III, 220m, 4 - 5 hours. A target route for any alpinist, the fixed ropes on the upper part of this route make it a much more reasonable prospect than if it were a free climb. Regardless of the ropes it has bags of exposure and has one of the best and pointiest summits in the Alps.Approach - From the Helbronner lift, head north to pass under the northwest toe of the Aiguilles Marbrées. Turn northeast and climb gently to pass between Pointe 3516 and Pointe 3537 before turning north to reach a short snow couloir dropping down from the rib which leads to the Salle à Manger. Reaching the foot of this couloir takes around 90 minutes from the Helbronner lift. In good snow conditions, and with no one above you, the couloir itself can be climbed, but it is safer and only marginally more technical to climb broken rock to the left. Either option brings you to a small col. From here climb the rib on the right via the line of least resistance, which will depend on snow cover and conditions but is usually on or just left of the crest. Where the crest gets steeper and more solid, near the foot of the Dent, move left and climb up to the ridge just to the right of the Salle à Manger - a flat spot just below the crest of the Rochefort Arête. Getting from the foot of the small snow couloir to the Salle à Manger takes roughly 1 hour and you can leave axes and crampons there and retrieve them on the way down. Go down the snow slope to reach the foot of the Dent's southwest face and cross a 10m long ledge to reach an exposed bolt belay, from where the route starts.1) 4a/A0 or 4c. Step left and then climb the awkward gully for 20m (4c or 4a with a cheeky pull on a bolt - there are five bolts all together on the pitch) to a belay on an iron stanchion beneath a deep gully.2) 4b. Climb the gully easily enough on positive holds and step left at the top via a tricky mantelshelf move (4b) to reach a large ledge at the foot of the huge Burgerner slabs, which are equipped with huge fixed ropes. 3) It is possible to free climb the slabs but the presence of the fixed ropes makes this somewhat arbitrary. Yard up for 50m with bolts for protection to another stunningly-positioned belay.4) Carry on up the slabs for 25m before following the ropes out rightwards on mind blowingly exposed traverse using the ropes and some good flakes to a belay beneath some flake-filled chimneys.5) 4c. Climb the chimneys (4c) in a superb position and with the ropes still to help you.6) Stay right of the ridge crest, passing some short walls, before getting onto the crest of the ridge just below Pointe Selle (the south summit of the Dent du Géant) and climbing to the summit. 7) 3c. From Pointe Selle, descend a short chimney (3c) and traverse the easy but exposed ridge to the higher north summit. Give the summit madonna a peck and admire the spectacular view!Descent - Abseil down the south face. The first anchor is between the two summits of the Dent, on the Courmayeur side. There are anchors at least every 30m so it is possible to abseil with either a single 60m rope or double ropes. The abseils are steep and a stuck rope could be extremely hard to retrieve in some places so take great care! From the Salle à Manger, descend via the approach rib. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
See the Alpine Club guide or just follow the crowds. In addition to this watch out for frequent stonefall when ascending the loose mixed ground under the Salle a Manger.
If you choose to don't use the fixed ropes it goes at D V+.
B, D and J Maquignaz 28/Jul/1882.
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