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Col du Diable: SW couloir

Approachabout 3h

There are two ways to get to the “cirque Maudit” and the Col de la Fourche: from the Aiguille du Midi or from the Pointe Helbronner.

From the Aiguille du Midi

Descend the E ridge to 3670m. From there pass the bergschrund and go towards the broad col between the Gros Rognon and the Pointe Lachenal.  Walk due S towards the Pyramid du Tacul and the Pointe Adolpe Rey.  This leads into the cirque Maudit.  Zig-zag up between the large crevasses, staying near to the rocks of Roi de Siam and the Petit Capucin.  At the level of the Grand Capucin, the glacier is less steep and crevassed.  From here you can go into the middle of the cirque.  There are often tracks leading to Col de la Fourche. Identify the cold u Diable and the couloir leading directly down form it on the opposite side of the cirque to the Col de la Fourche.

From the Helbronner

This is easier and quicker.  Go to the foot of theN face of the Tour Ronde and continue into the combe Maudite.

Route (the couloir)

At about 3600m, start climbing the banana shaped gully which leads to the col du Diable (and the start of remarkable Aiguilles du Diables.)


The same way or continue by the traverse of the Diables Ridge, (but that is altogether another outing!)

  • Difficulty: S5 - Very difficult (40-50°)
  • Danger/Exposure: E3 - Very high
  • Time: 06:00 hours
  • Total climb: 700 m
  • Total elevation drop: 700 m
  • Highest altitude: 3955 m
  • Lowest altitude: 3250 m
  • Extra gear: None
  • Lift access: No



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