UKC

800m.

Rockfax Description
III, 410m or 800m§. The definition of a 'plumb line', this route is stunning to look at and isn't a bad climb either! The belays were (somewhat controversially) bolted in 2011. There will generally be something at every belay station but carry an Abalakov threader in the unlikely event that there is nothing in place. The route described is the Supercouloir Direct but the first two pitches are often dry so many teams climb the initial pitches of the Gervasutti Pillar and then traverse into the Supercouloir via a snowy ramp.
1) 5, 45m. Start up slabby ground for 8m and then enter the steep (and icy in good conditions) chimney. Follow this, alongside a somewhat random fixed rope, and step right to a bolted belay.
2) 6, 40m. Move back right into the chimney, which is more open by this stage and follow it steeply to a snow mushroom. Either climb this directly at M6 or, slightly easier, pass it on the left past a couple of pegs. 10m above the mushroom is a peg belay on a good ledge.
3) 2, 15m. Climb the snow slope to a belay on the right beneath the first of the steep ice pitches.
4) 4, 45m. Continue up the snow then climb the ice above. This pitch can be quite thin but the angle is around 75 degrees so it doesn't get too technical. Belay on the right.
5) 4+, 40m. Continue up fatter ice to a belay on the right.
6) 4, 45m. Marginally easier climbing up more thick ice leads to another belay on the right-hand side of the couloir.
7) 3, 55m. The easiest pitch on the route leads to a belay tucked away on the left under the crux pitch.
8) 5, 55m. Step out right from the belay and climb the steep ice above. It kicks up to vertical in places and is sustained. The belay is on the left above the difficulties.
The majority of teams abseil back down the route from here but it is also possible to continue to the summit of the Tacul. Continue up the gully on snow slopes and low-angled mixed ground to join the final section of the Gervasutti Pillar. Summiting the Tacul will take roughly 4 to 5 hours from the final bolted belay.
Descent - The vast majority of people abseil Supercouloir from the end of the final technical pitch, although it is also possible to summit the Tacul and descend the north face. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
M5+/6 direct mixed start, followed by the ice couloir graded 5

Jean Marc Bovin, Patrick Gabarrou 20/May/1975.

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Pirate

Grade: ED1 6b+ ***
(Aiguille d'Argentiere)
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