Sunday, 18 August 2013

Aiguille de la Perseverance, S Ridge

Keen to get some mountain fitness in, Gary, Sharon and I decided to go and check out the South ridge of the Aiguille de la Perseverance, high above Lac Blanc. The route has classic status, and with a 2 hour approach from the Index chairlift, you certainly deserve to be rewarded with a decent route.

The approach is pretty tough, and the final hour is a really tough slog across boulders and up some horrible scree. 

Gary on the scree slope

Once on the route, the first 2 pitches are good, after that things get a bit loose and chossy unfortunately. There is the odd good section, but generally the situation and views were better than the climbing. The final ridge is really exposed and enjoyable, but the rock quality still isn't great. 

Me on the ridge. Photo Gary Tulloch.

The summit is just brilliant though, with amazing views across Chamonix, and into the Berard Valley. The descent is obvious enough, with a 25m abseil, then a short scramble along the ridge towards the Col de la Perseverance, and another ab of 20m. 

Summit views

Sharon on the second abseil

From the bottom of the second abseil is a frankly horrible slide/scramble down the scree slope below...

Overall, not a glowing recommendation! The approach and descent are really tough going, and the route basically is a great line, but not a great climb. That said, the views from the route are hard to beat, it's a classic line and a famous summit, and the banter was excellent, so by no means a wasted day. I'm definitely keen for a better walking:good climbing ratio on my next day out though!

A bit of company for the walk back to Index