Apr 2, 2012

Le Diedre Central inferieur

In august 1972 monsieur's Ravanelf and Simatos made the first ascent of Diedre Central, TD/6a, at Plateau Inferieur on Aig Argentiere.

Its a 300mts crack climb on perfect granit! Approached by a ski descent from the, now the back sides turns up, quite often over crowded gr Montets. At least, stay away on sundays (friday and saturdays as well, well also days with snow fall and the days after as well, not crack days anyhow so...)

Anna on the approach


The well (un) developed system to bring people to the summit of Gr Montets still have some development left to built on (why the heck can you only prebook from the mid station for the top???, getting one up to the Lognan only to face the fact the the line is long and no other chance than to stand there and...just wait)


Anyhow, most of the time its still faster then skinning, so stay focused and think of better things then the houte route people all over that continius keeps on smashing their sac a dos in your face, speaks a bit to high and already smell a bit to much...:-) this week was weather forcasting le solei for the weekend, maybe monday also but pow pow for the next ones so any cracking should be done before. No alternative then to get direct in the middle, no shortcuts this time. So facing a sunday morning with its queueing, good way to strenghten the mind!

Ones you walk down the stair after a coffee at the summit bar, must not be missed! Well, then its hard to feel any thing else then happiness, feeling as close as one can ever be with the mountains. The glacier du Argentiere and it s surrounding peaks takes the breath out of most people. And the ski descent down to the glacier basin is only that worth its lift card pay. Traverse the basin and skin up towards glacier du milieu.

Looking out over the Argentiere basin

Its still called a glacier, even though there is a couple of crevasses I find this Milieu quite soft. Compared to other more complex glaciers around the valley.

If the goal is to climb somewhere unoverpopulated this area is a good goal as well. So, to my supprise we found a couple of Tjecks gearing up as well for this I guess, still a bit to famous climb...what is the chance though?

Anyhow, it turned out that they was quite a good deal of company and we could share a good deal of belay stories between us during the 6 pitch climb. And anyhow, who is in a hurry in such a sunny mountain day...

The first pitch is a nice warm up, a 20mts IV. After that its the crux pitch, quite easy jamming, or quite hard laybacking (your choise) with a long sustained pitch at grade 6a/5+Which keeps up the going all the way to the summit, well the last one is more of a scrambling caracter...

Anna warming up on P1


The whole rute has an overall grading of TD/6a, with an easy first pitch, crux pitch on the second. Which is a beatiful jamcrack. Pitch 5 involves a short traverse out left, avoid climbing up to the roof, the down climb back just takes time:) there is a good track with pitons.


Pitch 5 at the spot of lefting

Getting steeper...

After the traverse on pitch 5

Summit bid!
The route is somewhat equiped with pitons and coins de bois, old wooden nuts! But the belay/rappel anchours are in nice shape

Well, it takes it to the top, descent on skis instead of a couple of hours walking

The views...

Over all a great scenic climb. Easily approached in a non crowded area well worth doing when its still possible to get a ski descent. The summer time walk down is to be avoided, belive me...!


Follow the moraine from ref d'Argentiere up glacier d'milieu. The route starts at the end of the moraine.


2*50m rope, camalots 0.4-3.0, set of nuts, 5-6 quickdraws. Rappel the route

/fly what you climb!



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