IV, 1000m, 6 - 8 hours. A stunning line where good conditions are rare but essential if the route is to bear any resemblance to this description. When dry, it is hard, loose and scary. If you get it good, the climbing is fantastic and the ambience amazing. The belays are not fixed so exactly how you break up the pitches may vary. Climb the Eugster Diagonal and continue straight up where it branches off left. A further 200m of gradually steepening snow leads to the five proper pitches.
1) Follow 50m of 70 degree ice and belay on the right.
2) Step left and climb 15m of 85 degree ice. Ignore the line going straight up and, instead, move left and continue up to a ridge and a spike belay 5m higher.
3) Stay on the left of the gully and climb enjoyable mixed ground for 50m to a stance below a huge jammed block.
4) Climb thin ice to the block and get around it on the right. Continue up the gully to belay on the left beneath the final icy runnel. A long pitch!
5) The crux pitch, which is harder than it initially appears. Climb the runnel and pass a steepening after 20m to reach easier ground. (If the steepening is not climbable, it is usually possible to escape out leftwards to join the final snow slopes.)
Finish up the final snow slopes of the Mallory-Porter. © Rockfax
Batoux's 100 finest routes in the Mont Blanc massif , Alpine Grande Courses
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