Climbed With Matt Owen, both of us members of the university of portsmouth climbing club. It was a straight forward climb albeit with some poor snow conditions and fantastic exposure. The veiws from the summit were awesome and there was a great sense of satisfaction having ascended our first north face route. If you want more details of our climb, and eventfull descent then see my trip report.
I climbed the Northface together with Andreas from DAV Ulm. Because of the very bad conditions, we had to make belay during the whole face like all other climbers on that day. The day before very much new snow fell, which did not freeze during the night. So there was much new snow on pure ice - very bad conditions, which also did not make fun. We descended via the normal way including a short cut through the couloir in the North of the ridge.
After I had broken off the Contamine Grisolle to the Mont Blanc du Tacul because of the extreme coldness of about -30°C/-22F (although my both companions were continuing the route), I went alone to the glacier plateau of the foot of the Tour Ronde-Northface, knowing that I wouldn't reach the summit that day although not knowing how the day would finally end ... I recognized too late, that the weather was getting worse. Nevertheless, I still reached the Abri Simond Bivouac Hut in the fog although I could not see more then a dark shadow of the end of the Aig. du Midi. My two companions got lost in the fog and the snowstorm on the Géant Glacier. They were also surprised by the sudden weather change like myself and other people and could not return anymore to the Abri Simond. They already wanted to make an unplanned bivouac on the Géant-Glacier (at -30°C and without sleeping-bags etc. .....). After a few hours, they made another attempt - and recognized that they were very close to the Abri Simond Bivouac Hut: just on the S-side of the rock on which the Ref. Cosmiques is located, i.e. a few meters away from the Abri Simond Bivouac, although they thought they were near the E-ridge of the Aig. du Midi .... we have never heard anything anymore about 2 french people who climbed the Chérècouloir that day and were surprised by the weather change as well. They at least did not return to the Abri Simond Bivouac Hut. We did not know whether they also got lost on the Géant Glacier, whether they reached the Aig. du Midi or what happened to them. We also could not inform anybody because we did not have any handy and were being stuck in snow storm in the Abri-Simond-Bivouac Hut.
Short but steep ice climb. Ideal for training for bigger goals. Watch out for rockfall when there are a lot of parties in it. A table-sized rock just missed us by two or three meters!
nice mixed climb ( AD+ 50° ice )
less steep than nord face but so much quiet.
we were alone in the face, while the nord face was full of climbers.