/ Alpine rock routes that folk normally bivvy on

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Roberttaylor - on 20 Jul 2017
Looking for ideas for big alpine routes, primarily on rock, that normally involve a bivvy. For example, the walker spur. Ideally similar but easier. Can be anywhere in the Alps...ecrins, dolomites, mb massif, bregaglia...wherever. it can involve snow/glacier on the descent/approach but ideally mostly rock on the route and a decent sized bivvy ledge rather than a grim deckchair sized thing would be good.

R
walts4 - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Roberttaylor:

Not sure if this fits your criteria as its technically harder, Republique bananiere from the Envers.
Seems that the accepted way is to bivi at pitch 12.

Maybe Eperon E on the Bec d'Oiseau too, its technically easier & wonderful climbing.
But you would have to use the Le Soleil a rendez-vous avec la lune abseil descent to get back down rather than the glacier at the moment.
mrphilipoldham - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Roberttaylor:

Frendo on the Midi?
danm on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Roberttaylor:

No specific ideas but some friends once got benighted on a route which turns out to be known locally as "Le Dortoir des Anglais". I've always preferred to bivvy at the base of routes and climb unencumbered by bivvy kit myself, but I get the attraction of spending a night mid-route.
HeMa on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Roberttaylor:

The classic ridge on Salbitchen (West?).

Frendo really isn't a rock route. And I think Walker is also considered more of a mixed thing these days.
1
BALD EAGLE - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Roberttaylor:
Most folks use the Salbit bivvy hut at the start of the super-classic West Ridge on the Salbit! Plenty of rock to get your teeth into on this route... ;-)

http://www.summitpost.org/w-ridge/157744
Post edited at 09:03
BALD EAGLE - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Roberttaylor:

Or the Cassin Route on the Piz Badile should tick most of your boxes!

http://www.summitpost.org/cassin-route/158554
pec on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to HeMa:

> Frendo really isn't a rock route. >

The OP is happy with a glacier approach and asked for 'mostly on rock' in which case if you take the Rognon finish it fits the bill very well. Given recent reports of the condition of the ice slopes to either side the rognon is starting to look like the most attractive option anyway, and its certainly good a good bivi spot.
JR - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to HeMa:

Yeah, I wouldn't bivvy on the W Ridge (good chance of no water). Fast and light and in a day is the way on that one.
HeMa on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to BALD EAGLE:

Well, most people bivy before Cassin and them again the slow ones at the top (small bivy hut), don't think many actually bivy on the route.
Big Lee - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to flaneur:

Yeah I was thinking the same thing. Give me a big long day out any day to keep the pack weight down. The only time I would consider a bivi would be on something easily escapable, whereby the bivi was just for fun. Anything serious or commiting I'd be wanting to avoid a bivi if possible.
flaneur - on 20 Jul 2017

In reply to Big Lee:

Applogies. I deleted my post to edit it not realising you'd replied already.


In reply to Roberttaylor:

> Looking for ideas for big alpine routes, primarily on rock, that normally involve a bivvy.

Are there any alpine rock routes that need a bivi? Routes like the Philipp-Flamm on the Civetta, Salbit westgrat, or those on the south face of the Marmolada are as long as they get (~35 pitches) and all normally day routes.

You can choose to bivi en route. I see the attraction of spending the night in a lovely spot. However climbing is rather less fun and much harder work carrying a pack and bivi gear. It's also likely to be significantly more dangeous as you'll be more tired, especially on the second day, and exposed to rockfall and unexpected bad weather for twice as long. In my view, it would be inviting trouble to bivi on the Cassin route on the Piz Badile.

Cassin and Rebuffat may have bivied, and reading their stories perhaps encourages our romatic view of a night in the mountains under the stars. With modern gear and knowledge we don't need to bivi.

1
Robert Durran - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Big Lee:
> Give me a big long day out any day to keep the pack weight down. The only time I would consider a bivi would be on something easily escapable, whereby the bivi was just for fun. Anything serious or committing I'd be wanting to avoid a bivi if possible.

