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Aiguille de Midi
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Voie Rébuffat-Baquet T 

Voie Rébuffat-Baquet 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 11 pitches, 700', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10- French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: G. Rébuffat and M. Baquet (1956)
Season: Summer/Fall
Page Views: 2,956
Submitted By: Seleucus on Jun 19, 2012

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Marc Chrysanthou on the Rebuffat Route, Aiguille d...

Description 

The Voie Rébuffat-Baquet is a truly beautiful line in a fantastic setting. The route is rather well equipped for a trad route there are oftentimes pitons in the most difficult sections and most of the belays are equipped for rappel. With the proximity of both the Aiguille de Midi telepherique and the Cosmiques refuge, it has become possible to do this climb with fairly minimal commitment for climbers who would otherwise avoid the long approaches and committing routes of the Chamonix Aiguilles.

That being said, this is a route at high altitude with highly variable weather. Be prepared! Fatigue can quickly slow a party who are unused to climbing at altitude and snow or ice on the route can render otherwise simple pitches very difficult. Furthermore, the weather can change at any moment and rappelling the route in bad conditions can become very difficult.

At the top route-finding can be problematic and there are many different variations. I have included the beta for just one of these variants.

Topo for the Voie Rébuffat-Baquet on Aiguille de Midi
Topo for the Voie Rébuffat-Baquet on Aiguille de Midi


The grades I listed should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism. Almost every guidebook I own lists a different grade for each pitch of the route and translating these grades from the French scale to the YDS adds an additional element of uncertainty.

Pitch 1 (5.8/5.9): Go straight up and obvious crack/dihedral, pull through a vertical section (5.9), continue on up the dihedral. Next move left along a horizontal crack and go up the face (thin moves) and move under the roof. There are two belays one under the roof and the other at the left edge of the roof. The one on the left makes it easier for the belayer to see the climber on the 2nd pitch.

Pitch 2 (5.10): Typically considered the crux pitch. Move up the s-shapped crack and curve left to a belay.

Pitch 3 (5.10): Move up and to the right following the obvious weakness. Make a tenuous move left and climb up a system comprised of a crack (on the left) and a flake (on the right) until you reach the belay at the top of a column.

Climbers on Pitch 3 & 4 of the Voie Rébuffat-Baquet (photo taken at top of pitch 4 having linked pitches 3 & 4).
Climbers on Pitch 3 & 4 of the Voie Rébuffat-Baquet (photo taken at top of pitch 4 having linked pitches 3 & 4).


Pitch 4 (5.8): Move down and to the left. From here move up to a protruding flake. Move behind the flake or go outside of it to gain a left slanting ramp. Climb the crack on the ramp to an excellent belay ledge (great for a picnic!).

Climbing the crack above the crux on pitch 4 (5.8).
Climbing the crack above the crux on pitch 4 (5.8).


Pitch 5 (5.9): From the belay ledge go right and continue up the ramp. Make awkward moves across a slab and go up the crack system. Belay at the top.

Climbing the 5th pitch
Climbing the 5th pitch


Pitch 6 (5.8): Move up a wide crack (5.8). Here the route splits, going straight up is 5.10, moving to the right and arcing back following good holds and cracks is much easier 5.4/5.5 (as shown on the topo).

The easy variant (5.5) of the 6th pitch.
The easy variant (5.5) of the 6th pitch.


Pitch 7 (5.9): From the belay move horizontally left on large ledges for about 4 meters. From here move up easy holds (5.7) until you reach a dihedral with a crack in it. The crack has some pitons and stuck nuts. Pull through this crack (5.9) and follow an extremely awkward gully (can be wet from snowmelt). When this ends follow cracks to the left and belay at the top.

Pitch 8 (5.2?): An easy linking pitch. Move down and left then go up a few meteres to a belay. This can be linked with pitch nine but beware of rope drag.

Pitch 9 (5.5): Follow easy holds up a gently sloping gully. The belay is on the right of the gully.

