Ascent of Le Tarent on 2016-09-03

Climber: Lee Newton

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, September 3, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Le Tarent
    Elevation:8360 ft / 2548 m

Ascent Trip Report

Having failed in an attempt on Le Tarent from the south in 2009 (Extremely steep, wet grass), I researched potential routes more carefully for this attempt. I found a good one from Andrej Gerber in German on albeit that he had climbed it in winter on snowshoes.

In the summer, it seems to be possible (no signage against it), to drive the minor road leading south from the hamlet of L'Etivaz along the stream of L'Eau Froide and up almost as far as the farmstead of Le Fodéra. Please note there is nowhere to park at the farm itself, and vehicles should be left latest in the forest about 400m earlier, where there is a dirt layby (or take the train / bus to L'Etivaz).

From there, walk up past the farm, following the track as it zigzags up the hillside towards a large cowshed at L'Audalle. From here, there is a rough path which leads past a drinking trough for cattle and eventually peters out in the rough, craggy ground above. From this point on the route is pathless but generally speaking it is best to keep to the left hand side of the corrie, under the cliffs of Rochers de la Combe, and eventually aim for the notch in the ridge to the right (west) of the neighbouring summit of La Pare. From close underneath the notch a sloping, scree-covered terrace leads along the base of the summit cliffs until almost underneath the summit itself. From here is it possible to scramble up a steep shallow gully to gain the NNW ridge just below the summit. This gully is a rather hard to enjoy mixture of steep grass and mud with some variable quality rock at various points but is, at least, mercifully short. From there a couple of minutes up the steep grassy ridge leads to the airy summit, with superb views ranging from Lake Geneva to Dents du Midi to Mont Blanc in the southwest quadrant, to the steep limestone comb of the Gummfluh to the northeast. The Oldenhorn and Diablerets loom to the south and one can even see the Eiger tryptych almost side on to the ENE.

I descended by the same route, taking the steep gully mostly via a bum-slide. The heat grew as I hit the farm track and I was pleased to find my car being shaded by some trees. Timings include a lot of stops on the way down for photography and lunch and a fit climber should be able to complete the route in around 4 hours total.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3406 ft / 1038 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.2 mi / 8.4 km
    Route:Normal route via north face
    Trailhead:Access road to Le Fodéra  4954 ft / 1509 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 30 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Lee Newton
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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