High Mountain Guides / Gallery / Chamonix Rock Climbing / Aiguille Purtscheller (3478m) South Ridge, 150m, D+, F5a/b


Aiguille Purtscheller (3478m) South Ridge, 150m, D+, F5a/b

Beautiful Post Dawn Views East From Trient To Swiss Valais

A simple swift 2 hours glacier approach march takes the team from the glacier below the Orny Hut to the base of the South Ridge. A great early morning alpine journey....

The South Ridge Of The Purtscheller From Trient Side

The route starts in the large tight V notch centre left of the photo. A loose rocky gully leads up and out left on to a wall of beatiful cracked granite and the fine first pitch. After that a series of traverses on the Trient flank give a great variety of pitches leading all the way to the fine summit.

The Brilliant Cracked Wall First Pitch (F5a)

No tot be confused with harder cracks further right this wall can be climbed almost on the left hand of the ridge before stepping back right into the fine jamming crack (bolt runners as well as lots of natural gear) to the equipped belay on the ledge on right of the wall.

Brilliant Rough Granite Crack Climbing

At the top of the first pitch - out of the V notch and in a great position overlooking the Chamonix Valley on one side and the Swiss Rhone Valais Alps on the other. The number of bolts & equipped anchor make this pitch a little out of character with the rest of the route. But still very good climbing!

The Fine Position Of The First Belay On The Route

With the North Faces of the Aiguilles d'Argentiere (left) and Chardonnet beyond, with the Aiguille Verte beyond both further right.

Trad 2nd Belay - Different To The Sport First Belay!

Aiguille du Chardonnet & Migot Spur Beyond in the background. This belay has a very short little steep wall to down climb to get back on to the Trient flank of the mountain from where a very easy terrace leads round to the base of the fine 'Dulfer' Chimney.

Brilliant Steep Flakes Lead Into A Back & Foot Chimney

An excellent and memorable pitch marking the central section of the route and giving access to the upper cracked wall & summit block. The route is short but winds around a little and packs it in!

A Guides View. Not Bad!

Solid anchor with the belay in 'guide' mode above the Dulfer Chimney pitch on the South Ridge

Matt Tops Out On The Dulfer Chimney...

...."Some of the best climbing I've ever done!"

Another Excellent Short Cracked Wall To Finish

This mini pitch gets 5b in some topos making it the technical crux of the route. It is however, short, well protected and great climbing - and tops out suddenly right on the summit. Bolt belay on block on the right.

2-3 Short Abseils Reach The Glacier

The first section of the abseils is quite broken and loose and could be down climbed to another anchor. There are now various equipped anchors in place, both bolted and trad and the route could probably be descended fine with just abseils on one 50 m rope. We used 2 x 50m ropes and did 2 longish abseils.