Pointe des Écandies : S >> N traverse

Pointe des Écandies : S >> N traverse

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Associated waypoints

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Map

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

Licence

General

route_types: loop
activities:
durations: 1 day(s)
rock_types: granit
configuration: edge

quality: fine

Rating

D  
5c > 4c

    II  X1    P2  E3 

heights

elevation min/max : 1675 m / 2870 m

height_diff: +1350 m / -1350 m

height_diff_difficulties: 150 m

difficulties_height: 2793 m

Access

orientations

E W S N

description

Approach 2h30

From the parking at the foot of Val d'Arpette, just NW of Champex, go up the sign-posted path to the Col des Ecandies,(2793m). (The first part of the path is in common with TMB variant over the Fenetre d'Arpette.) Bypass the first rocks/boulders on the E side for about 30m and reach a little notch at the foot of the starting crack. (A bolt is clearly visible several metres higher up.)

Route 5-6h from the Col des Écandies to the Brèche Centrale if you traverse all the pinnacles

From the col, climb the crack on the right for 15m (5b, 1 bolt) to reach the gap between the 1st and 2nd pinnacles.
By a short descent on the Trient side, then climbing up a short chimney corner, go around the 2nd pinnacle to reach the gap between the 2nd and 3rd pinnacles. (It is possible to climb the 2nd pinnacle by its N ridge, 1 bolt.)
From the gap, climb a ramp slanting to the Arpette side and reach the summit of the 3rd pinnacle (2 rings).
The 4th pinnacle, slightly away from the ridge, often avoided, can be climbed by its SE face, (steep but with good holds.)
Follow the ridge (easy) to the « Rasoir » a narrow, 5m flake with a smaller flake to climb onto a platform (5b, 1bolt). Descend an easy angled slab (delicate, bolt.)
It is possible to avoid the flake on the E side by following two little ledges.

At the end of a large ledge, climb to the right then bypass a boulder on its W side.
At a distinct notch, either jump (« Saut de l'Ange », more impressive than difficult), or descend before the last pinnacle on a good ledge to the W.
Next go around the “Grande Tour” on its W side to reach the gap before the final step. There are two options to overcome this and reach the next notch:
W side: Very nice climbing (25m), firstly a crack (5b), then a slab. 4 bolts and an intermediary belay possible at a good spike.
E side : Follow an exposed ledge, then a crack (4b) and ledge rising to the right, (pegs/nuts).

From the notch, continue on the Arpette side by a ledge which traverses a slab and rejoins the ridge. Follow the ridge easily to the S summit, (one more move of 4b, not exposed.)

Descent 1h30

Abseil 25m (2 abseils of 15m) from a chain on the NE side, then climb down easily to a gap. (There is an alternative abseil 5m beyond the chain belay, not visible form the summit which gives a shorter abseil.)
Next descend easily to the SE to join the approach path.

remarks

  • The approach walk: 1100m of height gain!
  • Good quality rock.
  • Do not underestimate the gradings.
  • It is possible to link with the N section of the Ecandies ridge (AD), Much less popular.

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

gear

  • Slings with some nuts and friends
  • 50m rope, (minimum 40m)
  • Rock shoes not strictly necessary, but make it easier.

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