II, 350m. A staggeringly good route which is a dream for lovers of technical, slabby terrain. There is the odd steep section too, but overall this is more about slabs, cracks and friction climbing. Scramble up broken ledges to the first belay.
1) 5b. Climb up and left across a ledge system to belay below and left of a corner.
2) 6b+. Climb the thin slab diagonally up and left and then follow a thin crack to belay beneath another corner.
3) 6a+. Follow the corner and step left out of it.
4) 6c+. Traverse out right to the superb steep crack. Climb this past a small roof to easier ground leading to the belay.
5) 6b. Follow the superb hand-crack diagonally up and left and then stay with it as it bends back right.
6) 4b. A welcome break! Scramble across easy ledges to a belay on the left, at the bottom of a cracked slab.
7) 6b. Climb fantastic thin cracks up the slabs and left to belay in the middle of a huge slab.
8) 6a. Climb the corner above and right for 30m, then move right to a belay on a narrow ledge beneath a thin-looking slab.
9) 6c+. Looks are not deceptive on this occasion - the slab is incredibly thin and technical. There are some bolts but this is still a tough pitch that feels bold. It was originally graded 6b, which gives you some idea of Piola's slab climbing prowess.
10) 6c. Traverse up and right and then follow a crack to a hanging belay beneath a small roof.
11) 6c+. Traverse out right under the roof and then climb the sustained crack above.
12) 6a. Move right off the belay and follow a brilliant hand-crack to the Blaitière's mid-height ledge system.
Descent - Abseil back down the route. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
ED. 6c (obl 6b) Well eqipped with bolt belays, bolts and the odd chipped hold.
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