Aiguille Pierre Andrè 2897 m
Aiguille Pierre Andrè is a stunning pyramidal peak belonging to the Chambeyron range, Ubaye valley. Due to the harmonious shape and the beauty of the rock, it is considered as the Aiguille Dibona of the Ubaye. Although not so superb and flashy, it's a beautiful slender spire, with a South-South-East wall built with an excellent quartzite, showing a strong orange color. A beautiful needle in a wild context with great equipped climbs, especially in its South-East face.
Four routes are located on the spire, amongst those the most frequently climbed is Marmottes Givrées, a magnificent steady route on extra quality orange quartzite leading directly on the summit. On Aiguille Pierre Andrè the quartzite is very rich in handholds and this fact make it possible to climb on extremely steep walls without exceeding the grades 6a+/6b (5.12b).
The Normal route rises along the shortest West wall. There are no weak sides and to reach the summit needs to climb, so every route, even the Normal one, involves the use of climbing gear.
The starting point to climb on Aiguille Pierre Andrè is the hamlet of Maljasset. It can be reached:
From Durance Valley: Gap or Sisteron - Barcelonette - St-Paul/Ubaye - Maljasset
From Durance Valley: Embrun or Briançon - Vars pass - St-Paul/Ubaye - Maljasset
From Italy: Colle della Maddalena - St-Paul/Ubaye - Maljasset
From the hamlet of Maljasset take the itinerary to Col Mary, starting with a dirty road through the larches, then becoming a steeper path. At the second grassy terrace there is a junction where you must leave the main trail to Col de Mary and take the right branch (signpost "11ème BCA"), a narrow path crossing a stream, then rising with several hairpins and leading below Pierre Andrè South face (2 hours from Maljasset).
The main routes to climb the summit:
- Normal Route (West Face) 3b, 3 pitches, route equipped with some rings along the pitches and anchors at the belays
- Short climb developing on the West wall of the spire. It is frequented above all to descent from the top of the spire.
- Marmottes Givrées TD, French 6a+ max, UIAA VI+, YDS 5.10a, 200 m (6 pitches), route equipped with bolts
- A beautiful and athletic climb not to be missed, perhaps the finest on the spire. It's more modern, more direct than the SSE, a little better equipped (spaced bolts in the easy) and more difficult. Some climbers have seen marmots work food inside their backpacks....
- La SSE (Honorat-Cerciello) UIAA V+, 180 m (7 pitches)
- Classic route, the start is a few meters to the right of Marmottes Givrées
- Vieux boucs, new look French 6b max, 200 m (7 pitches) - Another beautiful climbing route with a length more difficult than the rest (6b), which can be bypassed by a simpler section, making the route more homogeneous and accessible.