III, 800m. The crossing of the Drus is the classic route of the Charpoua basin and the easiest way to the iconic summit of the Petit Dru. It should not be underestimated and often results in a benighting for over-confident teams that struggle with the complex route finding.
1) Follow the large ledge system (marked by cairns), descending slightly to enter a large bowl and then zig-zaging up the easiest ground until it is possible to ascend a couloir on the left of a spur coming down from the Flammes de Pierre ridge. Climb the couloir to ledges below the ridge crest.
2) 4a. Climb a chimney to gain a brèche on the spur, descend 50m and climb easy ground to a triangular snowfield.
3) 3c. Above the snowfield climb a short crack on the right and then follow easy ground to the next steepening.
4) 5a. Climb a steep crack before heading briefly right and then traversing left. From here climb up and right easily to a ledge.
5) 4a. Climb up and left to the start of a large corner. Follow this via cracks for two rope lengths to gain a large ledge.
6) 5c. Follow easy cracks and then weave around overhangs by slabby ground on the left.
7) 3c. Traverse left along a quartz ledge to get to a gully. Climb up the gully. Once out the gully climb up and right round some large boulders.
8) 5c. Climb up and left to a ledge (quartz) and then ascend the corner, climbing past an overlap on the right.
9) 5b. Climb the crack above (pegs) to gain a ledge system. Follow this out right to its end and the base of a wide crack. Climb this to gain easier ground.
10) 4a. Climb broken, blocky ground up a gully to gain the summit of the Petit Dru.
11) 3a. Descend towards the Brèche des Drus via easy ground.
12) 5a. Climb a short crack above the brèche to a ledge. Follow the ledge out rightwards for 10m and then climb up to a belay.
13) 5a. Traverse out left to the ridge crest and climb this to below a roof. Move out left and climb the left side of the arête.
14) 5c. Climb up into the chimney above and follow this awkwardly to easier ground.
15) Follow easy ground to the summit rocks of the Grand Dru. © Rockfax
E Giraud, J Ravanel and A Comte 06/Sep/1903.
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