III, 450m, 3 - 4 hours. An excellent mid-grade alpine route which is a perfect place to check whether you are moving well enough to tackle some of the longer routes in Chamonix. None of the terrain is hard but equally, not much of it is walking. Being efficient with transitions and rope work is vital if you are to make good time. Plenty of climbers have underestimated this route - don't be one of them!
This line also serves as the best descent off the Moine but descending it is no pushover. There is a lot of terrain to cover and much of it quite exposed, so allow plenty of time and keep concentrating all the way down.
The route is vague and many variations are possible (often with cairns). Although this route description should be useful, route finding skill is vital. Should you find yourself slightly off route, just try to take the line of least resistance to the next clear landmark on the route.
1) 3c. Cross the bergschrund and climb up 50m of corner next to the glacier polished slabs to reach a long ledge system leading out left (memorial plaque). This is where the South Ridge Classique goes left. Go to the right end of the ledge system (3b) to a bolt belay (used as an abseil anchor on the descent) and climb the three chimneys above to a ledge (3c - don't be tempted by the large loose gully above).
2) Continue on moderate ground, much of it walking, some of it easy scrambling, up gullies and terraces rightwards (cairns) until 100m below the Southeast Ridge. Here, traverse leftwards to the spur marked by several flakes. Pass this and continue traversing into the gully beyond.
3) 4b. Climb well-worn slabs and steps up the other side of the gully to a typically difficult Chamonix chimney, graded 3c in the old guides and 4b by us. In reality, if you're good at chimneys it is easy; if not, it will feel desperate.
4) Above the chimney, follow a ledge system up and left to another short corner (slightly easier than the lower one) to reach some exposed ledges overlooking the wide gully.
5) Zigzag left up ledges and back right encountering short steps to reach a final steep chimney beneath the summit. Go around this to the right and clamber onto the top. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
The normal route, one of the most popular in the range and highly suitable for novice alpinists. Surprisingly the face is rather featureless, the climbing straightforward and not particularly interesting. The route is quite short and an early start is unnecessary. 3 and a half hr from hut
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