The Col des Annes is not only a great spot in to enjoy the Savoyard summer alpine meadow ambiance it’s also a launching pad for adventures further in to this big limestone country in the heart of the northern Aravis.
After an hour or so of rocky limestone paths the big new hut is reached. We didn’t even stop for a brew as we suspected there may be stiff challenges ahead and the views of this striking Gramusset cliff on this SW face of Pointe Percée only confirmed this was likely to be the case. These cliffs certainly have the wow factor!
It was pleasantly cool on the walk up to the base of the crag, but this felt more like a bit nippy for the thin and technical climbing from the gun at the base of the route. Andy did well to keep fingers warm enough to make the tricky and technical leftwards traverse at the top of the first pitch.
The sustained climbing continues on to the 2nd pitch. Whilst not initially as cruxy as the moves on the first pitch there is a little route finding to be done and some slightly bold climbing between the bolts. The technical walls continue to the last bolt on the pitch – with the chain almost in reach – but only an array of small horizontal pockets to choose from…none of which are very good!
The sun arrived over the top of the crag in time for the 3rd pitch, but temperatures were still not very warm. The quality of the climbing remains very high on this also brilliant 3rd pitch, probably a touch easier than the previous 2 but with a lot of varied climbing.
The arrival of more & bigger holds at the start of the 4th pitch is welcome after the beautiful and grippy but thin and finger shredding rock below. The climbing remains sustained, with some impressive exposure and a wild roof to cross with some funky holds!
The belays on the route thus far have all been hanging / semi hanging so it’s a pleasant change to have a mini terrace at the base of the 5th and final pitch. Ledges can be hard to leave however and weary fingers and feet don’t help with that!
Andy did a great job of negotiating with the unrelenting central and upper section of this pitch. Hard thin moves felt like a series of constant cruxes…with plenty of fatigue from the climbing below…not all free for for me…but what a route!
What a crag too and even the abseils are pretty memorable on the Grammusset. Steep & overhanging in places, Andy commented it felt like ‘El Cap’!
We didn’t break any speed records climbing Zaubergerg but it was a great adventure deep in the heart of big Aravis limestone country. On walking back through the colourful alpine meadows back to the Col des Annes we commented that whilst we were ‘only clipping bolts’ it didn’t always feel like sport climbing!
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.
- Places available on our Gran Paradiso Courses on the 18-20 July, 21-23 Sept and 9-11 Oct
- 1 places available on our Climb The Weissmies Course 21-23 July
- 1 place available on a 3 day Matterhorn training & Chamonix Rock climbing course, Aug 29-31
- 2 Places available on our Becoming An Alpinist Course Sept 19-23
- Places available on our Autumn Mont Blanc course on the 9-15 Oct