II, 350m, 3 - 4 hours. The route begins at a couloir 100m further north of the gully running down from the Brèche Moine-Nonne.
1) 5a. Climb the steep, left leaning chimney at the back of the recess to gain the blunt spur of rock on the left of the gully. Earlier in the season, it's possible to climb the spur on the left of the gully directly by lower ramp on the left (easier).
2) 4a. Climb 100m of rock (4a or easier) up the middle of the spur to reach a notch in the summit ridge.
3) 3b. Turn right and go directly over the first small tower on the ridge (3b) and traverse for 10m on the ridge crest.
4) 4b. Move onto the left of the ridge and traverse to some wide cracks that lead back onto the ridge crest. Go straight up the crest of the ridge via a corner then descend a couple of metres before a final pitch (4b) leads onto the summit of La Nonne.
5) Make a 20m abseil on the right of the summit and traverse under the rocky spike on a wide ledge to reach easy scrambling across blocky ground. Follow this to the beginning of the famous 'rasoir' section. It is possible to tag the summits of the various pinnacles on this section if you have the time/inclination.
6) 4a. The 'rasoir' section is, not surprisingly, very narrow and sharp. It is also very exposed but thankfully pretty straightforward. It is possible to do it 'a cheval', or as a hand traverse - combination of both techniques seems to work best. Go along the 'rasoir' for 100m to reach a small summit, after which the ridge begins to descend. There is a line of abseils down a gully, 50m before the end of the 'rasoir', which look tempting. Don't follow it because the normal descent is better.
7) Follow the ridge to a platform and then drop off the ridge to the right where it starts to climb dramatically. After passing a large flat-topped boulder (cairned), follow a ledge system that leads gradually downwards towards the gully below the Breche Nonne-Évêque (some slightly steeper sections).
8) Just before the gully are some large blocks. Either abseil here or down climb depending on the state of the glacier © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
A delighutful and conseqently popular training climb on good rock. Exposed rocky crest. The summit (highest point) is the second gendarme (V/V+, peg) although the most memorable feature is the long knife edge traverse, part of which is taken "a cheval". Normally followed S to N.
C, E and M Pasteur, C Wilson and A Cupelin 23/Jul/1890.
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