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Rockfax Description
III, 200m, 2 - 3 hours. A great route with stunning exposure but make sure you catch it in the right conditions.
Approach - From the Helbronner lift, head north to pass under the northwest toe of the Aiguilles Marbrées. Turn north-east and climb gently to pass between Pte. 3516 and Pte. 3537 before turning north to reach a short snow couloir dropping down from the rib which leads to the Salle à Manger. Reaching the foot of this couloir takes around 90 minutes from the Helbronner lift.
In good snow conditions, and with no one above, you can climb the couloir itself but it is safer and only marginally more technical to climb broken rock to the left. Either option brings you to a small col with a rib on the right that leads you to the Salle à Manger. Climb the rib via the line of least resistance, which will depend on snow cover and conditions but is usually on or just left of the crest. Where the crest gets steeper and more solid, near the foot of the Dent, move left and climb up to the ridge just to the right of the Salle à Manger - a flat spot just below the crest of the Rochefort Arête.
1) From the Salle à Manger, follow the snow ridge on, or just below, the crest all the way to Point 3933m. The exact route taken will depend on conditions but regardless of the snow quality, be aware of potential cornices, particularly when crossing the photogenic serac.
2) Make a 30m abseil from a fixed anchor down to a wide shoulder, or downclimb a 50 degree snow slope.
3) Follow the ridge crest to the initial rocky section and go round it on the right-hand side of the ridge. Rejoin the crest and climb to the foot of the final summit buttress.
4) 4a. Start up the buttress steeply at first, just to the right of the ridge crest before climbing a ramp which leads leftwards into the centre of the face. Come back left to a steep gully which leads (via some pretty chossy and bold-feeling climbing, 4a ) to the summit ridge, just below the top itself.
Descent - Return via the same route. The final summit buttress can be abseiled but the rock is loose, meaning that the anchors aren't what they might be. It is easy to pull rocks off so downclimbing is a better option if possible. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
The normal route and often traversed prior to an ascent of Dent du Geant, which can easily be include on the return journey. The ridge is an elegant, exposed, corniced snow crest and is extremely popular. 4-5hr from hut.

Fontaine, Ravanel + Simms 17/Jul/1900.

Ticklists

Rebuffat's 100 Finest Routes in the Mont Blanc Massif, Batoux's 100 finest routes in the Mont Blanc massif, ROCKFAX Chamonix: Top 50, Big Routes

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User Date Notes
Webster 9 Sep Show βeta
βeta: there are now 5 or 6 well spaced bolts (with rather frayed fixed rope) protecting the 'exposed downclimb or absail' half way along the ridge. the final headwall is also now bolted and equipped for 3x20m absails on good 2 bolt anchors for descent.
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: there are now 5 or 6 well spaced bolts (with rather frayed fixed rope) protecting the 'exposed downclimb or absail' half way along the ridge. the final headwall is also now bolted and equipped for 3x20m absails on good 2 bolt anchors for descent.

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Route of Interest

East Ridge

Grade: AD ***
(Aiguille du Bionnassay)