IV, 1000m, 10 - 12 hours. An excellent route which takes a stunning line through some impressive terrain - this is the second most popular route on the face after The Ginat. It is not quite as reliably in condition but is still climbable at some stage most years.Approach - From the Refuge d'Argentière, descend back onto the Glacier d'Argentière and head directly for the routes.1) Cross the bergschrund and head for the Messner Ramp. Instead of climbing this, head directly up some steep icy smears for 100m to reach the central icefield. In poor conditions, it might be preferable to climb the Messner Ramp and then cross from the main north face icefield over to the Colton-Brooks icefield.2) Climb the icefield (sustained at 65 degrees), drifting right and heading straight for the rocky headwall above.3) At the foot of the headwall, make a 60m traverse left across 75 degree ice and mixed ground. This is often quite black, fragile ice and can be quite hard work. It leads directly to the gully that forms the meat of the route.4) The first section of the gully is the crux, with a steep wall (pushing vertical in places and sometimes thin) leading to the easier ramp above.5) Continue up the ramp for 200m on 65 - 80 degree ice, with the odd mixed step thrown in.6) Finish up the 100m long snow arête and some easier mixed sections to reach the ridge.Descent - Go over the summit and down into the Talèfre Basin via a series of 7 or 8 abseils down the south couloir from the Brèche des Droites. Having the ability to make 60m abseils hugely eases the difficulty of this so even if you're planning on only using one rope to climb with, consider taking another (or a tag line) for the descent. Once on the Talèfre Glacier, head for the Refuge du Couvercle and a well-earned kip! © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
IV 5 M - Where the Ginat heads left the route keeps straight up over ice at about Scottish IV. Eventually the central ice field is reached and climbed before the headwall is tackled. This is key to the route and should be reconnoitred beforehand. Either traverse in over sometimes grey and hard ice, or take the mixed ground direct (same grade). A fine pitch of Scottish V follows in a superb situation before it eases slightly and the fine, hanging ramp/gully is followed to the upper slopes. A final mixed section is tackled before the summit crest.
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