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Rockfax Description
III, 700m, 5 - 6 hours. This route doesn't see many ascents since it is better known as a 'safe' way off the Verte. However, it makes for a good adventure in its own right and is a worthwhile way up a wonderful peak.
It is worth bearing in mind that descending the route involves a lot of downclimbing and only the occasional short abseil. This usually takes as long as going up and since it usually takes at least 6 hours to climb the route, it makes for a very long day and should not be underestimated. However, it is relatively safe from objective danger so if in any doubt about descending the Whymper, choose this instead.
Approach - Approach by crossing the Glacier de Talèfre. Follow a vague cairned path northeast from the Refuge du Couvercle to the foot of the Aiguille du Moine's southeast ridge and go from here onto the glacier and head directly for the route. The glacier can be heavily crevassed so good route finding skills are required.
1) Cross the bergschrund beneath a deep, right-facing couloir. Climb up to this for 10m and then traverse up and left across a vague ledge system to reach the foot of a wide, shallow gully.
2) Scramble up on the left of the gully to where it widens.
3) Head towards the ridge crest via some easy mixed ground and, 20m below the crest, follow a short ramp rightwards.
4) The ramp leads to the ridge. Follow this to the snow ridge just below the summit. Avoid anything that looks difficult by dropping down onto the right-hand side of the ridge but generally stick on, or just to the right of the crest.
5) The last 20m to the summit is a lovely snow ridge - climb this, sit down and enjoy the view!
Descent - Either downclimb the route or abseil the Whymper using fixed anchors on the left side (when facing down) of the couloir. Descending the Whymper is only really feasible in spring or early summer - the rockfall danger is too high in the height of summer. If descending the Moine Ridge follow the ascent route, mainly by downclimbing. Generally a few 25m abseils are required (including two on the ridge crest around section 4 of our description) but the length of the terrain means that downclimbing is the only way of descending quickly. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
Classic ridge, mixed rock and snow.


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Style of Ascent
Alt Leads
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Route of Interest

Tournette Spur

Grade: AD+ 3 ***
(Mont Blanc)