UKC

400m, 14 pitches.

Rockfax Description
III, 400m, 4 - 5 hours. The features on the route are clear and following your nose is easier than trying to stick to a detailed topo so only the crux pitches, or those with difficult route finding, are described individually. On the sections described by the feature they follow, it may be possible to move together in places and to split the pitches - whatever works best for you.
Approach - From the Plan de l'Aiguille, follow the path south towards the Glacier des Pélerins, signposted for the Refuge des Grands Mulets. The path splits; go right to end up on a moraine ridge with the glacier on the right and the west face of the Aiguille du Peigne on the left. Follow the path up the moraine ridge to reach the snowfield at the foot of the west face and then climb this to the start of the route. The snow patch is 40 degrees and although not crevassed, there can be a fairly big gap from the snow to the rock so crampons are usually necessary to get across this.
1) 4c. Climb two 30m pitches (4c) up the slabby runnels above the snow patch and, at the end of the second pitch, traverse right to reach a large horizontal ledge.
2) Traverse the ledge rightwards easily to the foot of a ramp system.
3) 5c. Follow the ramp for three to four (5b/c), aiming straight for a deep-cut chimney which is visible all the way up.
4) Climb cracks below the chimney and belay at the foot of where it really widens.
The next three pitches are described in detail as the section above the chimney seems illogical at first and is the scene of many teams going off route.
5) 5c, 40m. It is best to leave your rucksacks here and haul them up having tackled the chimney. You'll thank us for that bit of advice when you're halfway up, even if it looks innocuous enough from below! Using all the style you have, thrutch up the chimney clipping a couple of welcome pegs and exit rightwards at the top. Step up and left to belay.
6) 5b, 15m. Climb a crack on the left and then step right around a rib to belay on a hidden large ledge.
7) 6a, 30m. Head up the steep wall above the belay via a steep jamming crack to reach an arête. Avoid the overhang above by following another crack rightwards to reach a deep, light-coloured groove. Once in this, step down 1m and go around a rib on the right to reach another hidden ledge and belay here.
8) 5b. Climb the groove above the belay and then follow a ramp (5b, flakes and cracks).
9) 5b. Where the ramp flattens off, head right and climb cracks up a light-coloured slab to gain the ridge just below Pointe 3078m.
Descent - Traverse the ridge rightwards easily to reach a bolted abseil anchor just below where the ridge ends. Make 8 to 12 abseils (depending on the exact line taken) to the right of the Contamine-Vaucher, mainly on bolted anchors. These are not always easy to spot and, at the time of a writing, a couple had been removed so it may be necessary to create your own anchors with abseil tat. Upon reaching the easy traverse (section 2 in the description) reverse this and then abseil the first couple of pitches back to the snow patch. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
13-14 pitches, good belays, nice chimney at half height and crux roof pitch thereafter. Descent is bit tricky as the best rap line is, if one comes up on the far left pointe, found by traversing to the next pointe and locating the rap rings that are on the SW side providing a straight shot down to where boots and bags are left at beginning of climb (think about 10 raps, all with solid rap ring anchors).

Ticklists

Rebuffat's 100 Finest Routes in the Mont Blanc Massif , Batoux's 100 finest routes in the Mont Blanc massif , Alpine Dreamz

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Route of Interest
Pilier Sud

Grade: TD ***
(Envers des Aiguilles)

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