Kathy and Mark in the Goulotte Profit • October 14, 2008

Back in May, on a touristic visit to the Aiguille du Midi with Kathy's mother and brother, we noticed several climbers clinging to the shady wall on the northwest side of the Arete des Cosmiques. Once back down in the comfort of home, a bit of internet research revealed this line as the "Goulotte Profit". In mid October, conditions, time off and a need to get out all converged and we gave it a go. The climb sports an "interesting" approach, five fun pitches, with a bit of mixed and ice to about 75 degrees.
Other Recent Trips

Here's a look at the route from the top of the Aiguille du Midi. This photo was taken in May, when we first saw climbers on it.


The "approach" starts from a bit of rappel tat on the edge of the building on the left. One creates quite a sensation with the tourists with this little stunt. The local staff are also quite attentive, making sure we didn't crampon the tangle of electrical wires as we climbed over the railing.


Mark looks slightly "amused" as he starts the first rappel.


The descent is about 5 rappels and a tad of traversing. There was all manner of debris in the gully, including lots of dropped ski poles and old wrist-thick steel cables, tangling the ropes at every opportunity.


The second to last (I think) rappel. It is an intimidating spot, partly due to the apparent difficulty of climbing out, should you need to.


The fist two pitches are generally easy with moderate ice and a bit of mixed. This is pitch three, which steepens just a bit before kicking back.


The top of pitch three with the Chamonix Valley far below.


The fourth pitch is the crux. The ice steepens and enters a chimney (the dark slot at the head of the gully). A few rock moves lead to the belay.


This photo, taken in May, shows climbers at the base of, and on, the last pitch. The dark chimney crux of the route is just below the two climbers at the belay.


Looking down the lower part of the fourth pitch.


Another shot from the viewing platform of the Aiguille du Midi, showing the upper pitch and a half and the exit onto the normal Arete des Cosmiques route.


The last pitch starts with a few mixed moves before the ice can be reached.


Mark reveals his helmet hair, while sorting ropes at the top of the gully.


Even after the fun of the gully, the normal Arete des Cosmiques was as pleasant and scenic as ever.


A few easy rocky moves on the Arete.


Back on the "road" to the summit.