Aiguille Croux : Voie Ottoz - Hurzeler

Aiguille Croux : Voie Ottoz - Hurzeler

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Associated waypoints

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Map

  • Swisstopo - 46 - Val de Bagnes
  • Swisstopo - 292 - Courmayeur
  • IGN - 3531ET - St-Gervais les Bains - Massif du Mont Blanc
  • Escursionista - ESC01 - Monte Bianco, Courmayeur

Licence

General

route_types: loop
activities:
durations: 1 day(s)
configuration: face

quality: medium

Rating

TD-  
5c > 5c

    II    P2 

heights

elevation min/max : 1590 m / 3256 m

height_diff: +1700 m / -1700 m

height_diff_difficulties: 350 m

gear

glacier_gear: glacier_safety_gear

orientations

E W S N

description

Magnificent route up a superb granite face. Tremendous atmosphere , being between the chaotic glaciers of the Brouilliard and Freney, with the enormous W face of the Noire de Peuterey in front of you.

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The route has been recently been re-equipped with bolts and the belays with chains. Ask at the hut for details.

Approach 1h-1h30

From the Monzino hut, take the marked path, that leads to the SE face of the Aig Croux, clearly visible from the hut. Leave the path as it heads to the left towards the Brouilliard glacier to traverse the slopes until a steeper section, which is best traversed diagonally, (not obvious), aiming for snow/scree slope at the foot of the face.
Climb up this easily, (30° max, crampons useful if icy), to the start of the route, which is at an obvious rounded platform/pedestal at the foot of right hand end of the face, overlooking the Freney glacier.

Route 5h

Climb up the grooved slabs diagonally leftwards, then traverse leftwards more easily (3) to the foot of some smooth black rocks, vertically below the gap in the S ridge of the summit.

Climb a pitch to the left (4a) then traverse back horizontally rightwards for 20m (5, delicate), to the foot of a chimney. Climb this for 50m exiting on the left (5) to gain the foot of a buttress with an obvious crack. Climb the crack (the original way, strenuous, 5c) with a little overhang near the top. One can avoid this pitch by a wall with cracks to the right, followed by a ramp to the left (easier but not obvious from below.)

Another chimney which one exits on the left (4 and 5,) then again to the left, steep but with good holds, leading to a belay with bolts, at the foot of a nice crack in black rock. (The original way went further right, up another chimney then a loose and difficult corner.) Climb the crack (5c, protected with nuts) to reach easier ground, a succession of little buttresses and rock steps in the middle of a large gully, which leads to the gap in the S ridge, where one joins the S (or SW) ridge route.

The summit is reached in two nice pitches of grooved slabs (4), (equipped belays and some bolts), then an easy section of ridge for 20m to the summit.

Descent 2h-2h30

Regain the gap in two abseils.

From here either:

Abseil back down the SE face, using the belays set up for the modern routes, which crosses the Ottoz route twice. You need a good topo to avoid getting lost!

or:

Descend the normal route (SW), rock steps and little buttresses, (3) which can be down climbed or abseilled (6 abseils of 25m, well equipped and easy to find). This leads to the top of the snow slope on the SW face
Descend this, keeping to the right to reach a rock band of about 40m. Either climb down this on the left or make a last abseil, (equipped), of 30m to reach a little glacier, (no crevasses). Go easily down this with the hut in view to reach the approach path then the hut.

remarks

The grading in various guidebooks varies from D+ (Monte Bianco le classiche) to TD (100 finest routes). Either way, these classic V/V+ pitches can still hold a few surprises.
With the re-opening of the Monzino hut this route is likely to regain its earlier popularity.
There are several modern bolted routes on the face can cause route finding difficulties.

Sensitive areas
There are sensitive areas on this route. Please refer to the map.

gear

Crampons for the approach if the snow slope is icy.
Nuts and friends.

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