Traverse of the Pigne de la Lé

A classic journey over an incredibly well situated peak.

Alpine Climbing Moderate

Distance
4.4 km
Ascent
560 m
Descent
558 m
Low Point
2.8 km
High Point
3.4 km
Gradient
24˚
Traverse of the Pigne de la Lé Map

For budding mountaineers, this is as good as low grade alpine climbing gets and will take you up, over and down a peak which enjoys a great panorama over bigger mountains which might become future objectives.

Description

The trip starts at the Cabane de Moiry. Start by traversing south-east from the hut and then climbing up to the hanging Col du Pigne. Turn south and begin climbing up the appealing North ridge of the Pigne de la Lé.

The climbing on the ridge is never difficult but the rock quality is not always what it might be, so respect the route even if the moves are not particularly difficult. There are no moves harder than UIAA II provided you stick to the ridge crest or, on the few occasions you encounter anything too technical, just off to the right of the crest.

The ridge leads naturally onto the summit, and what a summit it is! The Zinal Rothorn is the closest major peak but plenty of the other legendary alpine 4000ers are visible and are likely to provide plenty of inspiration for future adventures.

It's possible to descend the ascent route but a much better option is the route drawn here which takes you down the Pigne de la Lé's south-west flank. The descent down this route is essentially non-technical but there are 2 sections of 30 degree snow and a fall on them might, in the wrong conditions, be nasty. The flank is quite blunt most of the way, and leads you naturally down onto the Glacier de Moiry.

Descend the glacier, passing under first the south-west flank of the Pigne de la Lé and then under the mountains' west face. There is some rockfall danger under the west face so don't linger underneath it.

Exit the glacier and follow the path easily back to the Cabane de Moiry.

Difficulty

Moderate

May involve slightly more complex glacier hikes, easy but possibly long rock ridges and steep snow up to 45 degrees. Equivalent to PD, PD+

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The route features some exposed and/or difficult to protect sections.

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
  • Wires and Friends

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area