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Ascent of Le Tarent 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:Le Tarent
    Location:Switzerland
    Elevation:2548 m / 8360 ft

Ascent Trip Report

This is just across the valley from Sommet des Diablerets which we'd climbed the previous afternoon. We weren't sure whether it was doable - the path stops at the ridge, 150m below the summit; the main path goes to the slightly lower E summit which has the cross. The two tops are separated by a serious looking gap

The simplest approach is from Marnex, with limited parking just before the farm buildings, at N46 22 08.9 E7 09 09.3, 1734m. The farmer said it is possible to get to the west summit - but not easy. From the farm (07:30) a well marked trail heads E then NE. After 200m, the trail for the west ridge diverges, heading roughly N, mapped but not waymarked and intermittent, climbing through wonderful flowery pastures. In time a bouldery area is reached. The trail skirts the S edge of this and can be seen contouring across a cwm to a broad steep ridge which is criss-crossed by sturdy metal avalanche fences. The path zigzags up through these fences, eventually emerging on the W ridge. From here, the summit looks impregnable - the only hope is to traverse L on very steep grassy slopes, heading for a grassy chink in the N ridge. Apart from the exposure there is just one technical section - a very exposed edgy traverse or an awkward downclimb. Once past this, a slightly awkward ledge (overhang) leads back R to an easy steep grassy gully and in a couple of minutes we are at the summit (10:00) - surprisingly grassy, marked only by a wooden stake and a small cairn. Across a considerable gap is the east summit, just 8m lower, with a cross. Views are impressive and we feel the satisfaction of having "outwitted" the mountain.

But we still have to get down. The first gully is slower and more awkward in descent - steep and exposed. After this, the route is pretty straightforward to reverse, with care, and we are soon back at the path, which we follow back down to Marnex (11:30). We immediately drive N to Vanil Noir, hoping (but failing) to beat the afternoon thunderstorm.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:884 m / 2901 ft
    Extra Gain:35 m / 115 ft
    Distance:5.1 km / 3.2 mi
    Route:West ridge
    Trailhead:Marnex  1734 m / 5689 ft
    Grade/Class:YDS3
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Exposed Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Intermittent cloud at summit
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:2 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:1 Hours 30 Minutes



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