III, 115m. A popular line which is not as reliant on ice as the Pelissier and is much better when fat. This is an excellent little one-day hit. Cross the bergschrund and climb the easy snow slope to a belay beneath a narrow chimney.1) 4, 15m. Climb the chimney, which is surprisingly awkward in a couple of spots, to belay underneath where it steepens and widens into a corner. 2) 4+, 20m. The corner is excellent, with some technical moves leading to a steep pull onto snow or ice, the latter being preferable! There are a couple of well-placed pegs for protection and above the steep pull the angle kicks back so the climbing is short but sweet. Continue up and right on low-angled snow to belay on the right at the foot of another chimney. It is possible to climb slabbier mixed ground on the left instead of pitches 2 and 3. The climbing is of a similar difficulty if you choose this option, but the route described here is higher quality.3) 4, 30m. Follow the chimney to a belay on a small snow slope. 4) 5, 30m. The angle eases but the climbing remains technical for the first half and then steepens just before the belay, which is below a steep chimney with a flake-crack on the right.5) 5+, 20m. The chimney is tricky but brief. Follow easier ground above to a belay.Most parties abseil off from here but it is possible to continue up low-angled snow and mixed ground to the summit of the Lachenal. © Rockfax
Philippe Batoux, Cedric Cruaud & Benoit Robert 08/Nov/1998.
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