Pointe de la Vouasson, SE Flank

An ideal introductory mountaineering peak, with minimal difficulty

Alpine Climbing Easy

Distance
7.3 km
Ascent
670 m
Descent
655 m
Low Point
2.8 km
High Point
3.5 km
Gradient
15˚
VIEW ON MAP
Pointe de la Vouasson, SE Flank Map

Description

Many alpinists have enjoyed Pointe de la Vouasson as their first outing on a glacier with axe and crampons. In fact the glacier is fast receding and in years to come will not exist. But for the time being it is wise to treat it as a glacier, and introductory parties often use it for a crevasse rescue training session, in addition to climbing the peak.

The Pointe de la Vouasson is a good acclimatisation summit, being high, but relatively non-strenuous. It is also a popular ski touring summit in the spring, with a 1600m drop down to la Gouille. To only climb the peak from the hut and return to the valley would be a short day, therefore ideal for beginners. The views from the top are impressive as, despite the easy angled approach, the ground drops away very steeply to the W, down to the Lac de Dix over a thousand metres below.

Very fit and acclimatised people will do this peak in a day from the valley floor, but it is pleasant to stay in the hut and climb it in the cool morning. From the hut take the blue and white paint-marked path up past the lake and traverse onto the old lateral moraine. It is sobering to think the glacier once came this low. Follow the moraine upwards, past a flattening and another small lake at 3070m. Continue up more steeply into a narrower section with steeper ground to your R, then onto the wide open top section. In early season a characteristic wind scoop will be to your R. From here it opens up and depending on the season, it may be walking on dry ice, or snow-covered glacier from here to the final rocky summit. It steepens up just before the top and traditionally there are some good crevasses or wind scoops nearby for crevasse rescue practice.

Descent is the same in reverse.

Difficulty

Easy

The ascent involves simple glacier hiking and/or short, straightforward rock scrambles. Equivalent to Alpine F, F+

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The route is well protected or easy enough that protection is not required.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September

Equipment required

  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit

Similar routes nearby

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