Completely the opposite for me. I always used to feel much more comfortable with the minimal extra weight on my back of a planned bivi on serious or committing routes. And I would consider it madness to go on serious or committing routes ill equipped for an unplanned bivi anyway.

And anyway, planned high bivis on big alpine routes are a real pleasure; the fashionable fast 'n light brigade are really missing out!
Post edited at 10:16
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Big Lee - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Completely the opposite for me. I always used to feel much more comfortable with the minimal extra weight on my back of a planned bivi on serious or committing routes. And I would consider it madness to go on serious or committing routes ill equipped for an unplanned bivi anyway.

A fully planned bivi and being equipped for an unplanned bivi are two different things to me though. You can still plan to climb a route in a single push but have enough gear to endure an unplanned bivi if it occurred.
Robert Durran - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Big Lee:

> A fully planned bivi and being equipped for an unplanned bivi are two different things to me though. You can still plan to climb a route in a single push but have enough gear to endure an unplanned bivi if it occurred.

Yes, of course, but the extra weight of a reasonably comfortable planned bivi over that of an unplanned bivi which leaves you in a reasonable state to climb next day is really minimal.

One of the reasons I always preferred big mixed routes to big rock routes in the Alps was the extra weight of the sack on rock routes which can take any fun out of the actual climbing. And once you've got axe, crampons and boots in the sack, bivi kit is barely noticeable!
summo on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Roberttaylor:

Stuff on South face of Barre des ecrins. Traverse of the Jorasses (More mixed). Frontiers ridge/kuffner on MB.
Big Lee - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Yes, of course, but the extra weight of a reasonably comfortable planned bivi over that of an unplanned bivi which leaves you in a reasonable state to climb next day is really minimal.

Maybe I like a bit more comfort when it's planned then, or happy to suffer a bit more discomfort if it's unplanned!
TonyM - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Roberttaylor:

South Ridge of the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey.
You can get up and down in a day, but it's a very long day.
Planning for an overnight stop gives more time to enjoy the wonderful route up and absolutely astounding views. And the horribly loose descent might be best tackled after a decent rest and free of daylight constraints.
Robert Durran - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Big Lee:

> Maybe I like a bit more comfort when it's planned then, or happy to suffer a bit more discomfort if it's unplanned!

There are planned planned bivis, planned unplanned bivis and unplanned unplanned bivis........... it's the last of these which leave you in the shit!
Robert Durran - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to TonyM:
> South Ridge of the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey.
> You can get up and down in a day, but it's a very long day.
> Planning for an overnight stop gives more time to enjoy the wonderful route up and absolutely astounding views. And the horribly loose descent might be best tackled after a decent rest and free of daylight constraints.

I did this a while back with a bivi just a bit below the top on the way down. The problem is that in dry years (I believe the case just now?) there is no water or snow, so you need to carry a lot of water (I think we had 4 or 5 litres each). But carrying only a litre or two and relying on getting up and down in a day might well be asking for trouble - you definitely want your wits about you on the descent.
Post edited at 11:32
Roberttaylor - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Roberttaylor:

Cheers all,

I've climbed the Frendo finishing left, things like that would be suitable too. I guess Grande Montets ridge on the Aig Verte would get included too (a route that I went to do once and couldn't find the right way on...)

R
Robert Durran - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Roberttaylor:

> Looking for ideas for big alpine routes, primarily on rock, that normally involve a bivvy. For example, the walker spur. Ideally similar but easier.

Any of the big rock routes on the Brouillard or Freney faces of Mont Blanc if you feel up to it.
Bserk - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Roberttaylor:

Did someone mention the Innominata Ridge? Maybe a bit too much snow & ice but lots of a big alpine climb nevertheless imho.
Robert Durran - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Bserk:

> Did someone mention the Innominata Ridge? Maybe a bit too much snow & ice but lots of a big alpine climb nevertheless imho.

