III, 165m. A tougher option than its neighbour but with more varied climbing, this is a rightly popular line. The bergschrund is straightforward but can be wide in late season. The couloir itself is usually (depending on snow cover) around 55 degrees all the way but steepens gradually for the final 100m. Depending on conditions it may be worth pitching the final section if time allows.
1) 3, 15m. A short pitch of ice to get from the top of the approach couloir to a belay on the right, below the start of the difficulties.
2) 4, 50m. Follow the gully over a series of 70 degree steps to a belay on the left, midway up the snow slope.
3) 5+, 50m. Climb the rest of the snow slope and step up into the icy groove above. Climb this (sometimes thin ice) with rock protection available on the left wall, including some in-situ pegs. A brilliant technical pitch.
4) 3, 25m. Climb the snow slope, up a short 60 degree step and onto another snowy section with a belay on the left beneath a vertical wall.
5) 5, 25m. Tackle the vertical wall, which can often be quite thin, to the final belay on the left. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
III 5+ using the Damilano grading scale. Begins with a snow couloir common to Gabarrou-Albinoni. after 30 to 40 meters a short section of 80 degree ice, then a belay on climbers right. head up the large snow couloir to the Y clipping in situ belay tat. we moved together to reach the first belay unique to Modica-Noury which is 15 meters past the Y on climbers left, up and in the rocks. From here the climbing becomes more interesting. We moved together for about two pitches, nothing too severe and belayed the 15 meters of vertical ice and rock climbing, then moved together again to the top. Last 10 meter pitch of vertical was also nice. Stopped at the beginning of the mixed section before top snowfield as we were not walking off the normal route of Mt. Blanc du Tacul. Rappelled off using in situ belays.
Gilles Modica, Antoine Noury 24/Jun/1979.
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