IV, 600m, 10-12 hours. A modern classic, made famous by the first ascensionist Mark Twight's emotive storytelling of the route in his book Kiss or Kill. The route is hard to get in good condition and the difficulty can vary drastically depending on the build up and quality of ice. The first ascensionists had it pretty dry and but subsequent ascents downgraded the route after finding better conditions. A lot of teams climb the lower half to the junction with Rébuffat-Terray.1) Cross the bergschrund and climb easy but run out snow ice gullies for two pitches.2) Join an easier angled snow field and follow this to the top left-hand side beneath a steep corner.3) Climb stunning thin ice up the corner for two pitches. This is bold steep climbing.4) Keep following the gully that trends rightwards around a steep buttress.5) Climb the easy angled gully above for two pitches (sometimes mixed) to join the Rébuffat-Terray.6) Climb the Rébuffat-Terray for 15m to the snowfield and trend right across this to below a steep corner. Most teams finish here and either abseil off or finish up the other route.7) For the adventurous, climb the corner. This was originally done on aid but can be climbed at M6 if dry.8) Climb a further two bold pitches trending rightwards.9) From here, climb a further easier pitch by ice on the left that leads to the Col des Pélerins. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
[V 5+ 5c A1/A2 M R, 600m] "Fourteen exceptional pitches of severe mixed climbing". Magnificent corner on pitches 5 & 6, epitomising Chamonix goulotte climbing. Easily visible from starting snow slope.
Andy Parkin & M-F Twight; 21-22 April 1992 22/Apr/1992.
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Grade: ED2 7a ***
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