III, 320m. The most popular route on the peak but still a pretty 'full on' day. Don't underestimate the seriousness of climbing this just because of the (relatively) amenable grades. Start by climbing the snow couloir and then climbing for 80 - 100m (the exact line taken and distance covered will depend on snow cover) up grade 3/4 rocky ground to the first belay, which is beneath a short slab. There are various bits of tat and belays all over the easy ground, any combination of which can be used for abseiling on the descent. The bergschrund can be big here especially late in the season.1) 5c, 25m. Climb the slab via two parallel cracks to a large belay ledge beneath the huge and distinctive corner system that defines the next few pitches.2) 6a+, 30m. Instead of following the deep chimney on the right, step left and climb the excellent crack up the wall.3) 5b, 35m. Follow the corner to a belay on the left.4) 5b, 35m. Continue up the corner and belay above where it widens.5) 6a, 40m. Climb steep cracks just left of the ridge crest before coming back to a belay on the right. 6) 6a+, 20m. Fight your way up the slippery, difficult hand-crack to the right of the crest before coming back left to a belay. 7) 6b, 30m. Step right and climb the roof crack above (using aid if needs be!) to reach a small ledge under a slab with a stunning view and amazing ambience. 8) 6a+, 35m. Climb the slab, passing a couple of bolts on the way, to lower angled ground.9) 4a, 40m. This section is often snowy so the exact line is less important than avoiding the snow! Climb slabs and cracks to below the final summit tower.10) 4a, 35m. Continue up slabs and cracks to the wonderful summit.Descent - The best descent is by abseil down the a combination of the belays of Voyage selon Gulliver and a neighbouring (undescribed) line called L'Élixir d'Astaroth. It takes a direct line and has well-equipped belays which lead you back to the end of pitch 4 of the Swiss Route, from where it is possible to descend via the line of ascent. 2 x 50m ropes are necessary for the abseil lines. The peak is covered in many other routes so there are belays everywhere. Try to stick to a line when descending in order to avoid getting a rope stuck or abseiling into overhanging terrain. It is also possible to abseil down O Sole Mio, an undescribed route to the left of the Swiss Route. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
TD 300+ (plus 3 or 4 pitches if the bergshrund is open). Approx 8-10 hrs including descent. Flawless granite tower block at the heart of the vallee blanch in Cirque Maudit.
Most bivi benieth the route before/after. Begin far up the gully to the LH side, climbing broken ground to a prominent corner. Ascend the corner for 120m. come onto the face to climb laybacks (pegs) free at E1 ish to reach a the aid pitch traversing the roof to the right and upwards F6c free. Climb easier ground to reach the summit (3800m) in around 120m.
Good topos can be found here: http://www.summitpost.org/b-grand-capucin-b/349770
and here: http://www.planetmountain.com/english/rock/routes/itineraries/scheda.php?lang=eng&id_tipologia=38&comefrom=search&id_itinerario=381&gruppo=&cima=&nome
Claude Asper, Marcel Bron, Mario Grossi and Marcel Morel 26/Jul/1956.
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