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Le Marchand de Sable

Le Marchand de Sable

Le Marchand de Sable

Page Type: Route

Location: Haute Savoie, France, Europe

Lat/Lon: 45.90428°N / 6.92576°E

Object Title: Le Marchand de Sable

Route Type: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing

Season: Summer

Time Required: Most of a day

Rock Difficulty: 5.10b (YDS)

Difficulty: TD sup., F 6a+

Number of Pitches: 11

Route Quality: 
 - 2 Votes


Page By: Silvia Mazzani

Created/Edited: Jul 1, 2011 / Feb 19, 2015

Object ID: 725794

Hits: 2850 

Page Score: 80.49%  - 12 Votes 

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***Le Marchand de Sable

Summit altitude: mt. 2899
Difficulty: TD sup., F6a+
Equipment: partially equipped with bolts (slabs); friends useful (cracks)
Climbing length: 300 mt.
Exposure: SE
First ascent: M. Piola – G. Hopfgartner 19-20/07/1983
Starting point: Montenvers mt. 1909 (Rack-railway from Chamonix Mont Blanc)
Hut: Envers des Aiguilles m. 2523 CAF

A magnificent route – the classic one on the South East face of Tour Rouge – which offers various climbing ways (corners, slabs and cracks). Surely one of the finest rock climbing in Mont Blanc Group. Partially equipped (belays and some points along the route). The route is getting the sun at eight o’clock in full summer.

Views from the hut
Le Marchand de Sable

Getting There

Envers des Aiguilles map
Mer de Glace and Grandes Jorasses in the background
Mer de Glace and Grandes Jorasses - Photo Silvia Mazzani august 2000

From Envers des Aiguilles Hut m. 2523 take the iron stairways and rise along a gully leading to a saddle. From here go down to gain the Trelaporte Glacier; cross the glacier in its upper section to reach the bottom of Tour Rouge SE face. Starting point is below a steep slab situated between a corners’system on the right-hand side and two small roofs on the left. In last years the start had became very difficult, because of the glacier's retreat.

Le Marchand de Sable report

Le Marchand de Sable
Cracks on Le Marchand de Sable
Technical slab
Last but one pitch technical slab
The hanging belay
The hanging belay

Le Marchand de Sable report (French Scale)

L1 – Climb the steep slab, then a flake. 6a
L2 - Head towards right below a small roof, then climb up along a corner. 5c
L3 - Climb another fine corner on the left and belay inside it. 5c
L4 – Straight up climbing a slab. 5b
L5 - An unforgettable pitch! Climb a corner, then go towards left to reach a steep crack. Climb the crack with superb climb. 6a
L6 - Another unforgettable pitch. A technical crack, then cross the slab towards left. After an hard move along the slab, reach a small overhang, then a corner leading to a belay below a small roof. 6a+
L7 – Another slab, then a new corner leading to a good stance on a terrace. 5c
L8 – Straight up climbing a flake, then up along some easier corners. 5b
L9 – An easy pitch along a corner leading to a small rocky saddle. 4b
L10 – Another superb pitch beginning with a technical slab; climb the slab with an hard movement (some bolts), then head towards right reaching a corner. 6a+
L11 – An easy pitch along a corner and a ridge leading to the top.4b

Descent: abseiling along the route.


Refuge CAF "Envers des Aiguilles"


Essential Gear

Rope 2 x 50, helmet, various sizes of friends and excentrics, ten express, ice-axe and crampons always helpful for the approach along the glacier.

When to climb

Best season goes from middle June to middle September.


Meteo Chamonix


Mer de Glace and Grandes Jorasses in the backgroundLe Marchand de SableCracksViews from the hutTrelaporte GlacierThe hanging belayLe Marchand de Sable
Envers des Aiguilles mapTechnical slab