Pitch 10 (5.8): Follow the gully until the end (unless it is full of snow in which case you can follow the ridge on the right) then move up a crack system on the left to a belay on a good ledge.

The snow filled gully on the 10th pitch.
The snow filled gully on the 10th pitch.


Pitch 11 (5.10+ or 5.8 A0): From the belay move left onto the face and make thin moves (well protected by bolts) until you reach easier climbing on the arête before moving completely onto the right side of the arête. Continue with easy moves to the summit.
Topo for the Voie Rébuffat-Baquet on Aiguille de Midi
Topo for the Voie Rébuffat-Baquet on Aiguille de Midi


Location 

From Aiguille de Midi descend the Arete de Midi to the glacier. On the glacier, Aiguille de Midi will appear on your right. Follow the safest way to the base of the climb paying attention for crevasses.


Protection 

Slings, a rack of cams, a set of nuts.

The belays are bolted and equipped for rappel. Also, there are a decent number of pitons which can be clipped.



Photos of Voie Rébuffat-Baquet Slideshow Add Photo
Brian rapping to the platform!
Brian rapping to the platform!
Contemplating glassy slopers with only old iron for pro. Hmmmm.
Contemplating glassy slopers with only old iron fo...
Rap anchor at the top!
Rap anchor at the top!
it's really hard to express how fun climbing is sometimes
it's really hard to express how fun climbing is so...
Me starting the crux pitch!!! Awesome!!!
Me starting the crux pitch!!! Awesome!!!
Climbers on Pitch 3 & 4 of the Voie Rébuffat-Baquet (photo taken at top of pitch 4 having linked pitches 3 & 4).
Climbers on Pitch 3 & 4 of the Voie Rébuffat-Baque...
Climbing the crack above the crux on pitch 4 (5.8).
Climbing the crack above the crux on pitch 4 (5.8)...
Gettin' off the ground
Gettin' off the ground
Brian following the crux!
Brian following the crux!
The snow filled gully on the 10th pitch.
The snow filled gully on the 10th pitch.
Fiddling with small gear on pitch 2 crux <br /> <br />
Fiddling with small gear on pitch 2 crux

Traversing to the pitch 1 anchor <br /> <br />
Traversing to the pitch 1 anchor

jammin'
jammin'
Hard to beat the Midi's south aspect in good weather
Hard to beat the Midi's south aspect in good weath...
Topo for the Voie Rébuffat-Baquet on Aiguille de Midi
BETA PHOTO: Topo for the Voie Rébuffat-Baquet on Aiguille de M...
Climbing the 5th pitch
Climbing the 5th pitch
come join me, ma chère!
come join me, ma chère!
The easy variant (5.5) of the 6th pitch.
The easy variant (5.5) of the 6th pitch.
Comments on Voie Rébuffat-Baquet Add Comment
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By John Fodor
From: Bolder, Co
Jun 22, 2012

When you top out, you get to rap off huge eye bolts back to a platform for the tram. It's an awesome route.

By Aerili
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 20, 2013

Clean and bomber golden granite, warm southern exposure, + a dash of polish. Gets a lot of traffic. Taking a full rack seemed reasonable-- it offers up cracks of all sizes. Pitch 2 was intensive on small cams and nuts. Other than that, the Euros really trust their rusty old iron way more than 'Mericans. Get ready to trust it! :-)

A lot of people abbreviate and rap this route vs topping out (for a variety of reasons, including time, sometimes crowding, or the lack of desire to carry all your boots, crampons, and axes with you). While the route can be rapped, it is easiest to finish at least through pitch 3 and then rap (3) straight down vs back right. (You can also climb more of the route and still get off this way.) You'll be rapping a route called Matchmaker, and two 60 m ropes are required as far as I could tell. The raps take you straight down to almost-flat ground with no tricky rock/snow transition or yawning crevasses. Of course, if you don't have all your stuff with you, you need to carry at least boots to get back up the hill (crampons not necessary in most cases).