Rockfax Description
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 especially 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. 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.
Approach - From the Refuge du Couvercle, follow the high-level path back to the Montenvers train for 50m and then cut right up to the foot of the tiny glacier/snow patch at the foot of the south face. This takes 20 minutes from the hut.
1) 3b. Cross the bergschrund and climb up 50m of glacier-polished slabs and runnels to reach a long ledge system leading out left. This is where the South Ridge Classique goes up leftwards. 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 chimney above this.
2) Continue on moderate ground, much of it walking, some of it easy scrambling, up the gully at the foot of the face until cairns and the terrain lead you out left and through a gap to another, even wider gully.
3) 4b. Climb well-worn slabs and steps up the right-hand 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 short steps to reach a final steep wall beneath the summit. Go around this to the right and clamber onto the top.
Descent - Descend the south face. Most of the descent is exposed downclimbing and requires concentration. It is possible to abseil virtually all of the technical sections using fixed anchors (some of which might require backing up). The ability to keep up a good pace while downclimbing safely and making the transition between abseiling, soloing and moving together on the way down is the key to getting off the peak efficiently. All of the abseils are shorter than 25m so a single 50m rope is sufficient for any of these routes. © 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


Rosie's Broken Alpine Dreaming , Alpine Progression


User Date Notes
Webster 17 Sep, 2019 Show βeta
βeta: dont follow the rockfax topo or description up (or down) the choss gully (section 2), instead follow the cairns and footprints on the easy zig-zag footpath to the climbers right (on the way up). much safer!
Show beta
βeta: dont follow the rockfax topo or description up (or down) the choss gully (section 2), instead follow the cairns and footprints on the easy zig-zag footpath to the climbers right (on the way up). much safer!

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Guidebooks for Aiguille de Moine

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Dômes de Miage Traverse

Grade: PD+ ***
(Domes des Miages)

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