All Locations > International > Europe > France > .Snow, Ice & Mixed > Mont Blanc Range > Vallée Blanche Basin
AI2-3 Steep Snow
Avg: 3.5 from 6 votes
|Type:||Ice, Snow, Alpine, 1150 ft, Grade II|
|FA:||Alexis Berthod and Grancesco Gonella, August 23 1886|
|Page Views:||1,403 total · 34/month|
|Shared By:||Rui Ferreira on Jul 31, 2015|
|Admins:||Euan Cameron, Luc-514|
This is a spectacular introduction to the steep snow climbing found throughout the Mont Blanc range. During periods of lean snow there are two to three pitches of 65 degree ice half way up the face. Start by crossing the bergschrund on the right side and aim for the rocks above and right to set an anchor (60m) if necessary to belay the second. From here simul climb until the beginning of the ice pitches, where a 2 bolt anchor can be found on the right side on a rock shelf. Climb two to three pitches of 2 or 3- ice with rock gear possible, or traverse right sooner to gain the steep snow slope above. Above the ice simul climb snow to the top of the face. Rock gear can be placed if climbing on the left side of the face. Exit left and down a short rock gully (20 feet or so) and go around left for a rope length to reach the SE ridge and then up another 40 m to reach the summit. Descend via the regular route on the SE ridge and then do four rappels to the glacier on the left side at a notch (before you need to start climbing back up the ridge). Plan on about 3 to 4 hours to climb the face, longer if you do not simul climb. 2 to 3 hours for the descent including the rappels.
Tour Ronde is on the Glacier du Geant and is easily accessible from the Torino hut (1 hour), or from the Refuge des Cosmiques (1.5 hours) give yourself 2 hours to reach it from the Aiguille du Midi station and about 3 hours to return if traveling by foot. This face is also a ski descent and is frequently climbed by those carrying skis, if the prospect of skiing 65-degree slopes is not your thing the Gervasutti couloir nearby is another option at "only" 50 degrees. you can also down climb the Gervasutti couloir instead of the SE ridge.