III, 500m. The classic of this area, Petit Viking is reliably in condition most of winter and spring every year. There's always a catch though. Recent years have seen the bergschrund widen continuously to the point that it is often not passable for long periods. If a Chamonix guide gets across it, they have been known to leave a rope in place for others to prussik up for the rest of the season. Generally it will present real difficulty even to strong teams and is often best dealt with by dry tooling up the wall to the left of it before stepping onto the snow cone above. Once across it, a superb and remote-feeling route awaits.Approach - Follow the Glacier d'Argentière to its southeastern end. This is more or less flat until just before the routes, when it kicks up to form a short snow slope at around 25 degrees. Approach time is given from the Refuge d'Argentière - approaching from the lift in one go will add an hour.1) Climb the snow cone and the short runnel to the foot of the icy gully.2) The gully is 70 degrees for the first pitch but eases off for two more pitches above.3) A pitch of 80 degree ice and mixed climbing leads to easier ground above. Most teams abseil off from here as the technical climbing is now done.4) Follow 50 degree mixed ground for 100m to the ridgeline.Descent - Abseil down the route although the quality of the fixed anchors can vary so take some abseil cord and an Abalakov threader. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
A great goulotte climb at the end of the Argentiere glacier.
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