Rockfax Description
III, 200m. An excellent alternative finish to the Peigne Normal Route or Papillons Arête. There are numerous variations on the route but this is the most commonly climbed way. There is some fixed gear here and there, but count on building your own belays. Follow the Peigne Normal Route to Brèche 3043m, climb along the ridge crest for 20m up some fun cracks (4b) and then step right onto a large ledge. This is where this route and the Peigne Normal Route separate.
1) 4c. Drift right across ever-steepening and well-featured terrain to a ledge 10m below the ridge crest.
2) 4c. Climb straight up to a notch in the ridge.
3) 5a. Traverse rightwards across a slab and up a short corner to an excellently positioned belay ledge.
4) 5b. Step left into a steep corner and grunt up this to reach another scenic ledge.
5) 5a. Follow a narrow ledge out right to a corner. Climb this and scramble onto a block covered ledge beneath the Lépiney Crack.
6) 5c. If such a thing is possible, the Lépiney Crack is both famous and infamous. What is not in doubt is that it is difficult and extremely traditional in nature - this is one for the granite thug rather than the sport climbing athlete, and it has been the scene of many a humbling! Start by climbing out left up the crack. At the bolt, move back left for 8m and move round onto the Peigne summit block.
Descent - Make a 25m abseil from a double bolt anchor on the summit block, down the Lépiney Crack, which is on the northwest face of the summit tower. Pull the rope and scramble leftwards (when facing out) for 10m to reach another bolt belay which is just out of sight from the foot of the Lépiney Crack, but which is at the top of a long series of slabs, high above the couloir leading down from the Col du Peigne. Make three more 25m abseils, all from bolted belays, to the ledge system you crossed on the way up. Descend this rightwards (when facing out) via the odd technical step (it's worth placing some gear here and moving together as the terrain is not as easy as initially appears) to the belay where the ascent route branches off from the Southwest Ridge. Make a final 25m abseil to end up just below Brèche 3043m. Scramble up to this and then reverse the ascent route. At the far end of the long ledge overlooking the Peigne slabs is a bolted abseil anchor which allows you abseil directly into the Papillons Couloir via a 25m abseil. From here, scramble down easily to the bolt at the top of the 4b corner which marks the start of the difficulties on the way up. Abseil off the bolt and scramble down the remainder of the ascent route. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
The description here and in the guide for the Lepiney crack is significantly incorrect.

At the bolt, after the first crack (the Lepiney crack), traverse left for 8m then continue right up a crack. The route does not go right from the bolt.

Pierre Dalloz, Jacques and Tom De Lepiney 11/Aug/1922

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Logged Ascents

UserDateStyleNotes & Partners
Gemmazrobo 17 Aug, 2018 2nd dnf Lepiney crack thrwarted us but in hindsight we weren't going the right way at all and had done the crux, long way down.
with Jake
Lepiney crack thrwarted us but in hindsight we weren't going the right way at all and had done the crux, long way down.
with Jake
Tangerine_Kingdom 31 Jul, 2018 AltLd Not as interesting as the other routes I've done this season. Though the Lepiney crack was certainly memorable! Route finding can be tricky, but follow the natural lines. Try stay on the ridge, and at one point crawl through a hole (you'll see after climbing up a mini gully). The Lepiney crack requires a CAMALOT 4 (DMM dragon sizing is different and too small). Without this, it is run out and the fall bad - sideways and onto a ledge. There is a slinged block halfway up the of width groove but even getting to there is a challenge, and does little to protect a bad fall for the next half.
with Gregor, Ewa
Not as interesting as the other routes I've done this season. Though the Lepiney crack was certainly memorable! Route finding can be tricky, but follow the natural lines. Try stay on the ridge, and at one point crawl through a hole (you'll see after climbing up a mini gully). The Lepiney crack requires a CAMALOT 4 (DMM dragon sizing is different and too small). Without this, it is run out and the fall bad - sideways and onto a ledge. There is a slinged block halfway up the of width groove but even getting to there is a challenge, and does little to protect a bad fall for the next half.
with Gregor, Ewa
Hidden 27 Jul, 2018 AltLd
SJPowderham1 20 Aug, 2017 -
James W 18 Aug, 2017 2nd O/S
with Mark Thomas
with Mark Thomas
Hidden 13 Aug, 2017 -
Fellover 13 Aug, 2017 Lead O/S Great to do after Papillons. Moved together a lot. In the mist mostly. On the way up somehow went the wrong way and went up a loose snowy gully in trainers, fun. Very good mostly easy climbing, with tricky route finding. Missed out the Lepiney cracks with a very wet alternative overhanging crack/block/layback, which was hard but really rather good. Messed up the ab descent a little. We'd left Paul's rucksack at the bottom of Papillons and spent ages looking for it so missed the last lift and had to walk down. Amazing red/orange light on the Plan at sunset, saw deer.
Great to do after Papillons. Moved together a lot. In the mist mostly. On the way up somehow went the wrong way and went up a loose snowy gully in trainers, fun. Very good mostly easy climbing, with tricky route finding. Missed out the Lepiney cracks with a very wet alternative overhanging crack/block/layback, which was hard but really rather good. Messed up the ab descent a little. We'd left Paul's rucksack at the bottom of Papillons and spent ages looking for it so missed the last lift and had to walk down. Amazing red/orange light on the Plan at sunset, saw deer.
Hidden 19 Jul, 2017 AltLd
AnnaBacklund ?Jul, 2017 2nd
steve_gibbs 26 Jun, 2017 Lead O/S
with Joe Ramsay
with Joe Ramsay
Hidden 18 Jun, 2017 AltLd
Hidden 18 Jun, 2017 AltLd O/S
joeramsay ?Jun, 2017 2nd O/S mega cool route. steve led at light speed but we still had to walk down from the mid station. awesome day
mega cool route. steve led at light speed but we still had to walk down from the mid station. awesome day
Ben Briggs 3 Aug, 2013 AltLd O/S
with Toby
with Toby
Hidden 26 Jul, 2013 AltLd
jcw ??, 2013 -
stuart34 18 Jul, 2010 AltLd O/S Top 200m after Vaucher route, charles led crux pitch. Excellent
with Charles Spanyard
Top 200m after Vaucher route, charles led crux pitch. Excellent
with Charles Spanyard
Franco Cookson 18 Jul, 2010 AltLd O/S simul, mistaken for the normal route. Maybe started on the normal route and got off route? Definitely a very hard finishing crack for UIAA 5!
simul, mistaken for the normal route. Maybe started on the normal route and got off route? Definitely a very hard finishing crack for UIAA 5!
Dave Warburton 18 Jul, 2010 AltLd O/S Simul, after Verdon Memories. Coool. Tricky final crack and such seeing as we thought we were Normal Routing...
Simul, after Verdon Memories. Coool. Tricky final crack and such seeing as we thought we were Normal Routing...
tom.e 31 Jul, 2007 AltLd O/S Mistaken for the normal route - the Lepiney crack was a surprise!
Mistaken for the normal route - the Lepiney crack was a surprise!
Mr Powly ?Jul, 2007 AltLd O/S Haha, yeah it certainly didn't feel right for the normal route.
with tom.e
Haha, yeah it certainly didn't feel right for the normal route.
with tom.e
dan gibson ?Aug, 2002 Lead O/S
with helen gibson
with helen gibson
Hidden ?Aug, 1994 Lead
michael burrows 26 Jul, 1988 AltLd O/S after voie vaucher route, bivi by lac blue, 12 hours up and down
with steve williams
after voie vaucher route, bivi by lac blue, 12 hours up and down
with steve williams
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