The « Garriou – Pippolini » is a really nice route in the East face of Mont Neiglier (2786 m). The face is 700 meters high with a series of snow Couloir and 4 ice falls (85° maximum). Anna and I climbed the route in 3h30 which was in good conditions despite the rather warm temperatures. The ice of first two ice falls was a bit wet but still thick, the two others were in very good conditions. The face is in the sun at 9am which requires an early start. Note that we had to stay focused on the descent of the South face (450m at 40°) to find the right series of Couloirs between several rock pinacles and cliffs and because the snow was quickly melting.
Anyway, great day in the Alps, perfect weather where we could even seen Corsica from the top of Mont Neiglier.
The Garriou – Pippolini is graded: D / 3 / 85° max. 700 m
Philippe in the 3rd ice fall (© A. Gatta)
Route opened by J-J. Garriou et P. Pippolini in 1993.
Anna walking toward the Mont Neiglier, the Garriou – Pippolini route (© P. Gatta)
Access: park at the end of the Gordolasque road. Walk to the Pont du Countet (signpost 412), continue toward the Refuge de Nice (413, 414). At the Mur des Italiens (2022 m), cross the river and walk toward the first ice fall which is clearly visible. The route starts at around 2080 m.
Mont Neiglier, the Garriou – Pippolini route (© P. Gatta)
Garriou – Pippolini: there are 4 ice falls (marked on the photo above) and relatively easy Couloir in between and above.
#1: 60°-80° on the left (less steep on the right).
#2: 60° max and short pitch
#3: 20m at 75°-85° max (less steep on the right). Really nice pitch.
#4: 60° max and very short
Above the 4th ice fall, continue on a Couloir to the top of Mont Neiglier.
The first ice fall of the Garriou – Pippolini route (© P. Gatta)
Philippe climbing toward the 2nd ice fall of the Garriou – Pippolini route (© A. Gatta)
Philippe in the 3rd ice fall of the Garriou – Pippolini route (© A. Gatta)
Anna in the upper slopes of the East Face of Mont Neiglier.
Tete du Basto and Grand Capelet behind (© P. Gatta)
Descent: follow the ridge toward the Southeast for a short while to reach the Southwest face of Mont Neiglier. Descend a Couloir (450m) to the plateau at 2247 m, Est of the Pas du Neiglier. Continue to the Pont des Gravières and then to the parking.
Anna on the summit ridge of Mont Neiglier.
Mont Clapier and Lac de la Fous behind (© P. Gatta)
Anna on the top of Mont Neiglier. Gelas and Maledie behind (© P. Gatta)
Philippe of the top Mont Neiglier (© A. Gatta)