Le Pouce : Voie des Dalles

Le Pouce : Voie des Dalles


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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
durations: 1 day(s)
configuration: face

quality: great


5c > 5b

    III    P2 


elevation min/max : 2370 m / 2873 m

height_diff: +850 m / -850 m

height_diff_difficulties: 400 m





From the top station of the Index chairlift follow the good track to the NNE, (direction top of the Floria ski tow) to join the faint path on the moraine of the true right bank of the Floria snow/scree field. This is before you reach the path to the Contreforts de gauche de l'Aig de la Floria. 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 combe to the lowest part of the face (belay visible at 30m, below a clean cut corner). The variant start (recommended) is a good 50m above and to the right of the lowest point, and begins up an easy angled slab/ramp slanting leftwards.


L1 5b 30m Crack/slab no bolts or pegs in-situ.
L2 5c/6a 45m Vertical corner to the right, 1 jammed nut, then climb the slabs on the right to a bolted belay.
Alternative start (variante des Guides)
L1' 4a Up steeply then traverse horizontally easily across a slab to the left, little protection, to a peg belay shortly after it steepens.
L2' 5a/5b Keep going up the slab to the left to join the belay of the original line at the end of pitch 2).
L3 5b 45m The pitch starts with two parallel cracks then goes generally rightwards to a belay in a crack.
L4 5c 40m Do not follow the line of bolts above the belay, (this is "le Revers de la Médaille", 5b/c). Go over a little overhang and follow the crack that slants upwards to the left.
L5 5c 30m Traverse 3m to the right and climb the crack with a little overhang and a peg, clearly visible from the stance. Above the overhang, at the level of two old pegs, traverse 5m to the right to join the line of the rib. (N.B. The Piola guidebook takes an extra belay and so this, the fifth belay is Piola’s sixth belay.)
L6 4c 35m Traverse downwards a meter then climb a crack slanting up to the right ; at the end of the crack there is an old belay with 3 separate pegs. A meter before this belay go straight up a chimney for 4-5m then traverse back slightly to the left to belay on a bolt and a peg.
L7 5b 35m Traverse obliquely leftwards with the hands in a deep crack to rejoin the line of the buttress which leads up easily for about 20m to a belay.
L8 4c Take the easiest line up the buttress, 15m 4a, 4c then 3 to reach a belay on a little terrace (not shown in the Piola guidebook).
L9 5a Climb the deep chimney which starts a little to the right of the belay to gain a large, triangular terrace ; belay (as shown in the Piola guidebook).
L10 5a Start a little to the left in a gully/chimney which gives a long pitch to a good ledge on the right.
L11-13 4a Take the easiest line up the right side of the buttress in two or three pitches to a boulder field beneath the East ridge and slightly to the right of the summit.


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 (1-1.30h). When we did the descent we made a couple of short abseils, avoidable if you get the best line.


• Sustained at 5b/c for the first 250m.
• Good bolted belay points.
• For the most part protection on the pitches is with in-situ pegs and nut placements.
• In the lower part the pitches are quite short (about 20m) so it is possible to link some together.
• Consider a bivvy the night before, (e.g. near the Index station.) and so not be in a rush to catch the last chairlift down.

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


• Some nuts and friends (small to medium).


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