Tournette - le Bouton - À nos belles années
A slab route, homogenous at 4c/5a, with lots of runnels, (cannelures) and friction climbing, on good rock except for the grassy finish. Faces E so gets the sun early.
Approach 45-60 minutes Driving from Thones in the direction of Faverges (D12), a couple of 100 metres before you reach the cluster of houses called Cropt, (and just after a few houses called Belchamp,) there is a turn off on the right signposted to “Grangettes”, (easy to miss). Follow this up to a parking at the end of the road. From the parking follow the forest track until a wooden signpost “Tour du Bouton”, also indicated with yellow arrows. Follow this first on a forest track then about 70m after an overgrown forest track on the left, turn off left on a good path, (ttill the Tour du Bouton, if the forest pathe starts to steepen dramatically, you have gone too far!). Follow this path until it overlooks a stone filled chute at a hairpin where the main path turns back left. Cairn and the crag clearly visible. Go up the stone chute for about 80m vertical, small cairns, until a faint path leads off rightwards into the forest. Almost immediately scramble easily up a vegetated rock rib overlooking the stone chute, then follow the faint path up to the foot of the climb. (It goes first to the right, then back left before traversing finally back right.)
The first bolt should be clearly visible at about 4-5m in the middle of the slab,
The route is easy to follow with bolts every 4-5m, Many of the belays are 50m apart, so a 50m rope is too short. P1 4b Move left at the top P2 4c-5a
P3 4b-4c Friction climbing P4 4c-5a With a well protected traverse P5 4c
P6 4c Large runnel in the second half P7 4b-4c Trends rightwards then straight up (grass and ledges with loose stones. P8 4b Straight up the to the right to a good ledge. P9 4b Again some grassy sections an some loose stones P10 3b Straight up from the belay, keeping to the side of some rocks on the right, six bolts. P11 2 Easily up rock then grass, vaguely tracked, 3 bolts. Belay possible at a tree.
Descent 1h30 Climb to the top of the Bouton then continue along the ridge (faint path) until you descend to a path with a signpost. Turn left, facing into the hillside and follow the “Tour du Bouton” path past a ruined chalet, Vorets (1538m), and continue the descent, (taking the left turn at each junnction,) until you pass the cairn which indicated the turn off during the approach. Follow the approach route back to the parking at Grangettes.
It is a shame that the last three pitches are interrupted by ledges with loose stones. Be very careful if there are parties below, or if it is raining. (There are stones in the runnels which might be loosened by heavy rain) All the belays are with two bolts and a chain, possible to abseil but not recommended, especially if there are parties below. Only just possible with a 50m rope. Much better to have a 55 or 60m rope, double if you have to abseil in the case of bad weather.
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