Type: Trad, Alpine, 750 ft (227 m), 7 pitches, Grade III
FA: Romain Vogler and Jean-Luc Amstutz (1989)
Page Views: 613 total · 10/month
Shared By: Eric Blanc on Oct 20, 2018
Admins: Luc-514, David Riley, Bogdan Petre

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Approach: 1h from the refuge Torino, 2h from l’Aiguille du Midi
The route starts on the left side of “Pilier Rouge”. Locate a blade of rock 30m high.
The route follows the left-hand crack.  


  • The start of «Kousmine» is slightly laborious, with brittle rock on the lower part of the transition pitch leading into the climb, however this is made up for from R2, with a route that choses an intelligent and at times surprising line. The traverse on pitch 4 between the roofs is particularly intense and aesthetic, being equally exposed for the second as the lead. And then there is the magical, sustained crack of pitch 6... unlikely to leave you indifferent.

  • 750 ft of rock climbing:  5.12a / 5.10d obligatory
    New fixed belays in place, all with two points an either a chain or quick link
    R1 & R2 only have one quick link, for 2 bolts
    Route recently re-equipped
    12 quick-draws of which 3-4 long (sling
  • More information: chamgranit-topos.com/cham_n…
  • Translation from french by Aanoud Petermann


- Glacier equipment for the approach
- 2 sets of camalots C4 up to n°3.
- 2 sets C3 from 0, or X4 .1 .2 .3
- 1 camalot C4 n°4. For the start of L7, a second is useful but not absolutely necessary
- 1 set of nuts
- A pair of 60m ropes is recommended
- Useful but not indispensable : triple the C4 0.4 purple for L6

Itinerary "Kousmine"

Pitch1 (40m 5.10c) : Climb the crack to the left of the fin of rock. The lower part of the crack is a little wide, but if splits further up.Take the right-hand crack to exit, piton. Cross several rock bars leading leftwards to R1.

Pitch2 (35m 5.8) : From R1, climb the easy crack-corner to the left and follow the terraces up to the right. R2 is at the foot of a pronounced dihedral, below a large roof.
Remark: Tricky to retrieve rope abseiling from  R2 : 2 bolts but only one quick link.

Pitch3 (40m 5.11b) : From R2 climb directly up the dihedral above (6b, 4 bolts)  and exit to the left avoiding the small roof. Continue up a technical slab heading rightwards, 4 bolts, one 6c move, R3 is to the right in a large dihedral.

Pitch4 (45m 5.12a) : magnificent and intense pitch, 10 bolts. The lower part is sustained and athletic, becoming more subtle on the traverse between the 2 roofs. The last moves are exposed. From R3, go straight up the corner, with a difficult move to exit onto the slab. Traverse the slab to the right, being careful to avoid rope drag. At the level of the last bolt, descend diagonally to the right, pass the corner and climb up the crack to R4. Exposed for both climbers.

Pitch5 (40m 5.10d) : From R4, follow the vertical crack above, with a short crimpy section which is slightly more athletic. R5 is on a welcome platform (1 bolt, 2 pitons).

Pitch6 (45m 5.11d) 
: From R5, work your way through the crack system above. Traverse the quartz vein on fragile rock and follow the narrow crack above to a small ledge. Without going too far left, continue up the finger crack, leftwards for several meters and then straight up onto the slab. The crack deviates rightwards. A finger crack with short wider sections, traversing rightwards for about 15m, huge! R6 is in the wide crack that splits the middle of “Pilier Rouge” .The first section of L7 is shared with the route «Pilier Rouge».

Pitch7 (55m 5.11c) : From R6, work your way up 10 meters of the wide crack above, using the left branch to start with (6b, C4 n°4. & n°3.) A single n°4 passes, but a 2nd one is useful. Exit to the right and follow the line of easier cracks, piton. Traverse rightwards on the slab level with the bolt, to join the ridge. Follow the ridge  to the top of the pillar (6c, bolts). R7 and abseil line.


  1. Abseiling the route
    From R7 to R6 and then R5. From R5 follow the abseil line for the route «Pilier Rouge», chain anchors in place. Direct line arriving on the glacier 40m from the start of «Kousmine.»
  2. Alternatives «L’Ivresse des Latitudes» or by «Empire State Building»
60m ropes recommended due to the length of R7 to R6