Ascent of Sommet des Diablerets on 2010-07-01

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Andrew Tibbetts
Date:Thursday, July 1, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Ski Lift
Peak:Sommet des Diablerets
    Elevation:10531 ft / 3209 m

Ascent Trip Report

After our early morning ascent of La Catogne, we drove to Col de Pillon (1546m) and caught the cable car (expensive, SF77 return) at 13:40, arriving at the Sex Rouge top station at 14:00. From here it's a 100m descent (wooden steps later in the season, snow covered for us in late June) to the glacier. Then a gentle uphill plod (a choice of a snow plod or, keeping R, near the edge, mostly snow free), to a rocky top. Then a short rocky downclimb (fixed rope) and a longer snow plod. No crevasses to speak of although a very soft spot a few hundred m before the summit may have been a small one, which we skirted on its R.

The first summit reached has a cross, with the highest point approx 5m further south. The GPS waypoint indicated a further point approx 150m further S, coinciding with the triangulation point on the map. This was clearly lower but we went across - a nice scrambly arete and a better viewpoint than the cross. The GPS indicated the trig summit to be 7m lower than the higher summit - visually this looked roughly right. The mapmakers have omitted to spot-height the summit - although there is a 3210m contour N of the trig).

GPSr readings:
Summit, 5m W of cross: N46 18 16.0 E7 11 25.2, 3223m
Trig summit (cairn, no trig): N46 18 14.1 E7 11 20.7, 3216m (map 3210m)

On our return, after scrambling up to the rocky midway top, we kept left, following the edge. This was generally snow free and easier than the soft afternoon snow of the glacier. Shortly after we arrived back at the Sex Rouge station (2940m) it started to spot with rain. I climbed the steps towards the Sex Rouge summit but the viewing platform is below the (2972m P~140m) summit and separated from it by a loose arete and I decided it was not worth braving the weather and missing the cable car. Just as well - we witnessed an impressive thunderstorm from the security of the 16:30 cable car (NB: last one down is at 16:50). We then checked out Le Tarent trailhead for tomorrow before getting a meal in Les Diablerets village.

It would doubtless be a better ascent in the morning - firmer snow and clearer views, but we were in two-a-day mode.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1541 ft / 468 m
    Extra Gain:328 ft / 99 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:Northeast ridge (Diablerets glacier)
    Trailhead:Sex Rouge top station  9646 ft / 2940 m
    Grade/Class:F, YDS2
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Sunny except thunderstorm at end
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 10 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 

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