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Arête des Papillons 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 14 pitches, 820'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c A0 [details]
FA: H. Camere / R. Dewas July 12, 1926
Page Views: 2,760
Submitted By: Victor Grau Serrat on Aug 31, 2012

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Arête des Papillons on a busy day

Description 

Beautiful and very enjoyable ridge traverse, quite aerial in sevral sections. The route follows the ridge that climbs de Aiguille du Peigne, sorting through four different towers on either side. Easiest descent is through the Papillons Coloir, completely dry in the summer, with a couple of rappels.

As per comments 5.8 A0 (Aiding off 2 pins) is the most common rating, going without is 5.10-.

Location 

The start of the route is about 45min from the Plan de l'Aiguille mid-station of the cableway to the Aiguille du Midi. As you exit the station, is right in front of you.

Protection 

Standard trad climbing rack for a ridge: set of cams, nuts and a some slings.


Photos of Arête des Papillons Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Climber (orange circle) on the crux of the route i...
Climber (orange circle) on the crux of the route i...
Rock Climbing Photo: Climber on the first pitches of the ridge, climbin...
Climber on the first pitches of the ridge, climbin...
Rock Climbing Photo: Traversing the 4th tower
Traversing the 4th tower
Rock Climbing Photo: Rappeling down
Rappeling down
Rock Climbing Photo: Jordi climbing the 3rd tower
Jordi climbing the 3rd tower
Rock Climbing Photo: Midway through the ridge
Midway through the ridge
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing the first pitch. Victor in the foreground...
Climbing the first pitch. Victor in the foreground...
Rock Climbing Photo: Victor starting the climb on the very beginning of...
Victor starting the climb on the very beginning of...
Rock Climbing Photo: Arete des Papillons as seen from the descent.
BETA PHOTO: Arete des Papillons as seen from the descent.

Comments on Arête des Papillons Add Comment
Show which comments
By brat
Jul 18, 2015
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

This route goes free at 5c+/6a depending where you look... not 5.8. It could go at 5.8 A0.
By Scott Heinz
Aug 7, 2016

Fun route, but does go free at harder than 5.8. Also I found some of the sections to have some nasty falls, even for a follower. The pictures here labeled P1 are not accurate. That is the start of p2. P1 starts with double offdiwith. Also the approach involves some 4th/ low 5th moves.
By BradLipovsky
Aug 6, 2017
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

This route description should be edited because the first-order details are wrong. The route is 14 PITCHES not 1 pitch. And the crux is 6a (5.10-), not 5b (5.8).
By Bogdan P
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 21, 2017
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

This route can safely be considered 5.8.

The entire route goes at 5.8 or less except for a short bit at the very end. This happens right off the "mailbox" belay of the last pitch. This short bit can be surmounted using a sequence of two fixed pins. The local guidebooks (e.g. Batoux's) call this "5c/6a, 5a obl.".

Whether you intend to do these moves free or aid is only a question of two optional moves, and does not meaningfully impact the character of the route.

One thing that does affect the character of the route is the guidebook time of 3 hours (Batoux's guide). If you abide by this, expediency will determine whether you free/aid, and how many segments you pitch out vs. simulclimb. 14 is the upper most limit, and you will are unlikely to make guidebook time if you do it this way.

For anybody wondering if they should try this route, but are worried about the difficulty, know that someone who is efficient on 5.8 can safely do this route.

My PG13 rating comes from at least two traverses where there's potential for cut ropes if you fall.

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