There are several different ways of getting to the base of the route.
1) We went from the end of the road at Cabane Brunet and traversed the col des Avouillons and down onto the Glacier de Corbassiere, which leads to the base of the NW Face.
2) Otherwise you can go from a Village called fionay and follow the trail for the Cabane de Panossiere which is located on the right side of the Glacier de Corbassiere.
3) This option starts in the Val d'Entermont rather than the Val de Bagnes and you must go to the village of Bourg St. Pierres, to follow the trail up to the Cabane de Valsorey. From the Valsorey Hut you must go the the Col du Meitin and down only slightly on the north side, if you can't see the face the weather must have come in.
The route itself is fairly straightforward, what you will need is a lot of calf muscle. Depending on the conditions the difficulty will vary, in any case you will have to surmount between 550-650 vertcal meters of 45°-50°snow and ice. Crossing the Bergschrund at the foot of the face can sometimes cause some difficulty, but once you are on the face it will be hard to go wrong. If you do not want to continue all the way to the summit though the final couloir there is a way to contuor around the back by exiting the face on its left side at about 4100m. This is advisable if the calves are not holding up for the last stretch of face only gets steeper.
Leave the skies bihind if you are not planning on that kind of a thrill. In any case you will need crampons, two ice axes, ice screws(conditions/ability?).
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