Le Pouce : Voie des Français

Le Pouce : Voie des Français


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Associated waypoints

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  • Swisstopo - 46 - Val de Bagnes
  • Swisstopo - 282 - Martigny
  • Swisstopo - 1344 - Col de Balme
  • IGN - 3530ET - Samoëns/Haut-Giffre
  • IGN - 3630OT - Chamonix - Massif du Mont Blanc



route_types: loop_hut
durations: 1 day(s)
rock_types: gneiss
configuration: face

quality: great

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6a > 6a

    III    P3 


elevation min/max : 2385 m / 2874 m

height_diff: +800 m / -800 m

height_diff_difficulties: 350 m

difficulties_height: 2430 m


glacier_gear: crampons_spring


lift_access : yes

height_diff_access: 400 m




Climbing with an alpine feel on superb rock, with lots of in-situ pegs in the central part of the route. The belays have usually been improved with a 10mm bolt.

Approach 1h30

From the top station of the Index chairlift go to the NW to join the faint path on the moraine of the true right bank of the Floria snowfield, Go up the moraine then a gully of red rocks to a large obvious pinnacle. Go up to the left of this pinnacle for 30 or 40 m and leave the gully by an easy ramp on the left (cairn.)
You gain a little hanging combe (snow?) which leads up easily to a col to the right of the Aiguille de la Glière (The descent rejoins here so you can leave any extra equipment).

From the col go down through large boulders (to the west) about 50m to join a little ridge (cairn). From here climb down a steep gully (snow/ice or friable rock) for about 50m, then make a large arc to the right to arrive in the combe of the Pouce, (snow?)
Descend the cwm to the lowest part of the face. The route starts on the left, at the highest point of a large snow patch.

Route 5 to 7h

The start depends on the level of the snowfield. At the beginning of the season the first pitch starts straight up a chimney, (belay at the base on a thread of purple cord,) then a traverse to the left, (peg in the chimney fairly high up.)

L1 4b
L2 5b
L3 4b A little to the right, belay on a terrace.
L4 5c Straight up, belay under some overhangs
L5 5b Go some metres up the corner then back to the left above the overhangs.
L6 6a A smooth chimney corner then slanting cracks. Stay in the right-hand crack, the left-hand one is vegetated (and so ignore the 10mm bolt on the left.)
L7 5c Climb the open corner
L8 5c Continue up the corner than traverse under the overhangs.
L9 4b Small overhang, chimney then a slab to the right.
L10 5b Easy slab. At the top make a rising traverse to the left above a corner.
L11-12 3 Easy but grassy

Descent 1h30

From the summit take the East Ridge of the Pouce (II, cairns) : initially following the crest then on the left side for most of the time to avoid the pinnacles. Regain the crest towards the end to go over broken rocks towards the north summit of the Aiguille de la Glière. Traverse to the south over boulder strewn slopes to reach the col and the ascent route and so back to the chairlift (1-1h30). When we did the descent we made a couple of short abseils, avoidable if you get the best line.


Need to be moving very quickly to do it in a day using the lifts. Probably best to bivvy the night before.

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


A few small to medium nuts and friends.
Crampons might prove useful early in the season.


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