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Rockfax Description
120m, 2 - 4 hours. A true alpine classic - this is one of the few routes anywhere involving a tyrolean! If the climbing is well within your comfort zone, you will only need quickdraws and slings as there is some fixed gear on every pitch, but possibly not quite enough for those who find these grades tricky. If in doubt, chuck in half a dozen wires and a couple of big cams.
Approach - From Planpraz, walk up the ski piste towards Brévent for 200m to a signpost which includes a sign to the Clocher-Clochetons Traverse. Follow the path for 50 minutes to reach the foot of the Clocher. It becomes vague in a boulderfield around the top of Hotel California but just keep heading upwards, following signs of wear and the path reappears.
1) 4b. Climb the west face of the Clochetons (the face that the approach path naturally brings you to) easily for 10m, then step right and follow flakes onto the South Face to the wide crack (4b) for 15m. The belay is an odd collection of metalwork but it all seems solid enough. This pitch can be protected with slings in the lower part and then there are sparse pegs and bolts once on the south face. If the climbing is near your limit you will want a couple of big cams for the upper section.
2) Make a 25m abseil from the last belay down a narrow gully on the north side of the peak to reach a ledge underneath the notch between the Clocher de Planpraz and the Petit Clocher.
3) 3b. Climb the steep wall (3b) above and then the easy slab to the top of the Petit Clocher.
4) Make a 20m abseil down the east face of the Petit Clocher to reach a sloping ledge. Another 25m abseil from here takes you to the foot of the 1st Clocheton.
5) 5a. Climb the crack (5a) up the west face of the first Clocheton. This looks tricky and steep, but the holds are good and there are pegs just where you need them. The pitch leads to a iron spike, which is the anchor for one side of the tyrolean.
6) A truly unique section! A ledge on the second Clochetons is 5m away and also has an iron spike. Lasso this (the debate rages about whether an underarm or overarm technique is better for this manoeuvre!) and make a tyrolean across to the second Clocheton. If lacking the appropriate lasso skills, it is possible to abseil 15m down the east face and then make another 25m abseil northwards to reach the descent path.
7) 4b. Climb the wall and slab (4b, two pegs) to the top of the second Clochetons.
8) A 20m abseil down the north face leads to the foot of the notorious final chimney.
9) 5a. Climb the chimney, with as much style as you can, past a jammed block with a sling round it which is used for protection/cheating. From the top of the chimney, pass through the rock hole and climb the slab to the top of the third Clocheton.
10) Make a 20m abseil down the east face and scramble down on an exposed path before crossing onto the north side of the ridge at a small notch. Walk/scramble back underneath the traverse and reclimb back to the foot of the first pitch.
Descent - Walk down to Planpraz on the Clocher-Clochetons approach path. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
A classic, short training climb. A small rack is sufficient, there is in situ gear for the abseils.

Ticklists

Rebuffat's 100 Finest Routes in the Mont Blanc Massif, Big Routes, Rosie's Broken Alpine Dreaming

Feedback

User Date Notes
Olivermorrell 18 Aug Show βeta
βeta: Use an atc guide plate to rig the tyrollean. Gear is sparse. Photos from below look best on the crossing
 
Show beta
βeta: Use an atc guide plate to rig the tyrollean. Gear is sparse. Photos from below look best on the crossing
chrishunt55 15 Feb Show βeta
βeta: Got to the start of the route around mid day and got joined the queue behind 2 groups of novices. As a storm came in around 3 we decided to bail after the first 2 pitches. Was great fun nonetheless. Will be back for sure!
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: Got to the start of the route around mid day and got joined the queue behind 2 groups of novices. As a storm came in around 3 we decided to bail after the first 2 pitches. Was great fun nonetheless. Will be back for sure!
bummingham 14 Aug, 2019 Show βeta
βeta: Becareful with rope work on the long absail (2x short in rockfax) . We did it in one and got the rope mega stuck. We also pulled the rope up for the group in front (who did it in one).
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: Becareful with rope work on the long absail (2x short in rockfax) . We did it in one and got the rope mega stuck. We also pulled the rope up for the group in front (who did it in one).
Calum3610 1 Jul, 2019 Show βeta
βeta: The “jammed” block in the final 5a chimney pitch definitely moves, I wouldn’t pull on it. We also saw a guided party skip the chimney pitch so maybe this is a known problem if you are local.
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: The “jammed” block in the final 5a chimney pitch definitely moves, I wouldn’t pull on it. We also saw a guided party skip the chimney pitch so maybe this is a known problem if you are local.

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Route of Interest

Forbes Arête

Grade: AD 3 ***
(Aiguille du Chardonnet)