UKC

200m, 7 pitches.

Rockfax Description
II, 170m. A cracking little route, which packs quite a punch in places. Start just to the left of a prominent pillar.
Approach - From the Montenvers train, take the lower of the two paths (the one that doesn't go via 'Le Signal') heading towards the 'Plan de l'Aiguille'. Follow this for 45 minutes until it meets up again with the higher path at a signpost. (NOTE - this sign says that Montenvers is 1 hour 10 minutes away via both paths. The reality (for when you're descending) is that the higher path takes about that long but the lower path will have you back to the train in a little over 30 minutes).
From the signpost, continue towards the Plan de l'Aiguille for 300m until a vague path leads off left, directly towards the Aiguille de l'M, just before the main path descends slightly. The vague path climbs for 10 minutes and then reaches a boulderfield. Continue straight across this and then begin to look for the cairns which mark the way. Follow the path as best you can (not easily done) as it takes you onto and up the long scree slope below the peak. The vague path from here is rarely clear and at times it may feel easier just to plough on up the scree slope, picking the easiest looking line and heading straight for the foot of the route.
1) 4c, 25m. Climb a blocky groove up and left to a good ledge.
2) 4c, 25m. Step back right and continue up the groove to the top of the pillar.
3) 5c, 20m. Head boldly up the left-hand side of the huge and seemingly detached flake at the top of the pillar. Then step left into an excellent, steep corner-crack and follow this to a ledge.
4) 5b, 20m. Climb the excellent twin cracks above and continue up a corner.
5) 5c, 20m. Head up the steep cracks, go through a small roof and then step left to belay beneath the crux pitch.
6) 6b, 30m. A tough pitch which is often greasy long after precipitation; if you pull on one of the many pegs around here you wouldn't be the first climber to do so! Climb the corner above and right of the belay and then the thin jamming crack.
7) 5b, 30m. Move left into a corner system and follow this to the top.
Descent - Abseil back down the route. From the top it is also possible to carry on to the summit, but the difficulty of the climbing on the route puts most people off carrying a bag. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
UIAA VI+ (the Piola guide gives the crux pitch French 6a/b). Some in situ aid. Harder and more sustained than the Voie Couzy.

J and S Menegaux and J Poullain Aug/1948.

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Rebuffat's 100 Finest Routes in the Mont Blanc Massif

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Style of Ascent
Alt Leads
Lead
Followed
Not Set
Onsighted
DNF
Dogged
Redpoint
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Route of Interest

Le marchand de sable

Grade: TD+ 6a+ ***
(Envers des Aiguilles)
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