Monday 1 September 2014

Aiguille du Peigne Ordinary Route

The weather has taken a turn for the better here in Cham but Sunday still looked pretty unsettled so Tom Moores and I were unsure what to go for. There were added complications from the fact that my recently repaired shoulder is still pretty delicate and Tom can barely get his damaged toe into a rockboot. All in all, it didn't add up to us looking for something hard.

The Aiguille du Peigne fit the bill because it would mean we'd be able to move fast over lots of terrain and get a great summit without too much commitment or stress. That's not to say it was easy though because neither of us had had much sleep the night before (me due to work commitments, Tom due to dinner-at-Munchies reasons) or had done any exercise for a week. Suffice to say that the walk in felt tough...

"Magnum" Moores showing off his rack in the approach gully.

PGHM doing their thing on the Frendo Spur.

Amazing views of the Midi N Face.

The route went smoothly enough and we soloed/moved together up rock of varying quality to reach the Col du Peigne. The outlook from here is so good that we decided on a leisurely lunch just above the Col, with stunning views of the Blaitiere and Fou.

Tom approaching our lunch spot.

Above the Col there are 2 pitches which we did in rock boots and which took us onto the spectacular Peigne summit ridge. With hindsight, the pitches wouldn't have felt that different in mountain boots but rockboots definitely sped things up. The final summit ridge is mind blowingly exposed but the climbing is easy enough that you can take it all in without too much stress.

Tom about to join me on the summit ridge.

The final summit ridge, which is surely one of the best and most exposed ridges in the Alps.

A Brocken Spectre from near the summit. I'd never seen one of these before so I was chuffed to bits.

Tom on the final section to the summit.

Tom on the crux move of the route - the squirm onto the summit block!

One more photo for good measure.

From the summit we shot down the abseil line, did some traversing, downclimbing and walking and were soon back at the lift, toasting an excellent day. The Peigne is a brilliant summit and although we both felt afterwards that we'd have preferred slightly more technical climbing and a bit less easy scrambling, the peak fit our requirements pretty well. 

Tom on the spectacular abseil off the Aiguille du Peigne summit.