Petit Muveran - Face NE et versant SSW depuis la Frête de Saille
A magical, seldom visited summit with grandiose views. Enjoyable scrambling to the top.
Start in Ovronnaz (point 1514m) and follow a path to cab. Rambert (another possibility is to start from the north in Pont de Nant).
It is possible to leave the car by the cable car station which is around 1450m. If you do so, just keep the 4×4 car path uphill until you get to the actual footpath and keep going. It is easy to find the way.
You can opt for getting the cable car (which is affordable. check when it runs) which will take you to 2000m. There is a flat footpath (20 minutes) from the cable car station that connects with the standard route.
On the route, you’ll find a small munro with a cross on top. Follow the footpath on the right and you’ll go around it to find a farmer’s hut (closed) - nice place for a rest and enjoy the views of the Italian alps behind.
Arrive at the nice cirque formed by Muverans and go to the ridge Frete de Saille (keep close to Petit Muveran).
The difficulties start here. This face is in the shade and it is cold. Going up is tedious. There is no footpath and all the way from here until 2600m is morrena at 35°. With enough snow, it could be fun as long add you bring crampons.
Traverse under the NE wall and climb to the SE ridge.
There are two options to do so:
1) go up towards the first weakness in the wall, climb a short dihedral and exit onto the ridge through a tiny hole! Your backpack and you most probably will need to pass separately. There is a move of III/IV but not very exposed. Ropes recommended for this move. After passing the hole, on the warm SSW side of the mountain, descend a few meters before turning right towards the summit. Turning straight to the right leads to overly complex scramble with steps that may require rope.
2) traverse much further left passing above a clearly visible tower and find a gully. If you plan on doing this route, you can go straight from the circus to shorten the route (suggested blue line for descend in the picture, or any similar alternative) Follow this gully up to the ridge, which is followed for some 50m to arrive at the SSW side.
Scramble on the SSW side to the top: some slab, ledges and grass. It is also possible to follow the SE ridge to the top: more exposed, more fun and less grass.
Descent: follow option 2). Don’t go into large gullies, but traverse left. It is not easy to find the descend route.
Not hard, but one has to be sure-footed on such terrain. Can be tricky when wet or with some snow.
It is a full day; leave early! 8h at a good rhythm without ropes.
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