Rockfax Description
V, 1000, 10 - 12 hours. A famous route which remains a much sought after tick, over 80 years since the first ascent. It is often referred to as the 'Northeast Spur'. Start in a small, snowy bay to the left of the spur itself.
Approach - From the Refuge d'Argentière, descend back to the Glacier d'Argentière and head directly to the foot of the Tournier Spur. All the routes are reached from here.
1) Climb to the top of the snow bay and transition onto rock. Depending on the gap between the snow and the rock, this may not be as easy as it sounds! Climb the chimney above on good rock to end up just right of a distinctive tower.
2) Head directly up a mixed ridge before coming back right to a gully leading (via some steep climbing) to the brèche at 3407m.
3) Climb the 60m corner that splits the steep rock wall above just to the right of the ridge crest and then a second (often icy) pitch above before exiting rightwards and climbing a further 10m onto a good ledge. This makes a far better bivi site than the brèche itself, which was once described as the best spot to bivi when climbing the Tournier Spur Direct. This meant that, after a bit of a ropey night, teams would climb 100m the next morning and find a far superior ledge to the one they'd just spent the night on!
4) Move right onto the north face and follow 70 degree icy runnels and mixed ground for 200m to where the terrain really steepens.
5) Stay on the right of the ridge and climb a shallow, block-filled gully to a snowy col. Traverse back left, almost to the ridge crest and climb a final gully (75 degrees) to reach the summit ridge.
6) Continue along this, turning the first section of rock towers on the right and the second section on the left. After the final rock tower, follow the exposed 60 degree snow ridge to the summit of Les Droites.
Descent - Descend the south face of Les Droites into the Talèfre Basin. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
Also called Northeast Spur. V 4+ 5c

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

Hidden ?/Jan/96 AltLd
Hidden 08/Aug/72 AltLd
oldmanofmow ?/Jul/63 AltLd
oldmanofmow ?/Jul/62 -

John led the couloir it was so cold that we couldnt lead through it meant someone waiting too long in the cold. I took over once we had reached the ridge. No probs until we reached the traverse our description didnt say how long it was so I traversed too far before I started up. It was amazing snow nad ice climbing with all the exposure of the face. After climbing up four rope lengths the difficulties eased off and we led through to the top. What a climb!!!!

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