II, 120m. A true alpine classic, this route was immortalised in Rébuffat's own The Mont Blanc Massif: The Hundred Finest Routes book. The crux was originally aided and is now equipped with numerous bits of rope and other paraphernalia. It is in an excellent situation and the rest of the route is superb and varied. The route starts from the far left of the highest ledge, almost at the top of the snow slope leading to the Cosmiques Icefall.1) 4a, 30m. Cross the ledge easily before climbing a short corner to stand on top of a block. Step rightwards off this and scramble easily up to a belay on a ledge, 15m below and left of the crux overhang.2) 6a+ or 5b/A0, 30m. Climb the corner then the thin flake-crack which leads to the crux overhang via some increasingly steep ground and good holds. The crux is steep but if you're acclimatised and have your wits about you, there are half decent footholds about to help. Otherwise, pull on whatever is there at the time and let your arms do their stuff! Above the crux, follow the easier groove for 10m to reach a belay at the right-hand edge of a large, sloping ledge. 3) 5c, 30m. Walk to the left along the ledge for 4m and then climb the imposing crack above through the small overhang. If you can't jam, this will feel hard so sandbagging your mate by 'kindly' offering to lead pitch 2 may be worthwhile! Once above the overhang, follow the crack with continual interest and the odd steep pull to an exposed but comfortable ledge.4) 5b, 25m. More of the same, but a bit easier. Continue up the crack for 20m to a ledge with broken ground above and on the right. Head towards the broken ground by climbing a short corner and belay where the face peters out into scrambling terrain. Pay attention not to knock any of the loose rocks which litter this area onto climbers below. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
The most popular route on the Eperon des Cosmiques. Pitches: 3, 4+/5, A0 or 5+/6a (roof - free at 5-?), 4, 4+, 4+. Recently partially bolted by the Chamonix guides (!).
Gaston Rebuffat / Bernard Pierre 13/Aug/1956.
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