II, 500m. A stunning route with sustained difficulties up some amazing rock. The crux pitch can be climbed at 6a+/6b if you pull on a couple of bits of gear, and the tough, sustained crack on pitch 9 also sees the odd unethical ascent too!
There are more belays on the route than we have marked so the pitches can be broken up differently. This is the most popular and logical way of climbing the line.
Reaching the foot of the first pitch can be quite tricky when the glacier is thin, but it can generally be accessed from the right. The lip of the glacier can be overhanging (due to the warm rock melting it) so even if it looks innocuous, rope up to cross it.
The route begins with a distinctive corner below the leftmost of a series of roofs.
1) 5c. Climb the corner to the foot of a green slab which the corner continues up.
2) 7a. Head up the slab/corner and make a hard move (7a or 6b with some aid) then traverse right, passing a bolt, to a ledge. Go straight up cracks above to a stance shared with Pedro Polar.
It is possible to avoid this pitch by climbing pitch 2 and the first half of pitch 3 on Pedro Polar instead.
3) 6a+. Go straight up the twin cracks above the belay. These narrow into a single crack; follow this for 5m then cross a slab rightwards via a hand-sized break to reach the foot of a dark corner. The twin cracks and the first few metres of the single crack are shared with Pedro Polar.
4) 6b+. Head up the corner then move out left onto a slab and follow this to an exposed ledge. Climbing the initial corner is hard, but getting out of it is even harder! It is possible to pull on gear to lower the grade to 6a+ ish.
5) 6a+. Step left off the belay and head up a crack which goes directly up before the angle eases off and leads you gently left to a small stance.
6) 4c. Climb easily up to a sloping ledge system and follow this up and left to a belay shared with Pedro Polar.
7) 5c. Head up the right-hand side of the huge block that caps the left-hand edge of the ledge system and belay on top of it.
8) 6a+. Go directly up a cracked slab to reach a shoulder at the far left end of a horizontal ledge/ridge.
Go rightwards across the ledge/ridge easily for 10m from the belay to reach another belay at the foot of a steep wall.
9) 6b+. Climb the wall via some sustained and strenuous finger and hand-jamming. There are some good chockstones for protection if you can get your hands off for long enough to get a sling around them! Step left at the top then follow easier ground rightwards to a belay.
10) 6a. Climb a crack on the right then follow a short chimney back left to reach easy ground. Continue up this to a stance on broken ledges.
11) 5c. Traverse right into a crack system and follow this to a particularly scenic and atmospheric ledge.
12) 6a. Cross easy ground and then head up a cracked slab to reach the top of a small pinnacle with a great view of the couloir which separates the East Faces of the Aiguille de Roc and Aiguille du Grépon. © Rockfax
FA. M.Batard, M.Piola 5.8.1982 05/Aug/1982.
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