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Routes in Aiguille du Midi

Voie Mazeaud T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Voie Rébuffat-Baquet T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Type: Trad, Alpine, 700 ft, 11 pitches, Grade II
FA: G. Rébuffat and M. Baquet (1956)
Page Views: 9,892 total, 148/month
Shared By: Seleucus on Jun 18, 2012
Admins: Euan Cameron, Luc-514

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Description

The Voie Rébuffat-Baquet is a truly beautiful line in a fantastic setting. The route is rather well equipped for a trad route there are oftentimes pitons in the most difficult sections and most of the belays are equipped for rappel. With the proximity of both the Aiguille de Midi telepherique and the Cosmiques refuge, it has become possible to do this climb with fairly minimal commitment for climbers who would otherwise avoid the long approaches and committing routes of the Chamonix Aiguilles.

That being said, this is a route at high altitude with highly variable weather. Be prepared! Fatigue can quickly slow a party who are unused to climbing at altitude and snow or ice on the route can render otherwise simple pitches very difficult. Furthermore, the weather can change at any moment and rappelling the route in bad conditions can become very difficult.

At the top route-finding can be problematic and there are many different variations. I have included the beta for just one of these variants.



The grades I listed should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism. Almost every guidebook I own lists a different grade for each pitch of the route and translating these grades from the French scale to the YDS adds an additional element of uncertainty.

Pitch 1 (5.8/5.9): Go straight up and obvious crack/dihedral, pull through a vertical section (5.9), continue on up the dihedral. Next move left along a horizontal crack and go up the face (thin moves) and move under the roof. There are two belays one under the roof and the other at the left edge of the roof. The one on the left makes it easier for the belayer to see the climber on the 2nd pitch.

Pitch 2 (5.10): Typically considered the crux pitch. Move up the s-shapped crack and curve left to a belay.

Pitch 3 (5.10): Move up and to the right following the obvious weakness. Make a tenuous move left and climb up a system comprised of a crack (on the left) and a flake (on the right) until you reach the belay at the top of a column.



Pitch 4 (5.8): Move down and to the left. From here move up to a protruding flake. Move behind the flake or go outside of it to gain a left slanting ramp. Climb the crack on the ramp to an excellent belay ledge (great for a picnic!).



Pitch 5 (5.9): From the belay ledge go right and continue up the ramp. Make awkward moves across a slab and go up the crack system. Belay at the top.

Pitch 6 (5.8): Move up a wide crack (5.8). Here the route splits, going straight up is 5.10, moving to the right and arcing back following good holds and cracks is much easier 5.4/5.5 (as shown on the topo).



Pitch 7 (5.9): From the belay move horizontally left on large ledges for about 4 meters. From here move up easy holds (5.7) until you reach a dihedral with a crack in it. The crack has some pitons and stuck nuts. Pull through this crack (5.9) and follow an extremely awkward gully (can be wet from snowmelt). When this ends follow cracks to the left and belay at the top.

Pitch 8 (5.2?): An easy linking pitch. Move down and left then go up a few meteres to a belay. This can be linked with pitch nine but beware of rope drag.

Pitch 9 (5.5): Follow easy holds up a gently sloping gully. The belay is on the right of the gully.

Pitch 10 (5.8): Follow the gully until the end (unless it is full of snow in which case you can follow the ridge on the right) then move up a crack system on the left to a belay on a good ledge.



Pitch 11 (5.10+ or 5.8 A0): From the belay move left onto the face and make thin moves (well protected by bolts) until you reach easier climbing on the arête before moving completely onto the right side of the arête. Continue with easy moves to the summit.

Location

From Aiguille de Midi descend the Arete de Midi to the glacier. On the glacier, Aiguille de Midi will appear on your right. Follow the safest way to the base of the climb paying attention for crevasses.

Protection

Slings, a rack of cams, a set of nuts.

The belays are bolted and equipped for rappel. Also, there are a decent number of pitons which can be clipped.
Jordan K
Ohio
Jordan K   Ohio
An outstanding route description is also available (free) here:

chamgranit-topos.com/topos/…

In fact, chamgranit-topos.com has a ton of excellent free info on routes in Cham. Aug 22, 2017
Seleucus
Dallas, Texas
 
Seleucus   Dallas, Texas
 
Most people climb it in Summer, usually June - Sept. I'd think late March would be quite early, but if it's a warm day, and you feel comfortable climbing in gloves and with some ice/snow on the route, I could imagine that it would be doable.

If you're looking for pure rock, I'd stick to the Aiguilles Rouges side of the Chamonix valley as it's much lower altitude than on Aiguille de Midi. Even those routes, however, are likely to have a lot of snow on the approach in March though. Here's a video of Aiguille de la Floria from the Aiguilles Rouge and the conditions we found in late March: youtube.com/watch?v=peywGHD…

I hope this helps, and if you have any other questions about climbing in the area, don't hesitate to DM me. Feb 12, 2017
Owen Silitch
Brunswick, ME
Owen Silitch   Brunswick, ME
Wondering what season this and other routes like it (i.e alpine multi-pitch pure rock climbs) usually get good to climb? I'm going to be in the range late March... Feb 11, 2017
Aerili
Los Alamos, NM
 
Aerili   Los Alamos, NM
 
Clean and bomber golden granite, warm southern exposure, + a dash of polish. Gets a lot of traffic. Taking a full rack seemed reasonable-- it offers up cracks of all sizes. Pitch 2 was intensive on small cams and nuts. Other than that, the Euros really trust their rusty old iron way more than 'Mericans. Get ready to trust it! :-)

A lot of people abbreviate and rap this route vs topping out (for a variety of reasons, including time, sometimes crowding, or the lack of desire to carry all your boots, crampons, and axes with you). While the route can be rapped, it is easiest to finish at least through pitch 3 and then rap (3) straight down vs back right. (You can also climb more of the route and still get off this way.) You'll be rapping a route called Matchmaker, and two 60 m ropes are required as far as I could tell. The raps take you straight down to almost-flat ground with no tricky rock/snow transition or yawning crevasses. Of course, if you don't have all your stuff with you, you need to carry at least boots to get back up the hill (crampons not necessary in most cases). Aug 20, 2013
John F
Cowdrey, Co
 
John F   Cowdrey, Co
 
When you top out, you get to rap off huge eye bolts back to a platform for the tram. It's an awesome route. Jun 22, 2012
Dan Flynn   MA  
Also see Snow, Ice, and Mixed. Apr 3, 2012
Colin Simon
Boulder, CO
 
Colin Simon   Boulder, CO
 
I've found that the best resources for Cham are ukclimbing.net and summitpost.org

As for guidebooks, look for 100 Finest Climbs of Mt Blanc Range by Gaston Rebuffat. Mar 2, 2012