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Aiguilles de Chamonix (Plan de l'Aiguille)
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Frendo Spur - Aiguille du Midi 

Frendo Spur - Aiguille du Midi 

AI3 M4

   
Type:  Mixed, Ice, Alpine, 3950', Grade III
Original: AI3 M4 Steep Snow [details]
FA: Edouard Frendo and Rene Rionda, July 11, 1941
Season: late Spring through early Fall
Page Views: 704
Submitted By: Rui Ferreira on Jul 31, 2015

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (3)
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upper section of the climb

Description 

The route meanders up the spine of the spur looking for the line of least resistance until the upper rock section is exited left on a slanting dihedral that goes around 5.8. The upper third of the route starts off on a steep aesthetic snow ridge followed by steep ice slopes, up to 80-degrees for two to three pitches either exiting left or right around the rock buttress at the top. The ice is steeper if going left. It is also possible to go directly up the upper rock buttress as done on the first ascent, but rarely done now given the development in ice climbing techniques and equipment. Do not underestimate the commitment level of this route, despite its proximity to civilization as the route finding can be difficult and the climbing tedious.

Location 

From the Plan d'Aiguille station or the refuge nearby head up and right to the base of the spur aiming for a left to right snow ramp about 200 ft above and right of the bergschrund. Takes about 45 minutes to approach. From the top it takes about 20 minutes to reach the Aiguille du Midi telepherique station for the way down.

Protection 

Depending on season and conditions bring mostly a standard rock rack with 4 or 5 medium screws. Double ropes recommended.


Photos of Frendo Spur - Aiguille du Midi Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: snow ridge section with two climbers nearing its t...
BETA PHOTO: snow ridge section with two climbers nearing its t...
Rock Climbing Photo: the upper snow slopes are steep enough
the upper snow slopes are steep enough
Rock Climbing Photo: this turned out to be the crux pitch given the con...
this turned out to be the crux pitch given the con...
Rock Climbing Photo: plenty of exposure on the upper rock pitches
plenty of exposure on the upper rock pitches
Rock Climbing Photo: on the snow ridge at sunset...about 400 more meter...
on the snow ridge at sunset...about 400 more meter...
Rock Climbing Photo: it goes much easier if climbed around and to the l...
BETA PHOTO: it goes much easier if climbed around and to the l...
Rock Climbing Photo: the upper half of the Frendo Spur as seen from the...
BETA PHOTO: the upper half of the Frendo Spur as seen from the...
Rock Climbing Photo: the exit from the rock section goes up and left of...
BETA PHOTO: the exit from the rock section goes up and left of...
Rock Climbing Photo: The route goes to the right of the ridge at one po...
BETA PHOTO: The route goes to the right of the ridge at one po...
Rock Climbing Photo: depending on conditions the climbing on the spur c...
BETA PHOTO: depending on conditions the climbing on the spur c...
Rock Climbing Photo: lower pitches on the route
BETA PHOTO: lower pitches on the route
Rock Climbing Photo: the lower half of the route in wintry conditions, ...
BETA PHOTO: the lower half of the route in wintry conditions, ...

Comments on Frendo Spur - Aiguille du Midi Add Comment
Show which comments
By Bogdan P
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 22, 2016
rating: AI3-4 M4

Grade III? Perhaps, but set aside a full day for it anyway and get an early start.

I don't agree on the double ropes suggestion. No long rappels are needed (or rappels of any kind), the route is mostly simulclimbed, and the more difficult pitches don't meander much at all, so the double ropes don't help. Perhaps the author was thinking that they'd be helpful to retreat? But certainly not necessary.

We had doubles and a single. We took the single and in retrospect I wouldn't do it differently.
By Rui Ferreira
From: Longmont, CO
Aug 23, 2016

to each his own, but the route is typically done in 10 - 12 hours in dry summer conditions.
By Rui Ferreira
From: Longmont, CO
Sep 17, 2016

August ascent in dry conditions, with exit left at the upper part. Somewhat a long video but it captures the essence of the climb and the crowds that meet you at the top

tvmountain.com/video/alpinisme...