Mont Blanc classic and plaisir (english)


Published on

67 Mont Blanc rock, ice and mixt routes

Autore: Marco Romelli
Editore: Idea Montagna
Argomento: alpinismo
Pagine: 288 a colori
Data di pubblicazione: 25/07/2012
Formato: 15x21 cm

The Mont Blanc range is one of great ascents, where important pages in mountaineering history have been written.

However, alongside the hard routes climbable by but a few, there is a plethora of more accessible routes to be discovered, combining beautiful climbing and incredible surroundings. This guidebook allows you a taste of Mont Blanc without worrying too much about sporting performance.

Published in: Education
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Mont Blanc classic and plaisir (english)

  1. 1. rock&ice 1 mont blanc classic & plaisir Marco Romelli MarcoRomellimontblancclassic&plaisir 1 THEAUTHOR Marco Romelli, native of Lombardy in Northern Italy, has been a mountaineer for twenty years, concen- trating mainly on the Mont Blanc massif. Illustrator of mountaineering guidebooks and magazines, his passion for the mountains does not stop at climbing, which runs alongside drawing and photography in the constantsearchforacompleteaestheticexperience. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thanks go to Alpine Guide Patrick Gabarrou for the interesthehasshowninthisnewbook. ThankstoAlpineGuideRaymondAngéloz(managerof the Cabane d’Orny),Alpine Guide Armando Chanoine (manageroftheMonzinohut)andAlpineGuideHervé Thivierge ( for invaluable infor- mationonpre-existingitinerariesandnewroutes. A special thank you to Elise Longin for her work and support throughout the writing of this guidebook, fromrepetitionsofroutestohistoricalresearch. Thanks also to Lucie Havelkova for indispensable “logistical support”,Alpine Guide Alessio Conz (www. and Valentino Cividini for numer- ous photos, Enrico Mazzoleni for having given the author the “bug” of passion for the magical world of MontBlanc. Thanks to all the friends who have posed for photos, submitted images and accompanied the author pa- tiently on many repetitions and photography recces whichwereessentialtotherealizationofthiswork. Au Vieux Campeur Crédits photos : C. Durando - Test Flow/AVC - S. Jaulin PARIS QUARTIER LATIN LYON THONON-LES-BAINS SALLANCHES TOULOUSE/LABÈGE STRASBOURG ALBERTVILLE MARSEILLE GRENOBLE AU VIEUX CAMPEUR EN FRANCE : 9 VILLES LA CARTE CLUB AU VIEUX CAMPEUR C’EST : 10% DE REMISE SUR CERTAINS ACHATS ET PARFOIS MIEUX… LA CARTE CLUB AU VIEUX CAMPEUR DE REMISE v2 Au Vieux CampeurAu Vieux Campeur SYMBOLE DU CHOIX, DU CONSEIL ET DU PRIX €24,509 788897 299219 >
  2. 2. 5 Opening a book about Mont Blanc is always a moving experience for me, a mountain which I’ve dreamed of so much and which has given me so many dreams in return. First of all,I remember the moment when I discovered these mountains, at fourteen years old, thanks to Gaston Rebuffat’s beautifully entitled book,“Mont Blanc,jardin féérique”*.I am immensely grateful to Rébuffat, who through this book revealed to me a true high-altitude treasure, something I’d only dreamed of, confusedly and ardently, coming from a flat region with no mountains. And then there are numerous memories of hours and hours spent there, in the heart of these mountains, which little by little have become engraved in my memory. As well as these, though, are the precious faces of so many companions, illumi- nated by the light and shade of the mountains. Faces alight with effort or enthusiasm, with fatigue or joy, with worry or relief, with wonder or confusion... Let this book, so clearly the product of a true lifetime passion, reveal to its readers those great places where dreams are made, along the main roads or secret corners of this inexhaustible “enchanted garden”. Let it guide you in the realisation of those dreams, accomplished and wholly shared in that unique relationship between climbers. Patrick Gabarrou *Jardin féérique: enchanted garden First Edition: June 2012 ISBN: 978-88-97299-21-9 Idea Montagna Editoria eAlpinismo Via Guido Rossa,17 - 35016 Piazzola sul Brenta PD - Italy Tel.