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Climb: Frendo spur on Aiguille Du Midi North Face

In the guide book (griffin, MT Blanc VII,), He states that some parties elect to bivy below the ice crest.

1) Do Parties climb with their packs or haul?

2) Are rock shoes used for the harder rock sections?

3) Is a mountaineering Ax taken or two technical axes?

Thanks in Advance

-- DEAN BAKES (DBAKES@ICMS.COM), May 07, 1998

Answers

I don't think in summer it is necessary to bivy. In the Alps, most people climb with their (light) packs. It is not so steep that hauling would be practical. The technical difficulties do not seem to justify using rock shoes or technical axes.

-- Quang-Tuan Luong (luong@ai.sri.com), May 07, 1998.

I've been up the Frendo twice in Winter, once by the Eastman Hunt route and once by the Direct (Diedre Gele) and you might have cought one of my climbs in Climbing a few months back? In summer the route shouldn't be underestimated, it looks pritty easy but remember that face is bigger then the North face of the Droites and with just as much hard climbing. In Winter I thought it was a hard as the North East Spur of the Droites (Winter) and much harder then the Dru Couloir! The meat of the route is in the first large buttress with the climbing steadly getting steaper and steaper, primerliy climbing corners and major features. A small rack of wires plus half a set of friends and lots of slings are all thats needed plus a few screws for the upper ice slope. Take two axes (or two for the leader and a hammer for the second) and stiff boots for the upper ice field. The climbing is never desprate in summer and it should be possible to move together on most of the route and it might be worth considering using a single rope and climbing short 25 metre pitchs for speed. Their are good bivi sights at the top of the first buttres and the ice arete is a doddle plus there's fixed gear on the walls on the final section, although the ice will probaly get bad as you get nearer to the rock. You can either finish the route direct over the ronyon (hard) or just left of the buttres or on either side of the smaller ronyon to the right. Just in time to catch the last frique home! I'f your in Cham out of season or in the winter/spring try Fil a Plom or the eiser North Face of the Col du Plan both great day routes.

Cheers Andy K

T

-- Andy Kirkpatrick (113666.421@compuserve.com), May 27, 1998.


We climbed the climbed the Frendo thinking it was an "easy" route to warm up our season, as california climbers (good rock, weather, anchors) the description that we had made it sound "easy" however we decided to take bivy gear (because we din't want to climb the ice in the afternoon), Werner and I are strong 5.11 climbers, and the "walkup" ice finish sound "easy", we understood the "sandbag" of that british guidebook as we went up the route, the rock was roten most of the time, there where many loose blocks to climb very carefull to not loose them, the route was nice but dont be fooled by the standards of the alps, when they say "classic" is classic for them, if you use to climb on superb rock a "classic" for you is different, I realy liked the frendo, we had 2x9mm ropes, and we belayed every move but the arete at the begining at the ice (in wich the only belay was the option to jump to the other side of the ridge in case some one of us take a fall) we did like 20 pitches of rock and 15 on ice, avoiding the rognion by the hanging glacier on the rigth. there are good spots to bivy at near the top of the rock butress, the route was easy after all, we did not had a problem at all but the sand bag, there was a lot of 3rd class, 5.5, 5.8 and a spot of a1, the rock is long and do not plan faling because there is a lot to hit on the way down , never start aproaching the butress after 10 in the morning, we saw a huge rock slide (this are old mountains remember). on the ice expect steep ice never vertical on the rigth side of the rognion, but not good enough for screws all the time, take two tools, for the rock bellow my partner had semi stif rock shoes and I had slipers to smoke up the route, there are some good pitches, but many , many dangerous pitches, so be carefull and do not under estimate the route, it is serious and dangerous. do not be fooled by the descriptions of the experts, (I climb A4, and 5.11, but I do not climb mountains every weekend), and if you are an expert on mountain climbing and you are laughing at my "gumbie" description, maybe there is no reason for you to read this, and by the other end if you consider yourself a "real gumbie" do not even think about it beter hire a guide "700us dls" and go to climb Materhorn with 200 more people. and dont forget to "moon" the people on the cable car, remember that you can allways write some mesages on your brite butt, if you get lost, try to find trash on the way up, some times it helps, and if you see poo that may be a good bivy site. dont forget "tp". may the force be with you.

-- Alejandro GastÚlum (alex_gastelum@hotmail.com), September 02, 2001.

Pinche Ale, que rrollon te mandaste, puras pendejadas de playas

-- mundito (pancholopez@hotmail.com), July 31, 2003.

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