1100m, 42 pitches.
IV, 1400m, 1 day. The first section of the Peutérey Integrale is the south ridge of the Aiguille Noire de Peutérey - a big undertaking in itself and a real test of your route finding skills and ability to climb quickly. Start by going west from the hut across the bowl of scree beneath the Aiguille Noire de Peutérey's South Face to reach the foot of the prominent spur of Pointe Gamba's East Face. Start climbing just to the right of the spur, 20m to the left of the chimney/gully which separates the Pointes Gamba and Bifide. 1) 4c. Scramble up and left easily for 60m to a terrace. Traverse right across a short slab (4c, peg in place). Continue up and left on more easy ground for 65m to reach some grassy cracks, just to the left of a distinctive triangular slab which is visible from the hut. Traverse right across the top of the slab (4b) to reach the easy but chossy gully between the Pointes Gamba and Bifide. Climb this for 30m to where it splits, then climb the crest of the ridge which splits it for 40m then traverse up and right for 40m across ledges to reach the foot of the Pointe Bifide. 2) 5b. Scramble easily up 40m of ledges and terraces then follow a vague gully diagonally up and left for 30m, then a 30m slab above (4a) before coming back right onto the ridge running down from the summit of Pointe Bifide. Follow the ridge easily to the foot of a rock step and climb a corner through this (4c, pegs in place) to reach a shoulder on the ridge. Step left and climb a chimney (4c) followed by a steep 4c slab and a final section of 4c leading back right onto the ridge crest. There are fixed belays for these three pitches of 4c so you can be sure that you are on route when you find them. Once on the crest there is a block directly above you. Go over it (5b) and then traverse a slab rightwards (4c) to reach the first of the Pointe Bifide's two summits. Downclimb to the gap between the summits and traverse onto the second one. 3) 4c. Follow the ridge crest easily and skip the next pinnacle by turning it on the right (4a), Continue along the ridge to reach a bolted belay in a notch. Go straight up for 10m then move right onto the South Face of Pointe Welzenbach and go up this for 40m to a platform. Climb a steep slab on the left (4c) and continue up the longer, flared corner above for 60m to reach the ridge leading to the summit of Pointe Welzenbach. Follow the ridge then where it gets steeper, drop off right and traverse under the summit and downclimb to reach an abseil point. Make a 30m abseil to a gap between Pointes Welzenbach and Brendel. 4) 5b. Climb up just right of the Pointe Brendel ridge crest for 30m then come back left onto it via a 30m slab (3c). Move onto the left-hand side of the ridge until 10m under a notch. Climb the half-moon-shaped buttress above, first going up and left up a slab below an overhang, and then up a crack (5a, pegs) to reach a large ledge. Step down and right then climb another crack (5a, more pegs) followed by a slab (5b) and then step left to circumnavigate an overhang. Move back right and climb a final steep section to reach easier ground, which in turn leads to the summit of Pointe Brendel. 5) 5c. Make a 35m abseil down to the ridge below Pointe Brendel and turn a large pinnacle on the left before climbing a short chimney to the gap at the foot of Pointe Ottoz. Make a long, airy step onto Pointe Ottoz's south ridge and go straight up the steep ridge above (5b) before drifting left (5c) to reach a hanging belay beneath a corner. Climb the corner (5c, 30m, lots of pegs) and exit it rightwards by traversing 5m under some small overhangs (5c) to regain the ridge. Follow it easily to the summit of Pointe Ottoz. 6) 5c. Follow the ridge downwards and then cross a series of small pinnacles (4c) to reach the foot of a steeper rock buttress. Climb two overhangs (5c, 30m) just right of the ridge and continue up and right for 30m to a corner (4c) that terminates at the left of a large block. Move up for a few metres (4c) then come back left to the ridge via a slab. Go up the ridge easily for 50m to a series of ledges and boulders. Traverse right for 20m to reach a loose gully and a then climb this for 40m back to the ridge. Follow the ridge to the top of Pointe Bich and make two abseils (30m then 25m) to the final notch in the ridge. 7) Traverse across grassy, scree-covered ledges then follow the ridge crest to the summit of the Aiguille Noire de Peutérey. Generally most teams take 12 - 14 hours from the hut to the top. Descent from here - It is possible to return to the hut from here down the east ridge, but this is long, loose and unpleasant. If you do it, descend for roughly 100m then drop down the South Face until level with the point where the east ridge flattens out at roughly 3600m. Traverse back to the ridge over some loose ground and then continue down, or just off to the right, of the ridge, by downclimbing and making short abseils all the way to the col level with the Néve du Combalet. From here, traverse to the Néve and descend easily. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
Described in glowing terms in the Alpine Club Guidebook. 1100m vertical ascent. 2500m of climbing. A pretty decent topo exists in the Bassinini guide of classic Mt Blanc rock routes. This is available in the Courmayeur bookshop for 12.50 euro. It shows the route as 42 piches, although you'd want to solo or move together for many of those pitches. Stances generally well equipped.
K. Brendel and H. Schaller 27/Aug/1930.
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