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Aiguille du Grand Fond: Couloir N

From Pont des Sauces (alt. 1593m), follow the road until Plan de la Lai refuge (1818m). It is possible to cut across the main bend by climbing just after the water fall located after the third bridge (1645m). After the refuge, pass a first bridge, then 400m further a second (1850m). then climb the slope above the road while remaining on the right bank of the Arpire stream.  Continue until a flat area (2081m) that you traverse in the direction of a talweg (SSE). You up it passing via spot elevation 2015m on the map. Follow the Arpire scoop which faces SW. You pass below enormous avalanche cones which are unpleasant and long to traverse (do not to hesitate if necessary to descend slightly to avoid them). You arrive at a steeper slope located in line with the large corridor resulting from the summit. Go up the cone of the corridor to reach a flat area at the altitude of 2500m. Some skiers are satisfied with Col d'Arpire located just above this flat area.

Go up the corridor with skins of seal or on foot depending on the conditions (crampons and/or harscheisen are useful). Approach a narrowing and on the left the end slope under the pass of the Grand Fond  (located between the points 2883 and 2920m). many skiers stop here. However you can continue towards the left on the easy snowy ridge until the secondary summit of the main summit going around the steep pitches via the snow slopes. A few meters of rock and of mixed make it possible to reach the highest point (exposed, rope advised). Go back down the ridge by the same route. You can also climb the summit 2883m: from the pass, go up a chimney near the edge and follow the narrow ridge, the end is easily climbed with a few rock climbing or mixed  steps (technical, rope recommended). It takes 3h.

Descent: by the same route (it takes 1h).

  • Difficulty: S4 - Difficult (<45°)
  • Danger/Exposure: UNKNOWN
  • Time: 06:00 hours
  • Total climb: 1327 m
  • Total elevation drop: 1327 m
  • Highest altitude: 2920 m
  • Lowest altitude: 1593 m
  • Extra gear: None
  • Lift access: No



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