Type: Trad, 7 pitches, Grade II
FA: Dodèro and Gérard over several days in 1889 (!!)
Page Views: 552 total · 4/month
Shared By: Brian in SLC on May 2, 2010
Admins: Luc-514, David Riley

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A fun, airy traverse with great views of the surrounding country side.

This route is an “out-and-back” affair across the summit arêtes of the main rock formation. As such, there is a fair amount of exposure and care should be accorded loose rock as there are well travelled hiking trails below.

Begin by scrambling up the third class ramp on the Southwest side of the formation. An anchor at the top of the small summit facilitates a short 10m rappel to the notch between this small summit and the Grande Pucelle.

From this first notch, climb up (5.6), following fixed protection on good rock on the climber’s left side of the face, somewhat slippery in places, and steep enough to keep one’s attention. Anchor located at the top of the steep section.

Traverse across the long summit of the Grande Pucelle, and look for anchors protecting an exposed down climb to a lower angle ramp on the east side. Down climb (rappel possible) the ramp back to the south until possible to step down and back towards the direction of the Dent Gérard.

Follow the trail over to a steep, short up climb (5.4) to the rappel anchor above the brèche Thorant (exposed col with a flat and gravelly base in front of the Dent Gèrard).

From the base of the Dent Gèrard, the rock looks fairly rotten and the climbing on this steep face a bit intimidating. There are two bolts (one rather hidden) to protect this section, and the climbing is thankfully easier than it looks (5.8). Climb up on the left side of the face, then traverse right to the barely visible (from the ground) rappel anchor. This anchor is located on the right side of the rock face and the left side of the easier lower angle coulior leading to the summit. Scramble up past a large tree to the exposed summit (take care with the loose rock). Enjoy the suberb views!

Reverse the route. Rappel back to the notch between the Dent Gèrard and the Grande Pucelle. Climb up the initial, steep difficulties (couple of cams nice here for protection) to the rappel anchor above the col, and rope down climb (short fixed rope here?) to the trail leading to the ramp which goes to the summit of the Grande Pucelle. 5.7.

  • Instead of ascending the ramp, an option would be to traverse to the left to a left-slanting crack system, protected by bolts and pins, which leads to the notch on the SW side of the Grand Pucelle. This variation is a fun, albiet much more strenuous way to gain the last up climb. 5.9.

From the last notch, climb up the steep bolt protected face to the short summit, then down climb the easy ramp back to the Salle-à-manager. 5.6.

Expect to take around 5 hours for this journey.


From the parking lot above Saint-Nizier-du-Moucherotte, take the GR 91 and follow the sentier écologique (ecology trail) through the woods past several intersections.

The route starts at the Salle-à-manager (the living room) at the Southwest side of the formation.

Note the historical memorial plaque on the right (East) side of the formation and on the other side of the toe of the low angle ramp, down off to the left is a tree with a nest of slings for the rappel to gain the start of the Parcours Honneger route.


50 or 60m rope. Helmet. 6 quickdraws, 4 shoulder length slings, 2 double length slings. Cams from .5 to 1.0 Camalot (or equivalent) useful for protection in the chimney between Dent Gérard and Grand Pucelle (on the return).

The route is mostly protected by well placed, newer bolts. Rappel anchors in place for all descents. There are also anchors placed to facilitate tyrolian traverses.

The route was re-equipped by Millery and Delacour in 1995.