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Rockfax Description
I, 200m, 3 - 4 hours. A wonderful outing that offers exposure and situations normally reserved for much harder routes. The peak is popular so, unless your timing is perfect, you're unlikely to have it to yourself. The route includes the Southwest Ridge and descends the Northeast Ridge. It can be done in reverse but the classic (and best) way to do it is how we've described it.
Approach - From the Helbronner lift, cross the Col des Flambeux and descend west to pass under the Aiguille de Toule North Face. Continue in this direction and make the gradual climb to the Col d'Entréves - 1 hour from Helbronner lift.
1) 4b. From the col, follow the ridge over easy but occasionally loose ground. Take care - only the actual line is solid, and moving even a metre either way can take you into some horribly loose ground. Turn any obstacles on the right, until you reach a flat, 10m section of ridge with an extremely thin and sharp tooth at the far end. Climb the crest of the ridge (exposed) to the foot of the tooth and then downclimb (4b) or abseil down the chimney below.
2) Step left into a steep, short chimney (useful footholds on the right wall) and climb this to rejoin the ridge. Stay on the crest on excellent rock, in a spectacular position, and with the occasional bolt. After 50m of traversing the ridge begins to steepen again. Climb initially on the left-hand side of the ridge before reaching a seemingly blank wall with two bolts at the bottom.
3) 4c/A0 (or 5b). Step right to climb the tough but brief corner, with or without the help of the sling (5b if done free). Continue along the ridge crest for 10m more to reach the summit - roughly 90 mins from Col d'Entréves.
4) Downclimb a short, slabby crack for 5m from the summit to reach a bolt on the left (facing in). It is possible to do a 30m abseil from the bolt, and then another 30m from a lower bolt, but the abseils are awkward and downclimbing may be easier.
5) 3b. Where the ridge flattens out, follow the crest over easy, broken ground until the ridge begins to ascend briefly. The final tower can be turned on either side but the right is slightly easier (3b). From the far side of this, continue to the end of the ridge and then drop off rightwards to reach the glacier. It is also possible to make a short abseil left after the final tower in order to reach the glacier.
Descent - Swing round under the foot of the northeast ridge (can be icy) and walk northwest to regain the approach. Due to crevasse danger do not attempt to cut the corner and descend directly towards the Aiguille de Toule. © Rockfax

Ticklists

Rosie's Broken Alpine Dreaming, Escalades Choisies Mont-Blanc Aiguilles Rouges (60 Routes 4 to 6a+), Alpine Dreamz, Intro to Alpine

Feedback

User Date Notes
JohnBson 18 Aug, 2019 Show βeta
βeta: As TomGB says. Abb off before the downclimb and aim to hit the crest of the icy ridge which runs from the bergschrund to the final peak of the ridge. Follow the bergschrund and jump across a gap approx 1m wide! This is a very dry season.
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: As TomGB says. Abb off before the downclimb and aim to hit the crest of the icy ridge which runs from the bergschrund to the final peak of the ridge. Follow the bergschrund and jump across a gap approx 1m wide! This is a very dry season.
TomGB 14 Aug, 2019 Show βeta
βeta: Definitely don't go all the way to the end of the ridge and then try to get back across to the glacier. You have to cross horrendous gravel/ice/choss that was by far the spiciest part of the day. Make sure you ab down the left
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: Definitely don't go all the way to the end of the ridge and then try to get back across to the glacier. You have to cross horrendous gravel/ice/choss that was by far the spiciest part of the day. Make sure you ab down the left

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Route of Interest

Bréche du Praz Torrent. NW couloir

Grade: AD- ***
(Aiguilles Rouges)