Rockfax Description
III, 700m, 5 - 6 hours. This route doesn't see many ascents since it is better known as a 'safe' way off the Verte. However, it makes for a good adventure in its own right and is a worthwhile way up a wonderful peak.
It is worth bearing in mind that descending the route involves a lot of downclimbing and only the occasional short abseil. This usually takes as long as going up and since it usually takes at least 6 hours to climb the route, it makes for a very long day and should not be underestimated. However, it is relatively safe from objective danger so if in any doubt about descending the Whymper, choose this instead.
Approach - Approach by crossing the Glacier de Talèfre. Follow a vague cairned path northeast from the Refuge du Couvercle to the foot of the Aiguille du Moine's southeast ridge and go from here onto the glacier and head directly for the route. The glacier can be heavily crevassed so good route finding skills are required.
1) Cross the bergschrund beneath a deep, right-facing couloir. Climb up to this for 10m and then traverse up and left across a vague ledge system to reach the foot of a wide, shallow gully.
2) Scramble up on the left of the gully to where it widens.
3) Head towards the ridge crest via some easy mixed ground and, 20m below the crest, follow a short ramp rightwards.
4) The ramp leads to the ridge. Follow this to the snow ridge just below the summit. Avoid anything that looks difficult by dropping down onto the right-hand side of the ridge but generally stick on, or just to the right of the crest.
5) The last 20m to the summit is a lovely snow ridge - climb this, sit down and enjoy the view!
Descent - Either downclimb the route or abseil the Whymper using fixed anchors on the left side (when facing down) of the couloir. Descending the Whymper is only really feasible in spring or early summer - the rockfall danger is too high in the height of summer. If descending the Moine Ridge follow the ascent route, mainly by downclimbing. Generally a few 25m abseils are required (including two on the ridge crest around section 4 of our description) but the length of the terrain means that downclimbing is the only way of descending quickly. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
Classic ridge, mixed rock and snow.

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Logged Ascents

User Date Style Notes & Partners
Lumbering Oaf 4 Aug AltLd dnf Tried as an ascent route. Time eaten up crossing the 'schrund which was large. Then you're straight into a choss fest. A few wrong turns and we found ourselves on the left side of the ridge (solid rock, but harder climbing - more time wasted). Then onto the ridge proper and turning difficulties on the right. Every time you turn difficulties on the right you descend into choss again with loose blocks - care required. Got to a height of around 3900 m but still about 1.5 hours from the summit (according to other parties we met). Decided to lose the battle but hopefully not the war... Aig. Verte: we'll be back!
with Max Streeton, Alex Shipp
Tried as an ascent route. Time eaten up crossing the 'schrund which was large. Then you're straight into a choss fest. A few wrong turns and we found ourselves on the left side of the ridge (solid rock, but harder climbing - more time wasted). Then onto the ridge proper and turning difficulties on the right. Every time you turn difficulties on the right you descend into choss again with loose blocks - care required. Got to a height of around 3900 m but still about 1.5 hours from the summit (according to other parties we met). Decided to lose the battle but hopefully not the war... Aig. Verte: we'll be back!
with Max Streeton, Alex Shipp
Max Streeton 4 Aug AltLd G/U Turned back at 3900m as taking too long. Face is very loose and we did not want to decent in the dark, Not a pleasant climb!!!
Turned back at 3900m as taking too long. Face is very loose and we did not want to decent in the dark, Not a pleasant climb!!!
James Rigby 5 Jul AltLd dnf 2/3 route then descended due to timings etc
with John Hartley
2/3 route then descended due to timings etc
with John Hartley
davkeo 29 Aug, 2017 Solo Descent
Descent
08nbrierley 23 Aug, 2017 - Decent
Decent
Adamski1986 23 Aug, 2017 AltLd Descent
Descent
Hidden 3 Aug, 2017 Lead dnf
shah 16 Jul, 2017 Solo O/S
jamieevans ??, 2017 Lead O/S In descent
In descent
Hidden 27 Aug, 2016 AltLd O/S
Michael 2 Aug, 2016 -
Hidden 8 Sep, 2015 AltLd dnf
steve_gibbs 30 Aug, 2015 AltLd O/S
with Pete Leeming
with Pete Leeming
Roberttaylor 11 Aug, 2015 Lead O/S Big day, summit to ourselves.
Big day, summit to ourselves.
zcsharp 11 Aug, 2015 - First route of the trip with one nights sleep up at the midi to acclimatise, basically the altitude completely fucked me over but still got the top.
First route of the trip with one nights sleep up at the midi to acclimatise, basically the altitude completely fucked me over but still got the top.
davebrox 22 Jul, 2015 AltLd O/S Bivi in an electrical storm, used in descent
with Luke
Bivi in an electrical storm, used in descent
with Luke
walts4 ??, 2015 -
Colin Scotchford 10 Sep, 2011 -
Hidden 12 Jul, 2011 AltLd dnf
garethsteel ?Jul, 2011 AltLd O/S Climbed to end of difficulties - did not summit due to poor snow conditions
Climbed to end of difficulties - did not summit due to poor snow conditions
Hidden ?Sep, 2010 Solo dnf
Hidden ?Jun, 2004 -
DavidBarraclough ?Aug, 2003 -
reg_measures 15 Jul, 2003 - descended as the whymper couloir was too dangerous due to rockfall. Had a huge bergschrund.
with timmy & steve
descended as the whymper couloir was too dangerous due to rockfall. Had a huge bergschrund.
with timmy & steve
Hidden ?Jul, 1985 AltLd
oldmanofmow ??, 1961 - Descended as too warm to go back down the Whymper route
Descended as too warm to go back down the Whymper route
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