|Aiguilles Marbrées, Traverse|
2 climbers per guide
The Aiguilles Marbrées is a tight group of rocky spires that form the border between France and Italy, not far from the upper station of the Point Helbronner cable car. Easy access, spectacular surroundings and enjoyable climbing have made these summits deservedly popular.
There are two main ridges on the peak, the longer South Ridge and the shorter, but overall a bit steeper East Ridge. While climbers often ascend and descend by the same route, the most interesting and enjoyable outing includes a traverse of the peak.
If conditions allow, we usually prefer to climb up the East Ridge and Descend by the South. Occasionally, the bergschrund on the South Ridge can be open and difficult. A traverse that includes a descent by this route, allows for the option of an easy rappel over this obstacle.
This is a rocky summit, and the main difficulties are on the sharp granite crest. But the hard bits are short and with the numerous rock horns, we have the ability to belay all the tricky bits.
The Traverse of the Aiguilles Marbrées is also quite fun in snowed up, winter conditions, and makes a great training climb when crampons must be worn for some or all of the rock sections.
This is a short route, by Alpine standards. But it does involve some real climbing. There are a number of short rock pitches we will need to belay, both on the ascent as well as the descent.
This route is a good choice if you are looking for a shorter climb, or if the bigger routes are out of condition because of new snow. And it is a great introduction to Alpine rock ridges.
|Ken on the East Ridge of the Marbrées|
This is a moderately day out. Normally an hour or so is required for the approach with the climb itself taking between 2 or 3 hours. The main difficulties are on rock, with some steeper sections near the summit. But the climbing is not overly taxing, making this a good choice as a warm up or an introduction to alpine rock routes.
Climbers should be fit and have a head for heights. Previous experience in crampons is helpful, but glacier travel experience is not necessary. A good level of fitness is required.
The Torino hut is quite close by, so other climbs based from here are logical combinations. The Aiguille d'Entreves, the Tour Ronde and the Pyramid du Tacul are some examples.
|Norm near the summit of the Aiguilles Marbrées.|
Kathy Cosley & Mark Houston
AMGA Certified • SNGM members
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