||Mixed, Ice, Alpine, 5 pitches, 850', Grade III
|Original: ||AI4 M5 [details]|
|FA: ||Godefroy Perroux and Christophe Profit|
|Season: ||from Fall to late Spring|
|Page Views: ||118|
|Submitted By: ||Rui Ferreira on Jul 31, 2015|
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BETA PHOTO: exit onto arete des Cosmiques route
This is a great ice and mixed route with tremendous ambiance and with the added bonus of finishing on the arete des Cosmiques route.
P1 - easy snow and ice pitch, some exposed rock. P2 short snow pitch trending rightwards to the bottom of the ice gully. P3 - steep ice pitch with some easy rock thrown in depending on the season. P4 the crux pitch with an awkward chimney squeeze that you either grovel through or which can be avoided by mixed terrain on the right (M5). Belay at fixed station above on the right side. P5: the last pitch is about 60m long, excellent combination of ice and easy mixed rock, depending on conditions.
At the top of the climb follow the arete des Cosmiques from about two thirds of the way to the station at the top. (includes the crux pitch of that route).
While technically this is on the NW face of the Cosmiques Ridge, the best way to access it is from the span bridge of the Aiguille du Midi station which is why it is listed on the Vallee Blanche area. As you exit to the bridge from the telepherique look for the rappel station on the right side of the bridge. Step over the fence and do a 40m free hanging rappel to a station on the rocks below. Do four more 60m rappels with the last two on the opposite side (climber's right side of the Cunningham couloir). The climb starts at a somewhat obvious gully of 3+ ice. It shares the same start as the Vent du Dragon route. Expect tourists to take your photograph as you rap from the bridge...it's a busy place. It is also possible to approach the route from below by climbing the Cunningham couloir (II AD) accessed from the Plan d'Aiguille), but you would have to ask yourself why as this is a long way in.
standard ice rack with some rock protection including Camalots C4 to size 2 and some nuts
BETA PHOTO: Looking down from Pitch 3 belay
BETA PHOTO: crux pitch, the chimney squeeze can be bypassed on...
BETA PHOTO: rappel station at the span bridge