Aiguille de Blaitière - Tours de l'arête SE : Opium du peuple

Aiguille de Blaitière - Tours de l'arête SE : Opium du peuple

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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
  • IGN - 3630OT - Chamonix - Massif du Mont Blanc
  • Escursionista - ESC01 - Monte Bianco, Courmayeur

Licence

General

route_types: return_same_way
activities:
durations: 1 day(s)
rock_types: granit

climbing_outdoor_type: multi

configuration: face

quality: medium

Rating

TD  
6a > 6a

    II    P2 

heights

elevation min/max : 2690 m / 3040 m

height_diff_up: 300 m

height_diff_difficulties: 350 m

orientations

E W S N

description

Approach:

Starting from the hut, cross the boulders and snowfields under the “Pointe des Nantillons” point towards the ‘l'Envers de Blaitière’ glacier which ascends to the SW. Pass by an outcrop, flanking round to the left to come to the base of the tower (30 to 40mins, crampons may be useful). The start of the route can be found to the left of a gully, at a large sloping 40m slab, and to the right of the “Magie’Orient”/ “Occidentale Serenade” start.

Route:

The belay points are equipped with bolts and chains, the pitches are equipped with 10mm bolts (small hangars), the cracks are left pristine.

L1 5b 35m Overcome the first move then climb straight up the slab, magnificent.
L2 6a 35m Climb up in a corner, after 5m traverse to the right above a small roof to come to a second corner followed by a slab (less steep). Fine and delicate climbing. On the left you can see the second belay of ‘Magie D’Orient’.
L3 5c 40m Gently sloping slab then a 5m wall with flakes, continue on with another gently sloping slab. Belay on a ledge, (shared with ‘Magie D’Orient’ which then takes a line much further to the left.)
L4 5c 45m Loop round to the left using a series of flakes, the belay is 10 metres above its ‘Magie D’Orient’ counterpart.
L5 5c 35m An edge followed by slab on the right.
L6 5c 35m Beautiful corner, traverse to the right under a small roof then another corner on the left.
L7 6a 15m A spur followed by a lovely slab on the right. Belay on a large ledge, (a belay for ‘Magie D’Orient’ is just on the left.)
L8 5c 30m One move to the left on an edge followed by a sweet cracked slab, belay 5m below the summit of the first tower.

From here it is possible to abseil down the route or continue up the second tower.

From the summit of the first tower, look across for the belay points on the second tower at the same level. These are the 9th belays of ‘Occidentale Sérénade’ (on the right) and of “Opium de Peuple” (on the left). ‘Magie D’Orient’ is further still to the right. Abseil straight down over a large slab and then free hanging to a ledge (50m). Climb some nice slabs with cracks, trending slightly leftwards, 80m, (A pitch of 6a, a pitch of 5c and then a 5b pitch slightly on the right which joins the last part of ‘Magie d'Orient’) to reach the summit of the second tower.

Descent

If stopping on the first tower :
Abseil down ‘Opium du Peuple’ (the route)

If carrying on to the second tower :
Abseil down ‘Magie D’Orient’ (the furthest to the right of the face) (4 stages) followed by a pendulum abseil across the snowfield followed by a another abseil to bring you back to the 3rd belay of the route (‘Opium du Peuple’)

remarks

• In the sun as of 8:00
• Positioned slap-bang in the centre of the ‘l'Envers de Blaitière’ bowl, magnificent!
• Consistent in the grade and with a variety of climbing styles: Slabs, Cracks, corners and flakes.
• The route is face climbing, not too steep, cut by a terrace.
• The route has become a classic.

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

gear

• A selection of friends (up to ‘camalot’ #3) and slings are needed for the crack pitches
• 2×50 m rope

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