L'arete du Table

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 45.99450°N / 7.01020°E
Additional Information Route Type: Glacier/rock scramble
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: PD
Sign the Climber's Log


Start from the Albert Premier hut (numerous good bivi sites directly above the hut). I recommend a start around 4.30am as this allows you to reach the base of the route as it gets light.

Follow a path (cairns) to the true right bank of the Tour Glacier (that's the left bank as you see it from the hut). Follow the glacier (usually a trail) passing a rognon on the left. Aim for a glacier bay between the WSW and SW spurs, on the map it is clear that the SW (or Table du Roc) spur joins the WSW spur near the summit. NOTE. The bay you are aiming at it not the one with a subsiduary band of rock below the cliff face, it is the next, broader bay.

From the head of the bay locate a couloir in the top right corner. This is the start.

Route Description

Follow the couloir (1 short step of 3 at the base) as high as is possible before breaking our onto the spur on the right where it is reasonably easy. Going right too early causes problems. The spur is broad but narrows with height, follow it. An obviously steep section can be avoided on the left via a very open couloir right next to the steep bit. Climb the couloir and follow it back right to the table. Get on top of the table (3) and then follow the narrow ridge beyond to the summit. The whole route is about Scottish 2/3 when snowed up and is an ok climb with fresh snow on the rocks (beware avalanches on the approach and in the couloir).

Essential Gear

1 axe, crampons, helmet, 1 rope, glacier material and 5 slings with krabs. Maybe 5/6 medium to large wires and hexes. No more, go light!

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

Viewing: 1-6 of 6

mtselman - Jun 6, 2003 12:37 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

The route goes along the ridge to the left of the couloir. Also, late in the summer, when it is warm, the couloir becomes a chute for all the rock falls. Stay away or climb very early before the sun warms up the rock

Probemeister - Oct 30, 2003 9:59 am - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

Ok, good advice for when it is warm, however when it is snowy getting onto the ridge on the L would lead to difficulty

Tom Fralich

Tom Fralich - Aug 11, 2004 7:08 am - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

I agree - in early season when there is still snow in the gullies, the classic approach beginning left of the spur would be good. Once the snow is gone, it is better to continue up the glacier to the Couloir de la Table, where there is still some snow remaining, and reach the ridge from this side. There is rockfall danger on either approach, but the Couloir de la Table is safer and you get onto the ridge quicker. When I climbed on Aug 7, there were about 10 parties for Arete de la Table. We were the only ones who didn't use the new approach and I wish we had. When I get home I will draw lines on some of the photos to show the exact routes.

Joe Glennie - Jan 28, 2004 9:44 am - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

I may have been off route at the time, but when I tried to climb this I found the first pitch up the couloir tricky and very loose. On the second pitch I was hit by a large boulder. Luckily I'm still here but five years on and my knee still hurts. So watch out for loose rock!

Tom Fralich

Tom Fralich - Aug 8, 2004 12:44 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

The route description for the Table de Roc Spur in the British Alpine Club guide (and on this SummitPost page) is no longer the preferred route.

The guidebook says to approach via the glacier bay between the West Ridge and SW Spur and then to climb a gully, finally climbing up RIGHT to gain the spur. At least in summer, this gully is very loose and unpleasant and not recommended.

The new route, which nearly everyone is climbing, begins by climbing the Table Couloir until it narrows and then climbs up LEFT to gain the spur. This method is faster and safer than the classic approach.

Flachlandtiroler - Jul 1, 2022 3:39 am - Hasn't voted


There is already another description of the Arete du Table Route. This description is OUTDATED as far as the approach couloir is concerned. Even for the actual approach through the Table couloir, good overnight freeze and early start are heavily recommended. We heared rockfall starting from 8 o'clock -- in June! The description gives grades for climbing steps like "(3)". Which scale is meant here? If UIAA perhaps use "III". Alse notice that the usual guidbooks rate the steps before and onto the table rock as 4b/c or even 5a in french scale. Same for the overall difficuly given, the climb isn't reted PD but AD almost everywhere you look.

Viewing: 1-6 of 6



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