IV, 1000m, 8 - 10 hours. The most reliable route in the face, and hence the most climbed. It's not a bad line either!Approach - From the Refuge d'Argentière, descend back onto the Glacier d'Argentière and head directly for the routes.1) Get over the bergschrund and follow snow and névé to gain the entrance to the Messner Ramp. Follow this to reach the main north face icefield. In good conditions, it may be possible to gain the icefield directly but generally the Messner Ramp is the best option. It is 75 - 80 degrees in places and can be mixed when thin.2) Climb the central icefield, which is sustained at 55 - 60 degrees, but eases slightly towards the top.3) At the top of the icefield climb the wide left-hand of three gullies (85 degrees) and then head up and right across 80 degree icy mixed terrain to the furthest right runnel of ice.4) Follow the runnel for 200m up 65 - 75 degree ice to reach the foot of a final steepening.5) Climb this (85 degrees) for 70m to reach a snowy couloir which is hidden until you reach it.6) Follow the snowy couloir easily for 100m to reach the Brèche des Droites.Descent - Go over the summit and down into the Talèfre Basin via a series of 7 or 8 abseils down the south couloir from the Brèche des Droites. Having the ability to make 60m abseils hugely eases the difficulty of this so even if you're planning on only using one rope to climb with, consider taking another (or a tag line) for the descent. Once on the Talèfre Glacier, head for the Refuge du Couvercle and a well-earned kip! © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
Jean Ginat, Modica, Simond & Troussier 24/Jul/1978.