III, 700m, 4 - 5 hours. A legendary route up the mountaineers' mountain - this is as good a snow climb as you will find anywhere. It is also possible to climb the main couloir in good conditions. Judging the best line to take is part of the seriousness of this route.
1) Cross the bergschrund, which is usually easiest on the right, and climb a secondary snow gully to the right of the main couloir to reach a rock spur.
2) Climb this (Scottish II) and move left onto 50 degree snow/mixed ground, still to the right of the main couloir.
3) Head up the snow/mixed ground to where it begins to steepen considerably. At this point a snow ramp leads left into the main couloir.
4) Climb the remainder of the main couloir, which steepens to 55 degrees near the top, to emerge just below the Col de la Grande Rocheuse (4051m).
5) Follow the stunning snow ridge to the summit of the Verte. In good conditions this is a wonderful part of the climb, but in bad conditions it will feel scary and exposed. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
It is on the Verte that you become a mountaineer. The Whymper Couloir is a fine snow route, direct and elegant. The central part of the couloir is in fact steep and formidable, the upper part being perhaps wider but its average angle (47° between 3700 and 3950m) is 55° from 3950 to 4051m at the Col de Rocheuse. Gaston Rebuffat
E. Whymper with Ch. Almer and F. Biner 29/Jun/1865.
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