Feb 26, 2017

Ski in - Fly out

Aiguille CROCHUES - "Piano Forte" & "Cap´tain Crochues"
Tour des Crouches

  Warm springtime days in Chamonix - mont Blanc - and the south facing side of Aiguilles Rouges is a perfect goal and subject for rock climbing.
The lift up from la Praz to Flègére and Index and you are surrounded by easily accessed rock routes, with ski in a approach.
And the once the climb is over, just rappel back down to your ski boots, click in and fly out.
Easy ski stepping access... tour des crouches

The Brevent and Flègére side of Chamonix valley gives a stunning view over the the whole Mont Blanc massif. And the quality of its rock routes is often underestimated, in my opinion at least, during the springtime.
In summer the approaches often demands quite a bit of hiking and with warm summer temperatures the north facing part of the valley with its solid granit is a better choice most of the time.
At least if you come to Cham to find long quality crack routes. With its famous solid red granit.
But, the gneiss formations in the Rouges at least for me is very enjoying and with a good amount of solid friction.

Often the queue up from le Praz is a bit impressive, so be early. But once the first telepherique is done, the rest is quick and easy.
If you plan to be late, well hire a guide to bypass the queue, will save you an hour or two.

My favorite rock face is Tour des Crouches. A "big" gneiss pillar which is very obvious from the
l´index chairlift, which holds a number of 5 pitch routes from 5a to 6c.

Some 200meters of solid climbing, often on good rock with mostly bolted routes. One classic on own gear is Voie Escande 5a/D sup, a must do!
Two other routes with is most solid for its grades and quality is Cap´tain Crouches 6b and Piano Forte 6c+ , the best routes on this face.

Accessed via l´Index and Floria teleski, make a traverse out to the base. Takes some 6min 30sek on skis compared to summer the the hike is some 40min!

Rack on direct from the ski boots and rappel back down to the same.
With the option to speed ride the whole thing in a four minute ride....

Link with topo @ camptocamp

50mts rope (plus 50m rappel rope 2x50m)
12-13 QD´s
!!2nd hanger on 2dn pitch of Piano Forte has a hanger missing!!

  Some queue others fly!

// To learn a bit you need to suffer more!