Ascent of Vanil Noir on 2010-07-02

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Andrew Tibbetts
Date:Friday, July 2, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Vanil Noir
    Elevation:7838 ft / 2389 m

Ascent Trip Report

A lovely approach followed by a long scrambly arete to a fine summit - but not ideal in a thunderstorm!

We climbed Le Tarent in the morning then headed straight here. Trailhead is W of summit at Les Baudes, N46 32 09.6 E7 06 56.5, 1265m (13:30). A well marked trail leads up past a chalet, passing Bounavaux (refuge). At the path fork (N46 31 53.5 E7 08 18.2, 1753m) we went L. From the Col de Bounavalette (1996m) the path climbs E for a short way then traverses L to gain the ridge. There is then a choice of a low level traverse, or straight up the arete. We chose the arete, which is superb - often exposed, never particularly technical. There was thunder some way off - we hoped it would stay away, but it caught up with us more or less at the summit of Vanil Noir (15:50).

The cross was gently buzzing so we shot off down the SW ridge - quickly trealising that it leads no-where. Checking the map we reascended, traversed below the cross to gain the E ridge, descended to a saddle where the main path descends SW across the steep SE flank of Vanil Noir. There is a chain much of the way - not the kind of protection we really wanted while there was thunder around. Rain made the limsetone slippery to add to the fun. We scampered along the level lower part of the arete, finally getting below the crest again and following the well-marked trail more leisurely down to Bounavalette where we reversed our outward route, getting back to the trailhead at 17:30.

We then drove SE to the Oberland, ready to climb Albristhorn the next day, enjoying an evening meal in Lenk.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3918 ft / 1194 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3918 ft / 1194 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Exposed Scramble
    Weather:Raining, Hot, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Thunder at summit, brief rain on descent
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3803 ft / 1159 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 3688 ft / 1125 m; Extra: 115 ft / 35m
    Loss on way in:115 ft / 35 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Route:N ridge
    Start Trailhead:Les Baudes  4150 ft / 1264 m
    Time:2 Hours 20 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3803 ft / 1159 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 3688 ft / 1125 m; Extra: 115 ft / 35m
    Gain on way out:115 ft / 35 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Route:SW ridge
    End Trailhead:Les Baudes  4150 ft / 1264 m
    Time:1 Hours 4 Minutes

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