Grande Lui : Arête NW et traversée

Grande Lui : Arête NW et traversée


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Associated waypoints

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  • Swisstopo - 46 - Val de Bagnes
  • Swisstopo - 282 - Martigny
  • Swisstopo - 1345 - Orsières
  • IGN - 3630OT - Chamonix - Massif du Mont Blanc



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

quality: medium


PD+     II 


elevation min/max : 2691 m / 3509 m

height_diff_up: 918 m

height_diff_difficulties: 250 m

slope: 45°


glacier_gear: glacier_safety_gear




Approach : 1st day To the Saleina hut

From the end of the road (1540m), cross the little dam and take the sign-posted path which climbs up the true right bank of the torrent. It crosses some rock bands, (chain, a ladder and some cut steps) then, by following the old lateral moraine, reach the cabane de Saleina (2691m) perched on its rock outcrop, (about 3h.)

Route : 2nd day

From the hut, cross the Evole glacier to reach a ridge which descends from the Planereuse. Pass 60m below the Col des Planereuses. Traverse SW under the N face of the Petit Darrey until a snowy saddle, (bergschrund.) From here spot the col at 3255m, (on the IGN map,) to the left of a rock outcrop and to the right of the foot of the N face of the Grande Lui. From this col, go straight up a 40º snow slope, the make a leftwards traverse over an area of broken rocks before climbing directly up the slope (40-45°) to reach the pleasant, snowy, NW ridge, which leads easily to the summit rocks. (818m, about 4h00.)


Start by retracing your steps on the NW ridge, then take the W couloir, (40° then 35°,) which leads directly down to the Saleina glacier, (a bergschrund to cross.)
From the glacier, either go back to the Saleina hut, by keeping to the true left bank, then crossing it at about 2580m to climb back up about 100m to the hut, or traverse the plateau to the Fenêtre de Saleina to get onto the Trient plateau and so to the Trient hut, (quite a long way.)


• The top of the face gets the sun in the morning, so an early start is needed to get good snow conditions, also for the descent couloir, (which gets the sun a little later.)
• The difficulties depend upon conditions. Ice on the face makes the route a lot more serious. The route becomes more awkward later in the season, with more mixed climbing and the W couloir perhaps becoming impractical.

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


A technical axe could be useful, as well as some ice screws, depending upon conditions.


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