Aiguille Croux : SW Ridge

Aiguille Croux : SW Ridge

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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: return_same_way
activities:
durations: 1 day(s)
configuration: edge, face

quality: great

Rating

AD  
5b > 4c

    II    P2 

heights

elevation min/max : 2590 m / 3256 m

height_diff_up: 666 m

height_diff_difficulties: 250 m

difficulties_height: 3000 m

orientations

E W S N

description

The route follows the normal route until a snow patch, where it goes to the right to follow the SW ridge, while the normal route continues more directly up the W face. N.B. Some guides refer to the routes as the S ridge and the SW face.

Approach 2, Aiguille Croux
Approach 2, Aiguille Croux

Approach

Approach 1, not recommended

From the Monzino hut, follow the path which climbs the moraine of the Châtelet glacier. Climb up the glacier, (not crevassed,) towards the col de l'Innominata. Around 3000m, take to the rocks on the true left bank. Spot the first belay (slings) 25m above. Climb the rock band to reach the snow slope on the shoulder, (2 pitches : II then III-IV).

Approach 2, preferable

Follow the path to the SE face, (water pipe). Before the path descends to the foot of the SE face, climb up the side of a moraine, (cairns), turn the first rocks on the left (N, ignore the rotten white rope on the right), follow some ledges and screes until a blackish cliff. Climb some ledges to the right (S) and pass two short sections protected by bolts to reach the snow slope on the shoulder. Take time to locate the two abseil points, which allow one to avoid down climbing this section, (see photo below.)

Route

From the snow slope reach a gap in the SW ridge, (first bolt with red sling.) Climb up its left side, (2 pitches III-IV) then climb up more on the face (II-III) and rejoin the ridge at the level of gap to the N pinnacle on the ridge, (belay.) Follw the ridge close to its crest. Reach a slab with 40m vertical cracks and climb these in two pitches, (IV). Then traverse along a slightly descending ledge on the left to climb up again by a short chimney/corner (IV), The belay is 10m higher up on the W side of a large block. From there walk to the summit.

Descent

Descend by the normal route which follows the middle of the W face (grey rocks).
From the summit make one abseil from the belay on the large block. Go up the ledge to the left to make two abseils down the 40m slab. Go down an easy ledge for 30m to find a chain belay. From there make a series of abseils (6×25 m?)to reach the snow slope. All the abseil points are equipped with bolts, chains and metal links.

If you used approach 1: from the snow slope follow the cairns, (not many,) which lead to a belay (on slings) to make the first of two abseils to reach the Chatelet glacier.
If you used approach 2 (preferable): follow the way up using the two abseil points already described.

remarks

Very good rock. Well equipped with bolts and pegs where needed.

  • Be careful not to knock any stones down the SE face, a popular climbing area.
  • Likewise when abseilling back down, be careful not to knock off stones if there are other ropes on the route. The more one descends the bigger the risk.
  • From the summit there are fantastic views of the Peuterey ridge and the Freney glacier.
  • It is also possible to descend by the N ridge to the col de l'Innominata, (ask the hut warden).

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

gear

Take 5-6 quickdraws and a few nuts and friends

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