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900m.

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.

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Logged Ascents

User Date Style Notes & Partners
Hidden 1 Jun Solo
piken 7 Jul, 2018 -
Txitxar 28 May, 2017 -
alexm198 11 Apr, 2017 Solo O/S Started up with Matt and Mike, but lack of acclimatisation forced them to descend from around 3400m. Continued to the summit solo, which was rather arduous as a large section of the upper couloir was bare glacial ice. 3h15 from where I left them to the summit, 2h45 for the descent. Mostly downclimbing with 4x30m rappels from in situ v-threads.
Started up with Matt and Mike, but lack of acclimatisation forced them to descend from around 3400m. Continued to the summit solo, which was rather arduous as a large section of the upper couloir was bare glacial ice. 3h15 from where I left them to the summit, 2h45 for the descent. Mostly downclimbing with 4x30m rappels from in situ v-threads.
Hidden 23 Apr, 2015 Solo
Steve Wakeford 13 Mar, 2014 - 21 Hour Epic http://wakoswire.com/2014/03/16/it-should-take-between-2-to-10-hours/
with Arnaud Gasser, Hinrik Olason
21 Hour Epic http://wakoswire.com/2014/03/16/it-should-take-between-2-to-10-hours/
with Arnaud Gasser, Hinrik Olason
Hidden ? Mar, 2014 AltLd dnf
Hidden ??, 2014 -
Ben Briggs 9 Jan, 2013 Solo Summited at 12.30 from first lift. Skied the couloir with one 15m and one 100m down climbs.
with Jon
Summited at 12.30 from first lift. Skied the couloir with one 15m and one 100m down climbs.
with Jon
Hidden ??, 2013 -
jcw ??, 2013 -
Luke Brooks u ? Oct, 2012 -
with Konrad Doyle
with Konrad Doyle
Ally Baba 9 Feb, 2011 Solo O/S Big long plod but the views from the summit were amazing.
with Josh Fawcett, Dave Searle
Big long plod but the views from the summit were amazing.
with Josh Fawcett, Dave Searle
Hidden 5 Jan, 2011 Solo
stuart34 10 Oct, 2010 AltLd O/S Moved togheter.
with Kim Ladiges
Moved togheter.
with Kim Ladiges
Hidden 2 Aug, 2010 -
Hidden 2 Aug, 2010 -
hamish2016 21 Apr, 2010 Lead O/S Carried skis for descent to Cham.
with chris burn
Carried skis for descent to Cham.
with chris burn
Hidden ? Apr, 2010 AltLd
Hidden ? Mar, 2010 -
nickdonohue ? Jun, 2009 - Moved together throughout (me in front) except for short ice section near top; then descent via Whymper Couloir
with Mark McCarthy
Moved together throughout (me in front) except for short ice section near top; then descent via Whymper Couloir
with Mark McCarthy
mike.moss ? May, 2008 AltLd O/S Summitted at dawn to descend by the Whymper Couloir.
with Kane Chandler
Summitted at dawn to descend by the Whymper Couloir.
with Kane Chandler
fellgazelle 4 Jul, 2004 - Set off from Grandes Montets before midnight, in thick mist. Narrowly avoided a huge avalanche that thundered down the Cordier. After about an hour, we broke out of the cloud into a full moon and the most magnificent cloud inversion. We barely needed headtorches. Landed on the summit as dawn was breaking with the rising sun just catching the tips of the Chamonix Aguilles and making them look like red hot pokers. The peaks gradually turned to pink as the sun rose. Descended by the Whymper Couloir to the Couvercle hut and then to Chamonix via Mer De Glace and Montenvers railway. A totally brilliant day, possibly the finest I've ever had in the mountains anywhere.
with Chris Dale
Set off from Grandes Montets before midnight, in thick mist. Narrowly avoided a huge avalanche that thundered down the Cordier. After about an hour, we broke out of the cloud into a full moon and the most magnificent cloud inversion. We barely needed headtorches. Landed on the summit as dawn was breaking with the rising sun just catching the tips of the Chamonix Aguilles and making them look like red hot pokers. The peaks gradually turned to pink as the sun rose. Descended by the Whymper Couloir to the Couvercle hut and then to Chamonix via Mer De Glace and Montenvers railway. A totally brilliant day, possibly the finest I've ever had in the mountains anywhere.
with Chris Dale
Daniel Wrightson ??, 2004 AltLd O/S
with riccardo corbini
with riccardo corbini
Simon4 ? Jul, 1990 - Long route, long day. Descended other side with darkness coming on.
with Jim Greaves
Long route, long day. Descended other side with darkness coming on.
with Jim Greaves
pauldrew ? Aug, 1989 AltLd Full day out, summitted around 9am. Snow poor in Whymper Couloir so abseiled down Grand Rocheuse Spur next to it. One rope chopped on early ab so short abseils all the rest of way down - took all day and missed last train down from Montenvers.
with Dave Haywood, Jim Hart
Full day out, summitted around 9am. Snow poor in Whymper Couloir so abseiled down Grand Rocheuse Spur next to it. One rope chopped on early ab so short abseils all the rest of way down - took all day and missed last train down from Montenvers.
with Dave Haywood, Jim Hart
Hidden ? Aug, 1988 -
Hidden ? Aug, 1988 -
Hidden ? Jul, 1988 -
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Route of Interest

North Face Original Route

Grade: D ***
(Aiguille du Bionnassay)