III, 600m, 6 - 7 hours. A stunning and logical line, this is one of the best granite ridges in the massif. The lower section is an amazing journey around and over some beautiful towers. We've provided a lengthy route description, but much of the terrain is quite intuitive and feels logical throughout. The only odd thing about the route is the fact that it is so quiet.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 in 20 minutes. Traverse west across moraine and boulders for a further 10 minutes.1) 4a. Climb a gully (3c) to a notch with a distinctive thin tooth marking it. Traverse for 10m on the right of the ridge and then climb a short chimney (4a) to gain the crest.2) 4b. Stay just to the right of the crest (4b) to the foot of a round pinnacle. Move onto the left of the ridge and climb a crack (with a distinctive jammed block in it) to come out just past the pinnacle. Continue on the right of the crest, across a featured slab, and gradually descend until underneath a notch.3) 4c. Climb up to the notch (4c) and drop onto the left of the ridge. Stay just on the left of the crest to go around one pinnacle and then come back onto the right of the ridge. Pass a second pinnacle to arrive at a small notch overlooking a deep gully to the left of the ridge.4) 4c. Make a 25m abseil from a fixed anchor down the left-hand side of the ridge. Follow the deep gully easily for 60m to a chimney (4c) which takes you back onto the ridge crest.5) 4b. Follow the ridge to a large pinnacle and move left around it on a ledge system. Climb another chimney (4b) to regain the crest. Follow the crest (dropping off left and right occasionally to avoid anything too tricky looking) to a wide, low-angled gully on the left of the ridge crest.6) Fire up the gully easily for 50m to meet the South Ridge.7) 5c. Finish up the South Ridge sections 3) to 8).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
An established classic giving a long and sustained outing on excellent granite. The climbing, on open faces and cracks, is more delicate than strenuous and very well protected. Highly recomended, especially to the more experienced route-finder. 7hr from hut.
Birkenmajor, Bujak, Chwacsinki + Ostrowski 13/Aug/1932.
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