II, 450m, 5 - 6 hours. A famous route because it is a superb line on a popular peak taking in one of the most unusual mountain features you're likely to see. The 'table' after which the route is named is a huge lump of rock that toppled over many years ago but miraculously stayed perched on the ridge.
Start at the foot of the Couloir de la Table.
1) Climb the lower section of the couloir to reach a ramp-line leading leftwards to the ridge (possible section of easy mixed - follow easiest ground).
2) Climb the ramp-line over some occasionally loose rock and crest the ridge just below a large golden tower.
3) 4b. Go around the tower on the left and then follow the ridge crest (or just off it) to the Table itself. The final move onto the ledge which houses the Table is tricky (4b) but otherwise the terrain is quite steady.
4) 5a. Take a minute or so to ponder the Table - it really is a bizarre and miraculous feature. Having pondered, go to the wall against which the Table rests and climb onto it via a very physical pull. There are pegs in the wall and sticking a sling in one to act as a foothold is a good idea but there's no getting around the fact that a bit of grunt is required! The move was graded 4+ in old school grades most people agree on roughly 5a in today's money.
5) 4b. Step off the Table and climb the wall behind (4b, excellent). From here, follow the superb and exposed ridge to just above the col where the ridge joins the top of the Couloir de la Table. Downclimb (4b) or make a 5m abseil to reach the col.
6) Continue along the ridge more easily, dropping off to the right where it gets tricky, to the south summit of the Aiguille du Tour.
Descent - Descend the East Face - p.69. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
It is worth noting that when heavily snowed up the route is an interesting mixed climb around Scottish II/III and probably worth AD+. Obviously be aware of any avalanche danger in these conditions.
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