+39 049 9601797 - General Coordination: Francesco Cappellari Graphic Design: Rossella Benetollo - Officina Creativa - Padova Layout,image processing,maps: Irene Cappellari Illustrations/sketches: Marco Romelli English translation: Lynne Hempton Printed by: Litocenter Srl per conto di Idea Montagna Editoria eAlpinismo Cover Photo: CosmiquesArête (Photo: Marco Romelli) All rights reserved. Reproduction,including partial reprodution of text,drawings and photographs prohibited. Warnings: Rock climbing is a potentially fatal activity.The present guide is intended only for experienced rock climbers who are aware of the risks involved. This guidewas compiledwith the utmost care but there is no guarantee against the possibility of errors or omissions.The use of the information contained herrein is at the user’s own risk. The author and the publisher do not accept any responsability for any misadventure or any other consequences of its use. Preface PHOTOGRAPHS All the photos were taken by the author,apart from images of huts and those specified below: Raymond Angéloz pag. 20 e 31 in basso; Carlo Barbolini pag.239; Davide Barcella pag. 225; Emer Bavelloni pag. 57 in alto;DavideBordetpag.116inbasso;ArmandoChanoinepag.215;ValentinoCividinipag.50,82,92,171(alto),177,226, 235,240,263;AlessioConzpag.227,228e229inalto;GianPaoloDeNicolòpag.210(alto),214;FabioDiFedepag.44in basso; Elise Longin pag.35 in basso,234,283; Enrico Mazzoleni pag.128,161 (alto),166,168,229 (basso),238 (basso); Francesco Melchiori pag.254;Jeffrey Moskowitz pag.99; Brendan O’Sullivan pag.133 (basso); Claude Quenot pag.112. Idea Montagna has collaborated closelywithADMO (Associa- tion for Bone Marrow Donation) - in the Climb for Life project, which aims to raise awareness about stem cell transplants (and the lives which this process can save) in the mountain- eering community. -
  3. 3. 98 031 Pointe Lachenal - Pointe Lachenal Traverse 150 032 Triangle du Tacul - Contamine-Négri 152 033 Triangle du Tacul - Contamine-Grisolle 154 034 Triangle du Tacul - Contamine-Mazeaud 156 035 Triangle du Tacul - Goulotte Chéré 158 036 Mont Blanc du Tacul - Normal Route 160 037 Mont Maudit - Tour of the East Ridge 162 038 Monte Bianco - Three monts Traverse 164 SEVEN ST. GERVAIS - LES CONTAMINES 169 039 Monte Bianco - Normal Route via the Aiguille du Gouter and the Bosses Ridge 176 040 Aiguille de Bionnassay - Ridge Traverse 179 041 Dômes de Miage - Mettrier Ridge to the East Dome 183 042 Dômes de Miage - Traverse from East to West 186 043 Aiguille Nord de Trélatête - Normal Route of the NNW Face 189 EIGHT VAL VENY - SEIGNE 191 044 Aiguille des Glaciers - Normal Route 198 045 Dôme de Neige des Glaciers - Lanchettes Ridge 201 046 Petit Mont Blanc - Normal Route 204 047 Aiguille Est di Trélatête - East Ridge 206 048 Aiguille du Châtelet - Idroelettrica or Hydrotecnique 209 049 Aiguille Croux - Ottoz Route on the SE Face 211 050 Aiguille Croux - Cheney Route via the S Ridge 215 NINE POINTE HELBRONNER - COL DU GÈANT 219 051 Dent du Géant - Normal Route on the SW Face 224 052 Aiguille de Rochefort - Normal Route via the Rochefort Ridge 227 053 