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100m.

Rockfax Description
II, 100m, 2 hours. A fun little traverse which can easily be combined with the Arête des Cosmiques and/or the Arête a Laurence for a great long day. The peak is named after the legendary French climber and guide Louis Lachenal, who died after skiing into a crevasse on the Vallée Blanche in 1955, five years after he made the first ascent of Annapurna.
Approach - Descend the famous Aiguille du Midi ridge, pass under the Arête des Cosmiques and turn south at the far end of this. 20 minutes of flat walking, past the Triangle du Tacul, brings you to the traverse.
1) Climb the 40 degree snow slope between the southeast and middle summits. The southeast summit itself is a 5 minute detour but it is worth visiting for the stomach-churning view down the south face. Retrace your steps to the top of the snow slope and follow the crest of the ridge to reach the rocks of the central summit.
2) Climb these on the north side initially before reclimbing onto the ridge and following this with some exposed but easy moves to reach the central summit. Descend on the south side for 3m to reach a bolted belay on an exposed ledge.
3) Make a 25m abseil down the north face and then traverse the exposed snow slope for 20m to reach the aesthetic snow ridge linking the central and main summits. Follow this to the foot of the rock buttress and the crux pitch.
4) 3. The crux is easier than it initially looks but there is some loose rock and it requires care. Climb initially on the left before moving right after 10m and following the vague chimney system. This steepens near the top but the holds become increasingly positive and the climbing enjoyable. Belay on blocks above the chimney. If completely dry, the crux can be dangerously loose and it can be avoided by making a long traverse around the north side of the main summit's rock buttress to reach the snow slope leading to the summit.
5) Follow the snow slope easily to reach the summit.
Descent - Descend northwards down the snow ridge, passing briefly under the Tacul serac (don't hang around) before turning eastwards and walking down to rejoin the approach path. © Rockfax

Ticklists

Batoux's 100 finest routes in the Mont Blanc massif, Rosie's Broken Alpine Dreaming, Intro to Alpine

Feedback

User Date Notes
Matt Boyd 16 Jul, 2019 Show βeta
βeta: The 32m abseil is definitely 32m ???? had to solo down to the tat anchor, which was also atrocious, given the decent rock surrounding it a bolt would have been much more at home.
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: The 32m abseil is definitely 32m ???? had to solo down to the tat anchor, which was also atrocious, given the decent rock surrounding it a bolt would have been much more at home.

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Route of Interest

East Ridge

Grade: AD ***
(Aiguille du Bionnassay)