II, 200m, 4 - 5 hours. The Belvédère makes for a worthwhile day on its own but is best combined with the Crochues Traverse.Approach - From Lac Blanc, follow the path northwest towards the Col des Dards. 200m from the Col, traverse rightwards across scree and snow to reach the ridge. If coming from the Crochues Traverse, either descend that route as described and then traverse to the Belvédère, or (much more enjoyable) continue along the rocky ridge from the Crochues North Summit across the Col des Dards and on towards the Belvédère. Where the ridge steepens significantly and the rock becomes red, traverse for 10m on the Lac Blanc side to reach a 25m abseil from a block. Abseil off in-situ slings and walk 100m northwards to reach the route described here. 1) The ridge can be joined just about anywhere in its lower section. The rock gets increasingly solid as you get higher and it also steepens, bringing you naturally onto the crest. 2) Eventually you come to a slab on the Lac Blanc side - traverse this easily and arrive at the notch, with a steep tower and distinctive tooth above you. 3) 3a. Climb a 12m chimney just to the left of the crest which is steep but furnished with excellent, positive holds (3a). 4) Continue along the crest of the ridge, across a 30m flat section. Then onto the Lac Blanc side until just before the final summit tower. 5) Scramble up and left, onto the west side of the ridge. Follow a vague gully system on chossy black rock to reach the summit.Descent - Reverse the route. The 12m chimney is abseiled (fixed slings) but otherwise the route can be downclimbed. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
The highest summit in the Aiguilles Rouge at 2965m. The route is in the "Sommets du Mont Blanc" book by Laroche and Lelong. Essentially a scramble with one 10m chimney pitch that is given 3b in the book. Start from the top of the Index chairlift and walk to Lac Blanc, then up the rocky path and snowslope to gain the arête just right of the Col des Dards. There are short cuts that don't involve going to Lac Blanc. Descend to the Flégère téléphérique via Lac Blanc. An excellent day.
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