Alpinism: Grepon – Le soleil a rendez-vous avec lune

With a weather forecast that rather good, Ross and I decided to try to traverse Grepon (3,482m), climbing Le soleil a rendez-vous avec lune on the East face (TD+, 850m) and descending on the Nantillons side. That means we climbed with crampons, ice axes… After 19 pitches climbed in poor conditions we finally decided to go down but enjoyed the climb anyway.

11th pitch of Soleil a rendez-vous avec la Lune (© R. Hewitt)
11th pitch of Soleil a rendez-vous avec la Lune (© R. Hewitt)

Great sunset on the Jorasses and Rochefort (© P. Gatta)
Great sunset on the Jorasses and Rochefort (© P. Gatta)

Le soleil a rendez-vous avec lune is graded TD+ 6b, 850m.

The East face of Grepon and Republic (rigth) (© P. Gatta)
The East face of Grepon and Republic (rigth) (© P. Gatta)

We left Envers des Aiguilles hut around 5:30am and stared the climb 30 minutes later.

Philippe in the second pitch, 6a (© R. Hewitt)
Philippe in the second pitch, 6a (© R. Hewitt)

The first 7 pitches were straight forward and the ledges / couloirs were dry.

Ross in the 11th pitch (© P. Gatta)
Ross in the 11th pitch (© P. Gatta)

From the 2nd ledge (8th pitch) the route goes clearly on the left, first under some black slabs and later under a large yellow wall.

First 11 pitches of Soleil seen from the hut (© P. Gatta)
First 11 pitches of Soleil seen from the hut (© P. Gatta)

We climbed the first 11 pitches in less than 4 hours but we were much slower on the second part of the route which is a bit tricker to find, especially in bad weather.

Le soleil a rendez-vous avec lune (© R. Hewitt)
Le soleil a rendez-vous avec lune (© R. Hewitt)

Le soleil a rendez-vous avec lune (© P. Gatta)
Le soleil a rendez-vous avec lune (© P. Gatta)

Le soleil a rendez-vous avec lune (© R. Hewitt)
Le soleil a rendez-vous avec lune (© R. Hewitt)

In the 18th pitch (© P. Gatta)
In the 18th pitch (© P. Gatta)

We reached the 19th pitch in 9hr, some cracks were frozen, the couloir snowy and the weather was getting worse and worse so we decided to rappel down.

The rimaye on the way down (© P. Gatta)
The rimaye on the way down (© P. Gatta)

It is definitively a nice route, worth going back in good conditions.

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