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200m, 4 pitches. The route is at the right hand side of the Palais des Glaces sector at western end of the Fournel Valley. The crag is north facing and gets little if any sun, especially early in the season. Allow 1.5 to 2 hours from the car park, depending on snow conditions.

Pitch 1 Belay at the base of first ice slab, no fixed anchors. this soon steepens to 80-85 degree ice for 30m after which it relents for a further 30m. Possible tree & tat belay on the right.

Pitch 2 Climb the steeper wall above trending rightwards towards a peg & tat belay on the right after 50m.

Pitch 3 Look like an easier pitch, but is anything but. Continue up further steep sections interspersed with easings towards the final column pitch. Belay slightly to the right of the column. there is some tat & a maillon on a tree further right, but this is too far away to be an effective belay.

Pitch 4 Climb the final column directly, choosing the line of least resistance. The top is reached in just over 30m of sustained steep ice climbing.

It is possible to rappel the final pitch from a tree & tat off to the right. There is a line of 3 equipped abseil points on the right hand side, (looking up), of the route, but these are among trees and bushes, where a pulled abseil rope can get stuck. Re-climbing this part of the crag to free a stuck rope would be extremely difficult.

It is possibly better to drill an Abalakov anchor at the base of the final column pitch and follow the line of fixed gear & tat used as belay points on the way up. Reaching the start of the route in 3 further abseils.

F. Huteau & P. Pellet Jan/1989.

* This newly updated climb is waiting to be checked by the crag moderator.


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Route of Interest

Cascade des Viollins

Grade: WI-5+ ***