3 July 2022, La Fin De Babylon, Brevent, Chamonix

Plenty of teams headed up to enjoy the sun kissed beautiful rock on the South Face of the Brevent today.  It was a nice temperature to climb although cloud and breeze was preferable to clear and still…and you didn’t want too tight rock boots on this brilliant sunny 8 pitch outing.

Good rock, good holds, great position and views – a fine combination to start the Fin de Babylon au Brevent.

The route is rapido to access via the Brevent lift and quick descent via the piste track and cutting off as per the other classics in these parts like Frison Roche etc.  But to access the South Face a longer descent is taken before some scrambling / fixed ropes to access the base of this really fine wall and with 3 good choices all around 6a – 6c in the form of Babylon, Poeme à Lou and the new Piola Route starting between the 2 of these….

Steep moves on small but positive crimps pulling over the roof at the start of the 2nd pitch (6b)

The first pitch sets the theme for the route – lovely rough rock – good holds – enjoyable climbing – bolts where you need them – but well spaced on the easier sections!

Sociable ambiance climbing on the South Face of Brevent

There were teams on the Piola and Poeme à Lou routes too and although these come close, or even cross, we didn’t get in each others way and there was a nice ambiance of climbing chatter drifting up the walls – in français et anglais!

John Crook on the Crux traverse on La Fin de Babylon, Brevent

A brilliant long 3rd pitch leads up, with lots of sustained climbing but no brick hard moves to a semi hanging belay at the base of the smooth looking crux traverse on Babylon, or the groove more directly above on the other Piola route!

This traverse turns out to not be quite as smooth as it looks…fortunately!

Good rock, good holds, great position and views – a fine combination and Rob enjoying the bigger holds regained after the thin crux traverse of Babylon. Photo John Crook

There seems to be some debate as to whether the 2 harder pitches on the route are 6b+ or 6c, with some topos giving one and some the other.   We thought 6c was fair for the traverse pitch but possibly slightly soft touch!

Very good solid wall climbing leading to some more powerful steep moves through the roof. 6b+ or 6c?

After another really good 6b wall pitch with some balancey moves to get going – there is a fine almost Ben Nevis like wall above the anchor giving a fine view of the creamy grey rough wall above.  There is surprisingly good holds on that wall and also decent side pulls for the bigger moves through the roof above – but it’s steep for a move or 2!  There is still a little crimpy wall above the roof before it goes properly back in to balance above.

Rob & John, enjoying the easier pitches at the top leading to Babylon…or Brevent!

That’s the harder climbing done and the pleasant 6b walls and 6a cracks above lead to a ledge just below the telecabine docking station at Brevent – a quick scramble round to the left reaches the station rapidly and the toes were happy to be out of rock boots and back in trainers!

John styling on the jugs at the end of the crux traverse on Babylon.

The route is fully equipped – we placed no trad gear between bolts – but there are some substantial run outs on the easier sections.  Highly recommended and we’ll be back for t’other Piola Route next door….another one of very many!

Another route of similar grade next door….

And brilliant Brevent trad route just around the corner…

11 August 2021, Ex-Libris, Brilliant Chamonix Trad Rock Climbing

And for a slightly easier sport route on the Brevent – check out La Piste Oubliée

2 August 2021, La Piste Oubliée, Brevent, Chamonix

Our Summer & Autumn 2022 Mountaineering & Rock Climbing Courses – Remaining Availability

Many of our summer 2022 courses are now full but we do have a few selective places remaining and can still arrange private guiding for Chamonix rock climbing and, depending on dates, alpine guiding.

The selected courses below are all running and ready for you to join & you can keep an eye on the full programme on our course page here.