Pointe Lachenal - Goulotte Pellissier
Two nice ice pitches followed by mixed and rock climbing. Not sustained.
From the Aiguille du Midi or the Cosmiques hut, go towards the Col du Midi. A little before the col, go to the ENE to pass between the Gros Rognon and the Pointes Lachenal. Go to the foot of the Pointes Lachenal. One can also take a higher line along the foot of the cliff if the crevasses allow.
The route goes up to the right of the main spur of the Pointes Lachenal, to the left of some slabs with cracks, (Contamine route).
L#0 | | Pass the bergschrund, go up the snow slope (55-60°) until the foot of the gully. In dry conditions there is a section of mixed for about 20m before the start of the gully (5m en M4). Belay on ice screws or a rock spike amongst the rocks on the left. L#1 | 40m | Nice ice pitch at 70° (maybe some easy mixed). In-situ belay on a block in the middle of the gully.
L#2 | 50m | The gully splits into two. Climb the narrow, left branch, initially ice at 75° then mostly mixed (M4+). In-situ belay on a block slightly to the right of centre of the gully. L#3 | 50m | Climb up ice/mixed for 15m as it steepens (60° to 85°, M4+), then 35m of snow at 55°. In dry conditions there might be a section of mixed just before the belay (5m at M5). In-situ belay on a rock spike in a niche to the left. L#4 | 45m | Crux pitch. Traverse slightly to the right and go up the gully for 20m of mixed (M5) until a slightly overhanging wall. From here climb mainly on rock to reach a snowy col and the junction with “Hit Machine”, (peg at the start, 5m at 5c or M6 of dry-tooling, then 10m of 5a followed by 15m at M4) . In-situ belay on a block. L#4’ | 45m | From the intermediate belay on pitch 4 (see Remarks below) you can also follow a system of cracks to the left leading to the snowy col. (5a/b).
From the snowy col it is possible to go to the summit of the Pointes Lachenal by snow slopes (45°) and easy mixed climbing.
Either abseil back down the route or via the summit and the normal route.
There are two extra, in-situ belays on the route. The first, not very useful, is to the left of the start of the snow slope in pitch 3. The second is just before the rock climbing section on pitch 4, useful for belaying the leader on the crux. Pitch 4 can be avoided by climbing the slightly overhanging wall just above the belay, (good holds, easier than it looks, 20m at 5a) to reach a little col 15m lower than the original exit.
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