Rising like an impenetrable fortress above the surrounding country side, Mont Aiguille strikes a proud position standing alone off the Vercors plateau.
From the short wall with the commemorative plate, there should be a well worn trail heading to the nearest edge (direction south and west). Follow the trail and down climb the slippery chimney below (fairly secure but some folks may want a belay). Note that below the chimney is a large drainage gully; the grand coulior des Tubulaires. Stay in this “corridor of rubble” and descend by hiking and down climbing where needed. Resist the urge to traverse on any faint trails leading away from the coulior.
After descending nearly halfway down, a couple of fixed anchors will appear just as the gully gets fairly steep. From an upper anchor, there are two more sets of anchors on both sides of the gully. Either of these lower sets of anchors will work for a 30m rappel. Take care here, it’s fairly exposed (a belay from the upper anchor would be prudent for some).
Rappel the 30 meters, hike down a short ways until possible to take a faint trail to the north (climber’s left) leading around a corner to a large pine tree. From a precipitous ledge, with a few beat up pine trees, a couple sets of anchors are connected by a wire cable. Climb down to the lower anchor (self belay at a minimum very prudent!) and prepare for the final exposed rappel. Rappel for a minimum of 45m, very steep down an initial shear face, which gives way to a wide chimney slot. With two 60m ropes, it’s possible to avoid the eroded hole (chock stone) at the bottom by just kicking out past the rubble and continuing the rappel.
Follow the climber’s trail out of the chimney behind the bull’s tower. Take care near the base if there are climbers above (or if it’s windy: rock fall).
By car, it takes around an hour to get to the most popular trailhead at Richardière from Grenoble (60 kilometers south of Grenoble). Take the A480 out of Grenoble and continue on A51 (toll). Stay on the A51 for around 26 kilometers and at the roundabout, take the second exit onto the D1075 (N 75). After 14 kilometers, take a right on the D7 (don’t miss the cheese outlet!), then for 2.5 km and take another right on the D7B for another 2.5 km to Richardière.
Browse More Classics in Mont Aiguille
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Mont Aiguille:
Tour des Gémeaux 5.9 PG13 Trad, 8 pitches, 900 feet, Grade III
Pilier Sud 5.10 R Trad, 10 pitches, 1000 feet, Grade III
Featured Route For Mont Aiguille
Tour des Gémeaux 5.9 PG13 International : France : ... : Mont Aiguille
A classic route up beautiful rock. Neat features. A variety of fine climbing, from face, to overhangs, stemming, cracks. After the standard voie normal route, this route is the easiest way to the summit of Mont Aiguille. It’s also a bonus that the climbing is very fun, and the rock is uncharacteristically very good (for Mont Aiguille). It is, however, a bit of a step up in difficulty from the normal route (voie normal at 3c to this route at 5c) and the protection in several places ...[more] Browse More Classics in International