Alpinism: Aiguille Carree – Frendo Ravanel

Jon Griffith, Carine Salvy and I climbed the Frendo Ravanel route at the Aiguille Carrée (3716 m) in the Mont Blanc Massif.
That was our first day of photo shoots for Berghaus. We left Argentière quite late and when we reached the end of the last hard pitch, it was too late to top out so we decided to rapp down and ski back down to Argentière that we reached at night.

Philippe in the Chimney, beautiful pitch (Photo J. Griffith)
Philippe in the Chimney, beautiful pitch (Photo J. Griffith)

Despite a rather good weather for the season and very good conditions in the route, we didn’t see anyone else around.

The Frendo Ravanel is graded: TD- / II / 5 / 85°. The full route is 500m high but the hard section is much shorter, around 250m.

Aiguille Carrée and the Frendo-Ravanel gully (© P. Gatta)
Aiguille Carrée and the Frendo-Ravanel gully (© P. Gatta)


Access: take the cable car of Grand Montets, leave the ski slope toward the bottom of the North face of Aiguille Carrée. Expect around 15 minutes with skis.

Philippe in the lower slopes (Photo J. Griffith)
Philippe in the lower slopes (Photo J. Griffith)

Philippe in the first crux (Photo J. Griffith)
Philippe in the the first crux (Photo J. Griffith)

Frendo Ravanel Route: pass the bergschrund and climb the snow slope for 100m. Climb two short mixed sections (60°) then a very nice chimney. Join the base of the first crux, two gullies of 80°. Climb the left one (thin ice, hard to protect). Continue on 70° gully, cross left to reach a 85° gully which ends at the bottom of the last steep section; 10m at 90° (1 piton). Then climb the last couloir for 200m at 50°.

Philippe in the the first crux (Photo J. Griffith)
Philippe in the the first crux (Photo J. Griffith)

Jon Griffith in the second crux (© P. Gatta)
Jon Griffith in the second crux (© P. Gatta)

Carine Salvy in the second crux (Photo J. Griffith)
Carine Salvy in the second crux (Photo J. Griffith)

Descent: rapp down the route then either go back to the Grands Montets cable car or ski down to Argentière.

Rapping down (© P. Gatta)
Rapping down (© P. Gatta)

Frendo Ravanel route seen from the bottom (© P. Gatta)
Frendo Ravanel route seen from the bottom (© P. Gatta)

Aiguille Chardonnet, Argnetière, Le Tour (© P. Gatta)
Aiguille Chardonnet, Argnetière, Le Tour (© P. Gatta)

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