Aiguilles d’Entrèves - SW-NE Traverse 230 054 Tour Ronde - Normal Route via the SE Ridge 233 055 Tour Ronde - North Face 237 056 Tour Ronde - Gervasutti Couloir 239 057 Roi de Siam - Le Lifting du Roi 242 058 Pyramide du Tacul - East Ridge or “Ottoz Route” 245 TEN VAL FERRET 249 059 Parete dei Titani - Génépi 1-2 253 060 Monts Rouges de Triolet - Le Chamois Volant (3289m summit) 255 061 Monts Rouges de Triolet - La Bérésina (3327m summit) 259 062 Mont Dolent - Normal Route 262 ELEVEN AIGUILLES ROUGES 265 063 Le Brévent - La Frison-Roche 270 064 Aiguille de Charlanon - Arête du Doigt 273 065 Aiguille de l’Index - Perroux Route-SE Ridge Combination 277 066 Pointe Gaspard - Gaspard Premier 281 067 Aiguilles Crochues - South Ridge to South Summit (Ravanel Route) 283 PREFACE 5 INTRODUCTION 6 GEOGRAPHICAL SITUATION 10 TECHNICAL INFORMATION 12 USEFUL CONTACTS 18 ONE ORNY - TRIENT 19 001 Gendarme d’Orny - Papa Paye Route 24 002 Aiguille de la Cabane - Voie du Bon Accueil 28 003 Aiguille d’Orny - La Moquette 32 004 Aiguilles Dorées - Copt Couloir 36 005 Aiguille Sans Nom - S Arête and half traverse of the Aiguilles to the E 41 006 Tête Blanche - N Face 46 TWO TOUR BASIN 49 007 Aiguille du Tour - Normal Route to the S Peak 54 008 Aiguille du Tour - Couloir de la Table 58 009 Aiguille du Chardonnet - Forbes Arête 60 010 Aiguille du Chardonnet - Éperon Migot 65 THREE ARGENTIÈRE BASIN 69 011 Petite Aiguille Verte - Normal Route 74 012 Petite Aiguille Verte - Chevalier Couloir 76 013 Aiguille de l’Argentière - Normal Route via the Milieu Glacier 79 014 Aiguille de l’Argentière - Couloir en Y 82 015 Aiguille du Refuge - Le gateau de Riz 85 016 Aiguille du Génépi - South Arête 88 FOUR MER DE GLACE 91 017 Lower Envers Slabs - Pilier des Rhodo-Dindons 96 018 Lower Envers Slabs - Voie Georges 96 019 Lower Envers Slabs - Vingt Mille Lieues Sous la Neige 96 020 Aiguille du Moine - South Arête 100 021 Aiguille du Moine - Normal Route 104 022 Aiguille Verte - Normal Route via the Whymper Couloir 107 FIVE AIGUILLES DE CHAMONIX 111 023 Aiguille de l’M - NNE Arête 115 024 Lames Fontaine - Voie Abert 119 025 Aiguille du Peigne - Les Lépidoptères 123 026 Aiguille du Peigne - Arête des Papillons 127 027 Aiguille du Peigne - Éperon des Minettes 130 SIX AIGUILLE DU MIDI 135 028 Aiguille du Midi - Cosmiques Arê te 141 029 Aiguille du Midi - Cosmiques Spur 144 030 Aiguille du Plan - Midi-Plan Ridge 147
  4. 4. TOUR BASIN
  5. 5. 50 51 Albert 1er Aiguille duTour Signal Reilly Glacier duTour 8 7 9-10 slope descending from the col. From the top of the cable car, take the path which climbs right over steep grassy slopes to the path coming from the Col de Balme,without having to reach the col itself (4h to the hut).There is also a path which climbs along the steep moraine on the right bank of the Tour valley, joining the other path just before the hut (signs).This route is direct but arduous,particularly in descent. The Tour basin is not ideal for combining routes. The iti- neraries, largely glacial, are very different in terms of difficulty:whilsttheAiguilleduTourleavesyoureadyfor more, those returning from a route on the Chardonnet will normally want a rest. In this case, best to keep this area for multiple visits: if you have a few days here, re- laxing on the rock routes of theAiguilles Rouges is a good way to end the holiday. One interesting option of linking lower grade routes is to climb a route on the Aiguille du Tour, traverse to the Trient refuge, climb the N side of Tête Blanche the following day and then return directly to the Albert 1er hut (see route no.006). Tour Basin The vast