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800m.

Rockfax Description
III, 410m or 800m§. The definition of a 'plumb line', this route is stunning to look at and isn't a bad climb either! The belays were (somewhat controversially) bolted in 2011. There will generally be something at every belay station but carry an Abalakov threader in the unlikely event that there is nothing in place. The route described is the Supercouloir Direct but the first two pitches are often dry so many teams climb the initial pitches of the Gervasutti Pillar and then traverse into the Supercouloir via a snowy ramp.
1) 5, 45m. Start up slabby ground for 8m and then enter the steep (and icy in good conditions) chimney. Follow this, alongside a somewhat random fixed rope, and step right to a bolted belay.
2) 6, 40m. Move back right into the chimney, which is more open by this stage and follow it steeply to a snow mushroom. Either climb this directly at M6 or, slightly easier, pass it on the left past a couple of pegs. 10m above the mushroom is a peg belay on a good ledge.
3) 2, 15m. Climb the snow slope to a belay on the right beneath the first of the steep ice pitches.
4) 4, 45m. Continue up the snow then climb the ice above. This pitch can be quite thin but the angle is around 75 degrees so it doesn't get too technical. Belay on the right.
5) 4+, 40m. Continue up fatter ice to a belay on the right.
6) 4, 45m. Marginally easier climbing up more thick ice leads to another belay on the right-hand side of the couloir.
7) 3, 55m. The easiest pitch on the route leads to a belay tucked away on the left under the crux pitch.
8) 5, 55m. Step out right from the belay and climb the steep ice above. It kicks up to vertical in places and is sustained. The belay is on the left above the difficulties.
The majority of teams abseil back down the route from here but it is also possible to continue to the summit of the Tacul. Continue up the gully on snow slopes and low-angled mixed ground to join the final section of the Gervasutti Pillar. Summiting the Tacul will take roughly 4 to 5 hours from the final bolted belay.
Descent - The vast majority of people abseil Supercouloir from the end of the final technical pitch, although it is also possible to summit the Tacul and descend the north face. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
M5+/6 direct mixed start, followed by the ice couloir graded 5

Jean Marc Bovin, Patrick Gabarrou 20/May/1975

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Batoux's 100 finest routes in the Mont Blanc massif, ROCKFAX Chamonix: Top 50, Big Routes, Alpine Grande Courses

