III, 900m, 8-12 hours. Another classic North Face climb of the Mont Blanc Massif combining great néve climbing with interesting mixed, easily accessible from Montenvers.
1) Cross the bergschrund and climb steep ice (4+) for two pitches trending right and then back left to gain a snow field.
2) Climb the snow field before moving out right to some lower angle ice pitches.
3) Climb the ice (4) in a couple of pitches ending in a corner that gives way to another snowfield.
4) Follow the snowfield up and right until it terminates in a corner-chimney.
5) Climb the corner-chimney (4+). This can be particularly awkward if there is any sluff.
6) From here follow the large snowfield up for 250m to a large alcove (some lower angled ice just before the alcove).
7) From here climb the steep gully (5) at the back of the alcove for four pitches to the ridge line. The first pitch is the steepest and lessens off a bit afterwards.
7a) There is the alternative option, should the direct look bad, to trend out right up a ramp and mixed ground above and then follow this out right round a shoulder to a gully that leads directly to the top of the Charmoz-Grepon couloir.
8) Follow the ridge line and climb up and left to a brèche just below the summit of the Charmoz via some dry climbing (5a). Pass through this and continue to the summit.
9) From the summit, make an abseil down to the top of the Charmoz-Grepon couloir and descend this. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
climbs the center of the north face
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