Rockfax Description
III, 900m, 5 - 6 hours. A classic route following a beautiful curving line, this is an ideal introduction to long snow and ice routes. Even the route's biggest fan would have to admit that the climbing is not overly exciting or difficult, but maintaining concentration and technique in the face of repetition and fatigue is a skill in itself.
Approach - From the top of the Grands Montets lift, descend gently southwards, passing under the routes of the Grands Montets Ridge until underneath the Aiguille Verte serac. Whatever you do, don't stop here for a drink (!) just keep moving and begin walking directly up to the routes. It is also possible, and popular, to ski into these routes and then return to your skis before skiing down to Argentière via the Glacier des Rognons and the Grands Montets pistes.
1) The bergschrund is usually fairly small and passed without any difficulty. If it is tricky, there is a rock buttress 50m above it allowing you to belay and bring up your partner on a top rope.
2) Follow 45 degree snow straight up the middle of the couloir to the foot of a steepening.
3) Climb the steeper section (60 degrees) on the right-hand side of the couloir for 60m to reach easier ground.
4) Continue up the easier ground, which maintains a 50 - 55 degree angle, as the couloir bends right and then back left.
5) Head directly up 55 degree snow and ice. This section is often crevassed so careful route choice is required. The route emerges just below the summit of the Aiguille Verte. Follow the stunning, easy ridge to the top.
Descent - Abseil on Abalakov threads or continue to the summit of the Aiguille Verte, where it is possible to abseil/downclimb the Couturier Couloir or to descend the Whymper Couloir down onto the Tal√®fre Glacier. Doing this involves passing over the Grande Rocheuse via some straightforward mixed ground and then making a short abseil to reach the Verte's summit ridge. This is an enjoyable (if exposed) walk in good conditions but can be a double-corniced nightmare so get a conditions report before heading out! © Rockfax

M Couturier, A Charlet, J Simond 01/Jul/1932.


Rebuffat's 100 Finest Routes in the Mont Blanc Massif , Alpine Progression


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Style of Ascent
Alt Leads
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Route of Interest
La Grange Echelle

Grade: D ***
(Ecole des echelles)

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