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Logged Ascents

User Date Style Notes & Partners
Matthew Glenn 12 Mar AltLd
Tom Fullen 12 Mar AltLd dnf Got 4 pitches up before bailing. Not enough ice to climb safely. First two pitches of the direct were in and great
Got 4 pitches up before bailing. Not enough ice to climb safely. First two pitches of the direct were in and great
George Ponsonby 12 Mar AltLd dnf Bailed at the 5th pitch, conditions, weather and spindrift got a bit too much
Bailed at the 5th pitch, conditions, weather and spindrift got a bit too much
alexm198 11 Mar AltLd Good to go back and settle the score with this. Started late after pow-day carnage at the Midi. At the bottom of the Midi arête by 11, at the base of the route by about 12:30. I kicked things off with P1 which was icier than last time I did it — great climbing around M6 with decent gear. Tom’s crampon came apart as he set off up P2 but insanely I managed to catch the front section on its way past me. He reattached it and dispatched the snow plug with style, despite eating his bodyweight in spindrift. Moved together for the rest of the route, including the horribly dry fifth pitch which was technical and bold M5+ or so. Top pitch was about WI3 with good rock gear on left.
Good to go back and settle the score with this. Started late after pow-day carnage at the Midi. At the bottom of the Midi arête by 11, at the base of the route by about 12:30. I kicked things off with P1 which was icier than last time I did it — great climbing around M6 with decent gear. Tom’s crampon came apart as he set off up P2 but insanely I managed to catch the front section on its way past me. He reattached it and dispatched the snow plug with style, despite eating his bodyweight in spindrift. Moved together for the rest of the route, including the horribly dry fifth pitch which was technical and bold M5+ or so. Top pitch was about WI3 with good rock gear on left.
Hidden 11 Mar AltLd O/S
Hidden 8 Mar Lead O/S
davkeo 20 Feb AltLd O/S Brilliant climb. I started & took in 20m or so of p2 for a 65m pitch. Quite thin & technical mixed climbing. Belayed on the left 10-15m below the ice overhang which was steep but not the crux today. Misha led p3&4 with some moving together. I led p5 which was very thin & bold but very good. Simul climbed the last 3 pitches with Misha back in front. Lots of spindrift & pretty cold. Climbed in ski boots. Stayed the night in Abri Simond, as planned. NW wind was brutal on the skin up to the hut.
with Misha
Brilliant climb. I started & took in 20m or so of p2 for a 65m pitch. Quite thin & technical mixed climbing. Belayed on the left 10-15m below the ice overhang which was steep but not the crux today. Misha led p3&4 with some moving together. I led p5 which was very thin & bold but very good. Simul climbed the last 3 pitches with Misha back in front. Lots of spindrift & pretty cold. Climbed in ski boots. Stayed the night in Abri Simond, as planned. NW wind was brutal on the skin up to the hut.
with Misha
Misha H 20 Feb AltLd O/S Super! Been wanting to do this ever since hearing about it over 10 years ago. In that time, it’s gone from aspirational to pretty steady, which is good and doesn’t detract from the route. Massive lift queue (should have got up earlier!) so didn’t leave the Midi till about 11. Attack at 12.30pm! I did the snow plod over the shrunds. Dave did a 65m mixed pitch to a comfy belay ledge (possible to stop earlier at a bolt belay but it was semi hanging and a bit off line; the last 5-10m were easy ground so moving together was fine). This was pretty sustained with thin ice and tricky mixed but pretty good gear, including a fair bit of in situ stuff. Solid VI 7. I did the snow plug pitch, which was only about 20m from Dave’s belay. The snow plug was overhanging but not very large and there were good hooks and good footholds for the left foot (right foot in a tenuous seam), plus the gear was good, so it was just a few steep pulls and pretty straightforward. Short and sharp VI 7. I linked the next two pitches - snow plod and thin IV ice. Dave did the second ice pitch, which was very thin and quite technical but thankfully not very steep. VI 5 as not much gear. I then moved together to the top of the difficulties with two micro traxions. This covered three pitches and got us up pretty quickly. The top pitch is meant to be the ice crux but it was the fattest on the day so pretty steady and I felt happy moving together on it. IV, III and V ice. Took 5h 45m to the top of the difficulties. Just under 1.5h to abseil (8 abseils). Got dark half way down but the abs were straightforward as mostly on bolts. Skied down the approach slope with skins on, which worked ok, then skinned up to the Simond as planned (last night before the Cosmiques opened). Only issue was a fairly vicious wind going across the plateau. Windy and cold in the morning so just skied down and deserted VB (the Midi was closed). Climbed in ski boots, which was fine. Set of cams micros to yellow was sufficient. Don’t think we placed any nuts. 10 screws (less if not planning to move together). 10 draws (though I was running out towards the top, had to clip single crabs plundered from cams).
with davkeo
