VI, 4500m, 3 days. Yes, you did read that route length correctly; if you add up all of the ascent from the hut to the top of Mont Blanc, you climb 4500m of alpine terrain. Even if you could go directly up from the car park to the summit, it would still be over 3000m of ascent, but when you consider the sections of descent on the route, all of which have to be re-climbed later on, you cover almost the height of Mont Blanc from sea level. Get ready for a big few days!
1) to 7) Follow Aiguille Noire de Peutérey up to the end section 7 and the summit of the Aiguille Noire.
8) Make roughly 10 abseils, some of them 50m, down the Noire's northWest Face. The first abseil is 5m west of the summit and the rest are exposed, tough to find in places and generally pretty serious all round. The sixth abseil is diagonal, and leads you to a chimney/couloir, which the next abseils go down. After the tenth abseil, traverse 30m north and make 2/3 more abseils into the southwest couloir of the South Brèche of the Dames Anglaises. There may be running meltwater here so fill up. The abseils take around 2 to 3 hours, and getting from the bottom of them to the Bivacco Piero Craveri is about the same again.
9) From the foot of the abseils the rock quality is dire so take your time. Climb a 10m chimney with a jammed block in it to a notch on the ridge crest. Follow the ridge over a small summit (Pointe Casati) and descend a fixed rope west for 25m and then make two abseils (45m then 10m) to another notch. Drop left and descend 50m, then traverse for 50m and climb 10m to reach the ridge crest again. Traverse a further 10m and make a 20m abseil to a couloir. Climb this on the left up to a brèche. The Bivacco Piero Craveri is on the far side of the ridge from the couloir, 50m above the brèche. The hut is tiny (sleeps two or three people) but is a welcome rest stop.
10) From the hut, traverse on the left side of the ridge for 100m (including a short 5m climb up halfway across) to a small, slabby couloir. Climb this to a small ridge overlooking a larger couloir below and left. Ignore the larger couloir and climb a smaller one on the right and follow easy ground above to reach the main ridge crest. Follow this briefly then drop off right to traverse up and right, across three couloirs and ribs, to pass underneath the Pointe Gugliermina. After the final couloir, on the third of the three ribs, go straight up to the ridge crest. Follow this to a notch just right of the ridge crest then drop off left to reach a snow ridge which leads to the southeast summit of the Aiguillle Blanche de Peutérey (4107m).
11) Descend a short chimney and cross the stunning half-moon snow crest to traverse under the Blanche's Central Summit (4112m) and its northwest summit (4104m) to an abseil point. Make 3 x 30m abseils to reach the Col de Peutérey (3934m).
12) Follow the blunt rib just left of the ridge crest (or climb the snow couloir on the left if conditions allow) to the top of the Grand Pilier d'Angle, and then go up a stunning and exposed snow ridge to the top of Mont Blanc de Courmayeur and onto Mont Blanc itself. Award yourself a pat on the back! © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
South ridge of Aiguille Noire, NW ridge of Aiguile Noire, then Aiguille Blanche, Peuterey Pass, and the (strictely speaking) Peuterey ridge.
R.Hechtel & G.Kittelmann 26/Jul/1953.
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