Rockfax Description
III, 200m. An excellent alternative finish to the Peigne Normal Route or Papillons Arête. There are numerous variations on the route but this is the most commonly climbed way. There is some fixed gear here and there, but count on building your own belays. Follow the Peigne Normal Route to Brèche 3043m, climb along the ridge crest for 20m up some fun cracks (4b) and then step right onto a large ledge. This is where this route and the Peigne Normal Route separate.
1) 4c. Drift right across ever-steepening and well-featured terrain to a ledge 10m below the ridge crest.
2) 4c. Climb straight up to a notch in the ridge.
3) 5a. Traverse rightwards across a slab and up a short corner to an excellently positioned belay ledge.
4) 5b. Step left into a steep corner and grunt up this to reach another scenic ledge.
5) 5a. Follow a narrow ledge out right to a corner. Climb this and scramble onto a block covered ledge beneath the Lépiney Crack.
6) 5c. If such a thing is possible, the Lépiney Crack is both famous and infamous. What is not in doubt is that it is difficult and extremely traditional in nature - this is one for the granite thug rather than the sport climbing athlete, and it has been the scene of many a humbling! Start by climbing out left up the crack. At the bolt, move back left for 8m and move round onto the Peigne summit block.
Descent - Make a 25m abseil from a double bolt anchor on the summit block, down the Lépiney Crack, which is on the northwest face of the summit tower. Pull the rope and scramble leftwards (when facing out) for 10m to reach another bolt belay which is just out of sight from the foot of the Lépiney Crack, but which is at the top of a long series of slabs, high above the couloir leading down from the Col du Peigne. Make three more 25m abseils, all from bolted belays, to the ledge system you crossed on the way up. Descend this rightwards (when facing out) via the odd technical step (it's worth placing some gear here and moving together as the terrain is not as easy as initially appears) to the belay where the ascent route branches off from the Southwest Ridge. Make a final 25m abseil to end up just below Brèche 3043m. Scramble up to this and then reverse the ascent route. At the far end of the long ledge overlooking the Peigne slabs is a bolted abseil anchor which allows you abseil directly into the Papillons Couloir via a 25m abseil. From here, scramble down easily to the bolt at the top of the 4b corner which marks the start of the difficulties on the way up. Abseil off the bolt and scramble down the remainder of the ascent route. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
The description here and in the guide for the Lepiney crack is significantly incorrect.

At the bolt, after the first crack (the Lepiney crack), traverse left for 8m then continue right up a crack. The route does not go right from the bolt.

Pierre Dalloz, Jacques and Tom De Lepiney 11/Aug/1922.


Alpine Dreamz


User Date Notes
Roberttaylor 30 Jun, 2019 Show βeta
βeta: Amazing fun. Got to lead the Lepiney crack.
Show beta
βeta: Amazing fun. Got to lead the Lepiney crack.

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High TD
Mid TD
Low TD
High TD-
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High D+
Mid D+
Low D+
High D
Mid D
Low D
Votes cast 5
High 6a
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High 5c
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High 5b
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Votes cast 2
Votes cast 6
Style of Ascent
Alt Leads
Not Set
Not Set
Route of Interest

Mer de Glace Face

Grade: D+ 5c ***
(Envers des Aiguilles)
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