plateau of the Glacier duTour is the last of a series of glaciers which lie along the Chamonixvalley.TheTrient basin,Swiss territory, is within striking distance and easily accessed in traverse.At its S and N borders,two imposing peaks rise up,two opposing poles of glacier climbing: theAiguille duTour,awash with those taking their first few steps in crampons,and theAiguille du Chardonnet,which demands experience both in ascent and descent. ACCESS The start point is the village ofTour,which can be rea- ched from Chamonix by car by heading towards the Col des Montets.Turn right after the village ofArgentière, just before the hairpins which lead to the col.Continue until the end of the road to the chairlift car park.In the summer,a cable car and a chairlift lead up towards Col de Balme (2204m),from here a path traverses at length until the Albert Ier hut,near to the glacier duTour. In autumn,before the heavy snowfalls,the basin can still be accessed and the routes are often in condition.When the lifts are closed,the walk-in is a couple of hours longer. In the spring,theTour basin is accessed by ski,from theArgentière glacier,crossing the Col du Passon. The village ofTour can also be reached by train from Chamonix.About 15 mins from the train station to the cable car. LETOUR-CHARAMILLON-COLDE BALME CABLE CAR website: Suggested bases ALBERT1er HUT,2702 m Tel.0033 (0)4 50 54 06 20 Places: 137 beds Opening period: open in summer, winter refuge during closed periods. (30 beds) Situated in the Tour basin, the Albert 1er hut is the only support base for this area. During summer weekends, it is not uncommon to find it completely booked up; should this be the case, as soon as it’s dark, between the boulders around the building you can see the torches of many improvised bivvies (lots of camping spots).The hut is accessed from the Col de Balme along an excellent path,well marked and equip- ped in part with a handrail (2h).When the lifts are closed,leave the vil- lage of Tour on foot, initially following a path which cuts across the ski Mont Blanc - classic & plaisir Hut
  6. 6. 52 Aiguille duTour Aiguille Purtscheller Col sup. duTour Col duTour Tête Blanche Aiguille du Chardonnet AIG. DU COL DU TOUR Col Du Tour Col sup. du Tour AIG. PURTSCHELLER 3287 3478 3281 TÊTE BLANCHE 3429 PETITE FOURCHE 3513 AIG. DE LA FENÊTRE 3412 GRANDE FOURCHE 3610 Fenêtre du Tour Glacier de Saleina 3336AIG. FORBES 3489 Fenêtre sup. du Tour Glacier de l'Épaule Col du Passon 3456 AIG. DU PASSON 3383 AIGUILLE ADAMS REILLY 3506 BEC ROUGE SUP. 3050 COL DU CHARDONNET 3323le Trident les Capucins 3570 AIG. DU CHARDONNET3824 AIG. D’ARGENTIÈRE 3900 TÊTE BISELX 3509 AIG. DU TOUR 3544 2883 AIG. DU PISSOIR 3441 AIG. DU MIDI DES GRANDS 3302 AIG. DU GÉNÉPI 3265 POINTES DES GRANDS 3101 2879 2702 Refuge Albert Ier Signal Reilly Croix de Berons G l a c i e r d e s G r a n d s P l a t e a u d u T r i e n t G l a c i e r d u T o u r 8 7 6 9 10 53 AIGUILLE DU TOUR Viewed from the Albert 1er hut, the Aiguille du Tour is a slender rocky two-pointed pyramid: the N point is 3544m high and the S 3542m. The latter, which hangs directly over the glacier du Tour, is the more frequented of the two. Routes: Normal Route p.54 Couloir de LaTable p.58 AIGUILLE DU CHARDONNET TheAiguilleduChardonnetisanisolatedmountain,with an elegant and complex profile. Located on the far SE limits of the glacier duTour,perspectives are skewed: only after a long walk-in do its true dimensions become apparent. The ascent routes, never dull, and the exposed and dangerous des- cent make this peak the‘little sister’of Aiguille Verte, which overlooks it from the nearby upper part of theArgentière glacier. Routes: ForbesArête p.60 Éperon Migot p.65 Tour BasinMont Blanc - classic & plaisir
