2 August 2021, La Piste Oubliée, Brevent, Chamonix

Route: La Piste Oubliée, Brevent East Face, Chamonix Rock Climbing 

Grade & Length, 200m, 5 pitches, 6a+, 6a, 6a=, 6b, 6a

Equipment:  Bolted runners and belays, a rack not necessary but some of the bolts are quite spaced

The long first pitch with steady climbing up some impressive ground, but with good holds once the zig zag route has been identified!

As predicted by the Radio Mont Blanc weather forecast this morning, there was some pretty heavy cloud swirling about in the middle mountains today and Brevent was not spared the pretty cool combination of low air temperature and thick cloud + a light breeze.   There was more blowing on fingers required than chalking up!

Gav trying to warm up his fingers on another mid summer day at the Brevent!

The rock was however, mainly dry, and, despite the cool conditions, there was a steady stream of teams on Frison Roche so it was good to be removed from that despite the fact that La Piste Oubliée starts in the same place and the lines are quite close for the lower pitches.

Heading up in to the mist on the slightly easier 2nd pitch

La Piste Oubliée is a bit harder than Frison Roche, but a lot quieter and takes a pretty fine series of walls to the right of that big Chamonix classic.  The lower pitches have decent holds, even in the finger blowing chill of this morning, but the line between the bolts is often not direct and an interesting series of zig zag rising traverses is sometimes required to make it work at the right grade.

Another 6a 3rd pitch leading to the base of the crux wall, with several teams on Frison Roche to the right.

The crux pitch takes an intricate line of small but mainly positive holds up through the upper fine smooth steep wall.  The crux moves are towards the top of the pitch with a short balancey and fingery leftwards traverse.  These are harder than anything else on the route but it’s well protected and although we took a small rack of gear, it wasn’t really useful.

Setting off on the very fine ‘shield headwall’ pitch with an elegant series of holds taking a rising and well protected traverse up this fine wall.

The decent climbing continues right to the top of the crag, just to the right of the fine steep wall (7b? see photo below) right around the corner from the last pitch of Frisson Roche, from where it’s about a 1 minute walk to re-join the piste pas oubliée leading back to the top Brevent station!

Rock climbing, short walks, long walks, superb sight seeing & café action whilst acclimatising…welcome to Le Brevent!

Good topo for the route here:

Topo site Hervé THIVIERGE

Chamonix Rock Climbing Guide
The brilliant last pitch (5b) of the fine Crakoukass, 215m, 6a at Brevent / Plan Praz, Chamonix

General mountain conditions around the Mont Blanc Massif continue to be pretty snowy, for early August, and yesterdays storms deposited more fresh snow above around 3200m with around 20cms of fresh up the Midi this morning.  The Triangle du Tacul looked well plastered this morning and good conditions were reported recently on the Chère Couloir.

Approaching the Chere Couloir on the Triangle du Tacul. The Tacul normal route leads up and right from here on to the main slope and it’s associated objective dangers namely avalanche and ice fall. (Old photo – not current conditions).

Due to a cancellation we have a place available on a 3 day Matterhorn preparation course 14-16 Aug, with some Chamonix rock climbing and mountaineering with the option to also extend to the Matterhorn summit climb after a rest day.

We also still have some availability for private guiding in Chamonix in August and for the rest of the summer and autumn seasons, so please get in touch if you would like to do some alpine or rock climbing in Chamonix.

  • Places available on our 2 day Chamonix Mont Blanc Training course, 6-7th Sept.

For group courses – there is a regularly evolving situation with both regular bookings and cancellations – please check the details on our main mountaineering courses page and get in touch if you would like to join one of teams training and climbing in the Alps.

Likewise in Snowdonia and Scottish Highlands for our late summer and autumn Mont Blanc and Matterhorn training programmes please check for details here or get in touch for private guiding & training.

Previous mixed climbing sortie on Triangle du Tacul combining German Couloir and Assassin and rapping down the Chere Couloir.