III, 700m. A fantastic route leading to a superb summit, with mainly scrambling along the way. The descent does not go back to the start of the route, so carry boots, crampons etc. to the foot of the jammed block corner and leave them here to collect later. Start at the foot of a light-coloured slabby ramp.
1) 4c. Cross the bergschrund (usually easiest over to the right) and climb glacier-polished ramps to a terrace at the foot of a short corner. Climb this (4c) and step left onto easy ground.
2) Go diagonally up and left across easy broken ground to some slings around a block at the foot of a long, left-leaning chimney/corner with a jammed block halfway up. Climb this in two pitches (4c) and move out of the corner and climb easy slabs to a belay on a ledge with a large boulder.
3) 4b. Traverse horizontally left around a pillar and then go up a tricky looking (but actually easy) corner (3c) to reach the foot of the long, grey couloir leading up to the Aiguille de la République. Climb this via broken and low-angled ground (4b), initially on the right and then moving left, to reach a sweep of slabs.
4) 4b. Pass rightwards behind a small pillar and climb a short gully (4a) to a block at the top left end of a ramp. Downclimb the ramp rightwards (4b) to the foot of another gully, this one descending from the col which separates the summit towers of the République and the Grand Charmoz.
5) 4c. Climb the gully to 30m below the col and then move rightwards and head up broken slabs and corners (4c) to reach a long ledge with the famous 'obélisk' boulder at the start of it. Traverse this ledge, passing behind the obélisk, via some short sections of delicate slab climbing, to reach the foot of the summit tower's east ridge.
6) 5c. Climb two pitches (5b then 5c) up cracks just to the right of the ridge crest to a terrace strewn with boulders. Cross this easily to reach a bolted belay at the foot of the final slab.
7) The slab is aided by most climbers using the bolts - no aiding skills required, just the ability to pull on quickdraws! Apparently the slab can be freed at an extremely technical 6c+ but we were unable to find anyone who could confirm this grade. The summit is staggeringly exposed in all directions - enjoy it! © Rockfax
ROCKFAX Chamonix: Top 50
BMC - Easier Classics in the Mont Blanc Range