Rockfax Description
IV, 1700m, 1 day. Sometimes known as the 'Italian Normal Route' or the 'Route des Aiguilles Grises', this is a superb but serious journey for the low-grade alpinist. First 'de-scensionist', Achille Ratti, went on to become the Pope in 1921, hence the adopted name of this route. We are unaware of any other popes to have pioneered new alpine routes.
1) Go due north from the hut, across exposed scree and snow slopes (which are worth looking at the night before) to reach the Glacier du Dôme.
2) Climb the glacier (on the left initially) before moving out into the middle. Then come back left to reach the Col des Aiguilles Grises. The exact line taken here will depend on conditions on the glacier, so plenty of experience of route finding in crevassed terrain is vital. If conditions are very dry, it is possible to climb on the rocky ridge of the Aiguilles Grises itself to reach the col.
3) Follow the stunning and occasionally narrow snowy ridge to the Piton des Italiens.
4) Continue along the snowy ridge (which can be corniced so take care) to the Dôme du Goûter.
5) Follow the Goûter Route (p.341) to the top of Mont Blanc. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
Also known as Aiguilles Grises Route and the Italian Normal Route.


Rebuffat's 100 Finest Routes in the Mont Blanc Massif , Alpine Progression


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High AD-
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High PD+
Mid PD+
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High PD
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Low PD
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Votes cast 1
Style of Ascent
Alt Leads
Not Set
Not Set
Route of Interest
Traversée des Crochues

Grade: PD+ 4a ***
(Aiguilles Rouges)

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