Continuing this summer’s trend of classic granite alpine climbs, we decided on the E. face of the Grepon. First climbed in August, 1911 this historic route finishes with the famous Knubel Crack graded 5+ or (5.9+). Quite a stout pitch especially after 850m of climbing and topping out at 3482m.
|MER DE GLACE FACE|
We set off midday starting with a ride up the Montenvers cog railway, then a 2.5 hr hike up to the Refuge Envers where we stopped for a delicious omelette and pasta. Around 5:00 p.m. we left the hut and made our way across the small Treleporte Glacier. A few tricky bergshrund crossings brought us to the base of the route. After 200m of moderate climbing we reached a large platform where we bivouacked for the night.
|ON THE ROCK|
Setting off at first light we made our way up a series of ramps and slabs with a 20m rappel to cross a large couloir and finally onto the E buttress. The climbing got progressively harder as we followed a series of cracks and chimneys. The final 100m consisted of sustained 5+ chimneys and offwidths culminating with the Fissure Knubel just below the summit. We were rewarded with a beautiful panorama of the massif watched over by the famous Madonna.
|AIGUILLE DU MOINE|
|WOLFIE HEADING UP|
|EVA IN A CLEAN CORNER|
|PIC DE ROC|
|VIEW DOWN THE ROUTE|
A long and tedious descent brought us down and across the menacing Nantillons Glacier. Quite the adventure!