the wall is a vertical wall (V+, 3m) which can be bypassed by a very exposed crack on the left ((IV). It may be necessary to aid climb this wall. Rocky ridge leads then to the summit. 4 and a half hr from hut.

Bruhl, Valluet, Ravanel and Belin 02/Sep/1928

Ticklists: Rebuffat's 100 Finest Routes in the Mont Blanc Massif.

Hidden 22/Jul/17 AltLd O/S
Max Streeton 20/Jul/17 AltLd
with Tom thorne
jcw ??/2016 -
Tim Sparrow 13/Aug/15 -

Moved together in big boots for all except 3 harder sections. Descent down S face with a few abs. Axe dropped into schrund ... But retrieved!

with Geoff Thomas
Hidden 12/Aug/15 Lead O/S
Hidden 06/Aug/15 -
Auld Giffer ?/Aug/15 -
JonHarvey ?/Aug/15 Lead O/S
Mark Salter 10/Jul/15 AltLd O/S
with Chris Shorrock
derryclimbs 04/Jul/15 AltLd

Fantastic route up. stashed gear and moved really fast in rock shoes all the way up. Easy route finding as per the guidebook. 4 hours to summit. Descent via normal route via cairns proved a little tricky, but would be much worse in less perfect conditions.

JackM92 12/Jun/15 -

Harder than expected. Cold, snowing and generally unpleasent, slabby descent covered in poor quality snow so abselied off.

alexm198 12/Jun/15 AltLd O/S

Guidebook time of 4.5 hours to the summit is pretty ambitious. Moved together until the first tricky sections above the hammer on the ridge. Cruxes on ridge were hard in boots. Descent from summit is complex and was covered in big patches of snow. Bits of down climbing interspersed with about 8x30m abseils on tat of varying quality, the last of which put us IN the schrund. Ah, alpinism.

Hidden ??/2015 -
Hidden 18/Aug/14 -
Rumbo 08/Aug/14 AltLd

Slow enough to find an impressive thunderstorm waiting at the top, which obliged us to abseil quite a bit of the descent route.

with Dougle
AnnaBacklund ?/Aug/14 2nd

Ridge covered in snow and ice, making D+ quite hard...

Hidden 25/Jul/14 AltLd
jimmatthews 25/Jul/14 AltLd

Decended via South Face (Normal Route)

Michael 25/Jul/14 -
jogle03 16/Jul/14 AltLd O/S
Hidden ??/2014 -
Hidden 01/Oct/13 -
Hidden 28/Jul/13 Lead G/U
Palindrome 28/Jul/13 2nd O/S
Tobias at Home ??/2013 -
mrmattwright 11/Sep/12 AltLd O/S

Comfortably outside guidebook time, again. Amazing route and relatively straightfowards ascent. Descent is quite difficult, with some hard route finding. Started snowing on the last 2 abseils, and 20 cm in the hut over night so pretty damn pleased we did not get stuck on the route. The ladders down from the hut in the pissing rain were.....spicy.

with Adrian Fletcher
Nigel Edley 15/Aug/12 AltLd
Jim Brownlow 15/Aug/12 AltLd
with Nigel Edley, Iain Mount
caradoc 06/Aug/12 AltLd

Enjoyable route finding, great positions. Switched to rock boots on pitch 3. Descent down normal route confusing, should have gone left at 'the table' not right towards the horrible couloir.

with john b
AlexxelA 02/Aug/12 2nd O/S

Amazing route, but we reckoned it to be harder than AD- Descent down the normal route took careful routefinding, the cairns are not all trustworthy!

gravity 12/Jul/12 AltLd dnf
with Ian Lau, Yvonne, Manik
Hidden 12/Jul/12 Lead
Hidden ?/Jul/12 AltLd O/S
Hidden 15/Sep/11 -
Hidden 23/Aug/11 AltLd O/S
Binder 23/Aug/11 AltLd O/S

Excellent first AD route.

with Chris L
NB Pixel 23/Aug/11 AltLd O/S
with JT
AdamCB ?/Aug/11 -

With Rick and Tim

Kirill 12/Jul/11 AltLd O/S
Hidden 12/Jul/11 -
Hidden 10/Aug/10 -
Guy Wilson ??/2010 -
JdotP 13/Jul/09 AltLd O/S

Awesome route! Mainly moved together. Climbed as 2 ropes of 2 then abseiled together down the south face.

with Tom Barraclough, Luke Dangerfield, Nicholas Dominelli Whiteley
Diggler 04/Jul/09 AltLd O/S
with jonah
Nic DW ?/Jul/09 AltLd O/S

Great route though slow on the descent. Climbed on a rope with Tom B just behind John P and Rob.

with Tom B
Roberttaylor ??/2009 AltLd O/S

Amazing route, with John. Pulled on a hex for the toughest pitch.

Hidden ?/Sep/08 AltLd dnf
david0811 03/Jul/08 AltLd O/S
with Mark Reid
hamish2016 ?/Jul/08 AltLd

had to run all the way down the mer de glace (and down to Chamonix since we missed the last train) and drive richard to the airport so he didnt miss his flight home.

with chris burn, Richard Hirons
SWalls ?/Jun/08 -
Hidden 03/Sep/06 AltLd
Hidden 30/Jul/06 AltLd
tom.e 13/Jul/06 -

Harder than expected, tricky moves in big boots.

with Charlie Everett
chrissloan84 ?/Jul/05 -
clams ??/2005 -

With Ben and Liam

with AD
mike.moss ??/2004 Lead O/S

Can't remember my partner's name, met him on the Argetiere campsite.

Hidden ?/Jul/03 AltLd
Hidden ?/Jul/03 AltLd
Hidden 11/Jun/03 AltLd
Les Ross ?/Jul/00 AltLd
with Anthony Garvey
innes ?/Aug/99 AltLd O/S
with Jim
butteredfrog ??/1998 -
tompercy ?/Jul/96 -
with Amos Preminger
auld al ?/Jul/95 -
kennylind ??/1995 AltLd O/S
with With Alan
Hidden 23/Aug/94 Lead
Hidden ??/1991 -
Hidden 24/Aug/80 Lead
Mike C ?/Jul/79 AltLd
with Pete Vallely
Bolt Phobia 09/Jul/75 AltLd
with Kit Spencer
Nigel Bond 29/Aug/74 Lead

Time 5hrs we left ice axe and crampons at the start of the rock climb great route

with Dave Jolliffe
Rob Davies ?/Aug/74 AltLd

Called SW Ridge in guidebook

with Joseph Cullen (ICMC)
uphillnow ??/1973 -
13 users have this on their wishlist
High TD-
Mid TD-
Low TD-
High D+
Mid D+
Low D+
High D
Mid D
Low D
High D-
Mid D-
Low D-
High AD+
Mid AD+
Low AD+
High AD
Mid AD
Low AD
Votes cast 8
High 6a
Mid 6a
Low 6a
High 5c
Mid 5c
Low 5c
High 5b
Mid 5b
Low 5b
Votes cast 13
Style of ascent
Alt Leads
Not Set
Ground Up
Not Set