Super! Been wanting to do this ever since hearing about it over 10 years ago. In that time, it’s gone from aspirational to pretty steady, which is good and doesn’t detract from the route. Massive lift queue (should have got up earlier!) so didn’t leave the Midi till about 11. Attack at 12.30pm! I did the snow plod over the shrunds. Dave did a 65m mixed pitch to a comfy belay ledge (possible to stop earlier at a bolt belay but it was semi hanging and a bit off line; the last 5-10m were easy ground so moving together was fine). This was pretty sustained with thin ice and tricky mixed but pretty good gear, including a fair bit of in situ stuff. Solid VI 7. I did the snow plug pitch, which was only about 20m from Dave’s belay. The snow plug was overhanging but not very large and there were good hooks and good footholds for the left foot (right foot in a tenuous seam), plus the gear was good, so it was just a few steep pulls and pretty straightforward. Short and sharp VI 7. I linked the next two pitches - snow plod and thin IV ice. Dave did the second ice pitch, which was very thin and quite technical but thankfully not very steep. VI 5 as not much gear. I then moved together to the top of the difficulties with two micro traxions. This covered three pitches and got us up pretty quickly. The top pitch is meant to be the ice crux but it was the fattest on the day so pretty steady and I felt happy moving together on it. IV, III and V ice. Took 5h 45m to the top of the difficulties. Just under 1.5h to abseil (8 abseils). Got dark half way down but the abs were straightforward as mostly on bolts. Skied down the approach slope with skins on, which worked ok, then skinned up to the Simond as planned (last night before the Cosmiques opened). Only issue was a fairly vicious wind going across the plateau. Windy and cold in the morning so just skied down and deserted VB (the Midi was closed). Climbed in ski boots, which was fine. Set of cams micros to yellow was sufficient. Don’t think we placed any nuts. 10 screws (less if not planning to move together). 10 draws (though I was running out towards the top, had to clip single crabs plundered from cams).
with davkeo
Tom Seccombe 16 Feb AltLd O/S
Hidden 13 Jan AltLd
QuentinSu 12 Jan AltLd O/S
stanleynkk 14 Apr, 2016 AltLd
Richard Kendrick 14 Apr, 2016 AltLd O/S Awesome route
Awesome route
Graeme Barr 23 Mar, 2016 AltLd
DigitalSteak 23 Mar, 2016 AltLd
Hidden 12 Mar, 2016 AltLd dnf
alexm198 12 Mar, 2016 AltLd dnf
Hidden 11 Mar, 2015 AltLd O/S
Hidden 13 Feb, 2015 Lead β
Sir Pilade ? Apr, 2014 AltLd We did not climbed the direct mixed start, but we continued to go up the slope at the right side of the Piller Gervasutti until it was possible, and from there we started to climb on rock for 3 pitches. Very BAD idea! The pitches were hard, the rock was rotten and it was not easy to place some gears! It took us a lot of time. Then we finally reached the couloir.. and it was great! Very nice route!
We did not climbed the direct mixed start, but we continued to go up the slope at the right side of the Piller Gervasutti until it was possible, and from there we started to climb on rock for 3 pitches. Very BAD idea! The pitches were hard, the rock was rotten and it was not easy to place some gears! It took us a lot of time. Then we finally reached the couloir.. and it was great! Very nice route!
Greg Boswell 23 Oct, 2012 AltLd O/S Started the route at 7pm and climbed/rapped the whole thing through the night.Clear skies, 4 star route and good company...what more could you ask for?
Started the route at 7pm and climbed/rapped the whole thing through the night.Clear skies, 4 star route and good company...what more could you ask for?
Ally Baba 23 Oct, 2012 AltLd
with Greg Boswell
with Greg Boswell
Chris Reid ? Feb, 2012 AltLd
with Kev Avery
with Kev Avery
hamish2016 16 Jan, 2010 AltLd Direct start, 5 out of the 8 picthes of difficulties. Ran out of time and abbed off before descending the Vallee Blanche in a rapidly fading light with one headtorch (my petzl broke...no surprise there) and the heaviest bags we`ve ever skied with. Direct start is really good but rest of the supercouloir a bit samey.
with Tom Grant
Direct start, 5 out of the 8 picthes of difficulties. Ran out of time and abbed off before descending the Vallee Blanche in a rapidly fading light with one headtorch (my petzl broke...no surprise there) and the heaviest bags we`ve ever skied with. Direct start is really good but rest of the supercouloir a bit samey.
with Tom Grant
ian bryant ? Apr, 2008 Lead O/S
with dan
with dan
Hidden 13 Mar, 2007 AltLd O/S
nickdonohue ? Mar, 2007 Lead dnf Did 3 pitches of the direct start, near to the traverse from the Gervasutti. Brilliant climbing, like Scottish VII/7, but very cold, abbed off as partner suffering from loss of feeling to feet and turned out he was developing frostbite.
with Mike Soldner
Did 3 pitches of the direct start, near to the traverse from the Gervasutti. Brilliant climbing, like Scottish VII/7, but very cold, abbed off as partner suffering from loss of feeling to feet and turned out he was developing frostbite.
with Mike Soldner
Rich Cross - Alpine Guides ? Feb, 1998 AltLd caught in bad weather near top, had a nasty bivvy and Mark nipped his fingers. came down tacul normal rt the following day and skied to valley
with Mark Harris
caught in bad weather near top, had a nasty bivvy and Mark nipped his fingers. came down tacul normal rt the following day and skied to valley
with Mark Harris
crossleysm ? Mar, 1995 AltLd With Rich.
With Rich.
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Route of Interest

Moby Dick

Grade: ED1 ***
(Aiguilles Rouges)