II, 200m. The route starts below a slabby triangular niche capped by a small overhang. There are variations on the top four pitches but this is the classic way of doing the route.
Approach - The crag is directly behind the Refuge d'Argentière. From the hut, walk up scree (snow in winter) directly to the foot of the route.
1) 4c, 25m. Climb the left side of the niche and pass the overhang on the left. Follow a fun chimney to a good ledge.
2) 4b, 30m. Step left and climb a series of easy cracks to a ledge with a single bolt belay.
3) 3c, 25m. Head up easy, broken ground to a stance below and left of a cracked slab.
4) 5b, 35m. Cross more easy ground rightwards then follow a crack up and right across the slab before going directly up to a small belay ledge.
5) 4c, 30m. Continue up right across cracked slabs to a ledge.
6) 5b, 35m. Climb broken, blocky ground diagonally up and right to belay directly below the summit tower, which is much steeper than the previous few pitches.
7) 5b, 25m. Climb the excellent crack directly above the belay, just to the right of an arête, to a large ledge. Scramble easily from here onto the summit block.
Descent 1 - Abseil pitch 7 and then abseil the slabs below the ridge which pitch 6 follows. There are bolted and well placed anchors every 30m - 40m down the slabs. These bring you almost back to the foot of the route, but not quite. Those climbing the route in spring will have a 20m walk through snow back their kit.
Descent 2 - If carrying a sack, make a 20m abseil northwest from the summit to reach the top of a west-facing couloir. Ignore the couloir and instead traverse a gently rising 50m long ledge system, underneath a series of overhangs, to a notch in a rock ridge. From here, scramble down a west-facing rocky couloir and walk back to the foot of the first pitch. © Rockfax
Michel Piola 27/Dec/1975.
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