Alpinism: Minaret – Versant Satanique (Mont Blanc Massif)

Versant Satanique in the South face of Minaret is a classic route, offering some unique wide cracks on a perfect red granite.

Preparing the gear for two days in Argentiere (© P. Gatta)
Preparing the gear for two days in Argentiere (© P. Gatta)

This route is graded ED/6c/300m and has been opened by M. Piola and G. Hopfgartner in 1989. The are only 3 bolts in the route so take 2 racks of friends #0.3 to #4.

On the way to the Minaret (© P. Gatta)
On the way to the Minaret (© P. Gatta)

Here is the GPS Route from the Grands Montets to Argentiere Hut and then the start of the route (N45.95154, E7.01401).

Voyage en Pierre Sainte in red and Versant Satanique in blue (© A. Gatta)
Voyage en Pierre Sainte in red and Versant Satanique in blue (© A. Gatta)

Route description:
Pitch 1: 6b, start in the grey rocks (easy) to a steep crack in a light grey wall, the last 10m below the anchors are the hardest.

Minaret: pitch #2 of Versant Satanique (© P. Gatta)
Minaret: pitch #2 of Versant Satanique (© P. Gatta)

Pitch 2: supposedly 6a+ but much harder compared to the other pitches. Traverse right on the ledge and climb two cracks, traverse left above the first roof. Climb a slab not so easy to protect toward the second roof. There is jammed nut, traverse right and climb straight up the overhang. It is physical but there are jugs. The anchor is 2m above the overhang.

Minaret: pitch #4 of Versant Satanique (© P. Jouany)
Minaret: pitch #4 of Versant Satanique (© P. Jouany)

Pitch 3: 5c according to the topo but seemed much easier. Leave the first anchor on your left and reach the second one a few meters above.

Minaret: pitch #4 of Versant Satanique (© P. Jouany)
Minaret: pitch #4 of Versant Satanique (© P. Jouany)

Pitch 4: 6a+, a fantastic 50m corner. Fun to climb, easy to protect, a great pitch.

Minaret: pitch #5 of Versant Satanique (© P. Jouany)
Minaret: pitch #5 of Versant Satanique (© P. Jouany)

Pitch 5: 6b+, traverse right immediately after the anchor and climb the large cracks. Go back left to climb the flake/chimney (slot). Get up on the flake and continue on the crack to the anchor (hard section).

Minaret: pitch #5 seen from above (© P. Jouany)
Minaret: pitch #5 seen from above (© P. Gatta)

Pitch 6: 6c, climb the wide cracks starting with the one on the left and then the one on the right after the bolt.

Minaret: pitch #6 of Versant Satanique (© P. Gatta)
Minaret: pitch #6 of Versant Satanique (© P. Gatta)

Pitch 7: 6b+, very similar to the previous pitch; wide and physical cracks. There is a bolt on the left before the overhang. the overhang is physical but not too hard.

Minaret: pitch #7 of Versant Satanique (© P. Gatta)
Minaret: pitch #7 of Versant Satanique (© P. Gatta)

Abseil down in the route.

Chardonnet and Aiguille d'Argentiere (© P. Gatta)
Chardonnet and Aiguille d’Argentiere (© P. Gatta)

This entry was posted in Alpinism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

    Instagram     YouTube     RSS