  7. 7. 5554 Aiguille Purtscheller Aiguille duTour Glacier duTour Glacier du Trient Col sup.du Tour 8 7 6 007 7 7a Aiguille S duTour Aiguille N duTour 7 7a Aiguille S duTour Aiguille N duTour Easy and enjoyable route: The pitches are varied (glacier traverse, surmounting a col, final wall and ridge), and the superb panoramas are ever-chang- ing. It’s impossible even for the most experienced mountaineer to get bored, should they choose this route to introduce their friends to glacier travel. GEAR Equipment for glacier travel. A couple of long threads and some ice screws can prove useful in dry seasons, when the slope underneath the summit is formed of black ice. APPROACH From the Albert 1er hut, follow the cairned path in a rising traverse towardstheglacier.Thisisreachedincorrespondencewiththesecond- aryglacialsnoutwhichdescendsfromtheFenêtreduPissoir(20mins). AIGUILLE DU TOUR 3544 m Normal Route to the S Peak • FIRSTASCENT: C.G.Heathcote with M.Andermatten, 18August 1864 • GRADE: F,I-II • HEIGHTGAIN: 800 m • SUPPORTBASES: Albert 1er hut • FEATURES: Glacier traverse, easy rocky ridge Tour BasinMont Blanc - classic & plaisir 007
  8. 8. 56 57 with the path coming from the Cabane du Trient). From here, the two rocky pinnacles of the Aiguille du Tour are visible and within reach. Continue,aiming for the left (S) peak.Reach the short but steep slope which descends from the summit, cross the bergschrund and move lefttoreachtherocks.Followledgestotheright,toasmallcolontheN ridge.Followtheridgeoverboulders,scratchedbythousandsofcram- pon points,until the summit (3h from the hut). DESCENT Same route. IDEALCONDITIONS Extremely busy route from the start of summer to autumn.At the end of the season or during very warm periods, the final slopes transform into black ice and there is a risk of rockfall from above. In autumn, af- ter the first snowfalls,the glacier traverse isverydelicate (hidden and fragile ice bridges). OTHER OPTIONS • 7a from the base of the two small E faces of theAiguille duTour,it is possible to climb the N peak over slightly more difficult rock sections. (see photo page 54). • 7b the N face of Tête Blanche is not far from the Col Superieur du Tour (20mins of slightly descending traverse along the Plateau duTri- ent). ROUTE The first part of the route follows the right bank of the glacier du Tour to reach and overcome the Col Superieur du Tour, then leads across the upper part of the Plateau du Trient. From here, continue until the small E faces of the two peaks and climb over rocks to the summit. From the Albert Ier hut, once at the glacier du Tour, traverseaimingtowardstheSignalReilly(2883m),a small rocky rise underneath the SW ridge of the Ai- guille du Tour. Go beyond this (possible to go below orabove),toreachtheupperslopes.Climbobliquely right, avoiding a treacherous section (large cre- vasses). Continue until the rocky ridge to the left of Col Sup. du Tour. Go around its WSW spur to enter into the narrow secondary valley which descends from the Col Superieur du Tour, on ever-steepening slopes.Afewmetresonrockleadtothecol.Descend easily from the other side onto the Plateau duTrient and continue ascending, bordering the red rocks of the sharp Aiguille Purtscheller (usual meeting point Previous page,above: on the Glacier du Trient,towards the N and S peaks of the Aiguille duTour Previous page,below: N Summit Above: on the summit Below: the plateau of the Glacier duTour Tour BasinMont Blanc - classic & plaisir