La Nonne - S >> N traverse
Classic route on good rock, near to the hut. It is possible to combine with a traverse to the Évêque.
From the Couvercle hut, go to the north along the E face of the Moine. Get to the next couloir to the right of the couloir coming down from the Moine-Nonne gap.
Start at a little steep wall on the left flank of the spur to the left of the couloir and gain the crest of the spur. Climb this spur (3b, 4b)) for three pitches to a gap.
Climb the next step in the middle, (3b) then follow a ledge to the right for about 8m, the angle of the ridge eases. Go straight up above and pass onto the W side to climb some cracks, come back onto the crest and reach a terrace, (possible to avoid these sections by traversing beneath.) A pitch leads to a ledge at the foot of a fore-summit, which you go around on the right by descending several metres. Climb the S summit tower by the side facing the Moine, descend by the same way or by abseil. Traverse to the « rasoir », (very thin ridge,) and follow it for three pitches, exposed but not difficult to reach the N summit. (3b, 4b).
Continue along the knife edge ridge to at a large platform. From here you stay always on the Talèfre side. Traverse several metres to the left, following some cairns, until you come to a large cairn on a large boulder with a flat top. From here you must descend straight down the face by some ledge, (cairns clearly visible from above) and not continue traversing. (There is an enormous boulder which you can pass underneath, if you are here you have gone too far, go back several metres until you are level with the cairn. Turn to the left towards a couloir, (small abseil of 20m, belay in place,) and follow the obvious cairns to where the rock meets the bergschrund, (true right bank of the couloir.) A reddish sling around a large block provides an abseil point, from which you can reach the glacier and so join the approach route.
NB : in case of a late descent, (soft snow,) or dry conditions, it will be simpler to continue descending the easy ledges at the side of the couloir.
Nice varied route, glacier approach, climb up a spur, enjoyable ridge with a knife edge finish, and a descent fit for chamois.
It can be done either in boots or rock shoes, moving together.
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