It's hard to see why you would bivi on this if you start from The Eccles, but the way I did it solo from The Monzino was very satisfying - I reached the Great Couloir in the middle of the day when it was being raked by stonefall, so sat in a comfy safe spot brewing up and reading my book (relaxed, knowing that retreat to the Eccles wouldn't be too problematic if the weather looked dodgy), until the stonefall stopped and then wandered on up reaching the summit at midnight. A sort of daytime bivi!
Will_he_fall - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Roberttaylor:

American Direct on the Dru would fit the bill, with a bivvy on the way over the north face.
GridNorth - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Will_he_fall:

Interesting, you think the American Direct is easier than the Walker? I thought it was much, much harder.

To the OP: The best route by far for you to do would be the Frendo Spur IMO.

Al
Big Lee - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Roberttaylor:

If you're looking for long alpine rock routes then maybe you should add Romsdal to your destination list. Sydpilaren (n6) on Mongejura is a 900m 24 pitch classic (three pitches of n6). Most people climb it in one day during mid-summer. You could bivi but think you'd need to bring all the water you need.

On the other side of the valley there are some of the longest rock routes in Europe. Eg Trollryggen (n6), plus a couple of other similar nearby pillars.
TonyM - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

Agree. You'd probably want to do it early enough in the season that there's still snow melt available. The guardians of the Borelli hut seem to know well about water availability en route, since folk continuing onto the Peuterey Integrale would also benefit from that info.
rocksol - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to pec:
On the Frendo it would be a leisurely day if you got 1st cabin up and bivied at the foot of the ice slope where there is a good platform and a chance that the arĂȘte will freeze. The top rock buttress is OK and also the original route Much easier than Walker and conditions can vary. We wore crampons for most of the Walker and bivied on excavated snow recliners varound the grey slabs (most comfy bivvy I've had). Also if you climb at the grade the American Direct on Dru. Bivvy after the first buttress at the foot of the vertical wall (some stone fall but OK close in to the face) If you don't summit it's an easy abseil descent. Access is also easy being a downhill stroll from Montet cabin station
Ian Parsons - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to rocksol:

Phil. If you're going to bivvy somewhere on the American Direct wouldn't it be safer on the Jammed Block? We slept on that lower terrace when on the Harlin and had a worrying evening bombardment; got tight against the wall and kept helmets on all night. I've not been to the Jammed Block but I'm assuming it's slightly better protected and has less rock above it.
rocksol - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Ian Parsons:
Ian
From the first cabin unless you can easily and quickly climb at the grade and wearing rock shoes I think you,d have to bivvy on the moraine first if you planned to stop at jammed block but it is 5 stars Take your point about rockfall you need to be tight in as I eluded to.
Ian Parsons - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to rocksol:

Of course your idea has the distinct advantage of not needing to carry bivvy gear up the main part of the route if you're not continuing over the top. Maybe we were just unduly nervous! Ironically, we settled down the following night right up in the top corner of the Upper Terraces/Grey Ledges, remarking on how much safer it felt - at which point, right on cue, something approaching half-brick size bounced off my recumbent leg just above the knee. It was the second of three occasions on that particular route that nearly resulted in a broken leg!
Albert Tatlock - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Roberttaylor:
North Ridge Mt Agner Dolomites, plenty of good ledges, that hot I had to bivvy in just my undies & T shirt,
Post edited at 22:35
Misha - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:
The Noire S Ridge is a good shout, plenty of good bivvy ledges on the last third or so of the way up but unless you're early in the season there will be no water until just before the summit. We found some snow on the last ab before the summit and that was in September after a hot summer. Before and after that there was nothing.

Another one is the Traverse of the Chamonix Aiguilles.
Misha - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Roberttaylor:
Yeah GM ridge meant to have a good bivvy just before the calotte (didn't get that far due to weather) and some people bivvy on the summit.
Maarten2 on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to Roberttaylor:

Salbit West ridge.
skygod78 - on 22 Jul 2017
In reply to Roberttaylor:

West pillar direct, Scheidegg Wetterhorn, ED1, one million pitches, Epic.

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