25 Sep Roi de Siam
The Roi de Siam is a striking sentry made of good coloured granite which holds up the shoulder of the higher and more famous Petit Capucin. We’re talking about a wild world of skywards-reaching pinnacles which surround Mont Blanc du Tacul, mushrooms of flame-coloured rock which poke up out of the glacial undergrowth infested with crevasses of all shapes and sizes.
Of the routes on the south face, the Lifting du Roi is undoubtedly the most popular, and offers pleasant climbing on sharp granite with steady and contained difficulties, max 5c, well-equipped stances and the odd bolt along the pitches.
The route finishes with a fine airy pitch on the “hat” of the Roi, the narrow point of this satelite of the Tacul. From here you have a stunning view of the dead-vertical Grand Capucin, of the Petit Capucin and of the slender summit flake of the Pic Adolphe Rey.
The route is sheltered from the wind and in sun from sunrise onwards for most of the day. Thanks to the route’s favourable orientation, you can climb Lifting from spring until well into autumn. You can easily leave Courmayeur with one of the first télépheriques to Punta Helbronner, make the climb, and come back in the afternoon the same way.
The Lifting du Roi was created by Massimo Datrino and Marco Sperone in summer 2001. Obviously, the SW face also has other modern routes, harder than Lifting, but whose difficulties are less well-distributed.
Roi de Siam 3693m
Lifting du Roi
Length: 300m (9 pitches)
Difficolty: 5c obligatory
Abseil back down the route
Material: axe, crampons and pegs for the ice, Friends up to BD 3, nuts and slings.
Approach: Courmayeur – Punta Helbronner (3462m) – decent from the Col Flambeaux passing under the Tour Ronde and towards the Combe Maudit, then turn nord as for the Grand Capucin and then right (east) to reach the south-east face of the Roi de Siam. (1-1:15 hours)
Start: on the right near a crack with an athletic move to start (peg).
Pitch 1: crack – 20m – 5c. You can also start 10 metres further right and then come back to the first stance (depending on ice conditions)
Pitch 2: straight up the crack then traverse right to pass a roof and then back left. Extend protections to avoid rope drag on this windy pitch. – 35m – 5a – 3 bolts.
Pitch 3: straight then slightly right to exit onto a ledge. – 35m – 5c – 3 bolts
Pitch 4: – discontinuous slab 4c – 30m.
Pitch 5: nice slab then traverse a gully to belay immediately afterwards 2 bolts.
Pitch 6: very fine corner crack with exit left. – 5a – 35m..
Pitch 7: slightly leftwards to climb a narrow chimney (bolts non visible at the start of the chimney behind a spike) 5a- 4c – 35m. Belay at the foot of the splendid final slab.
Pitch 8: short “S” pitch to bring you to the base of the final tower – 15m – 4b. It can be avoided by running together pitches 7 and 8 and not using the 8th stance, keeping to the right.
Pitch 9: first on a lovely flake then slightly right then straight on in-places lichenous rock (some pegs) until reaching stance 9. The abseil point is a few metres to the left, on the south face – 20m – 5c
Dans quel sens
This summer, Alpine Guides Massimo Datrino and Gionata Landi – both based in Courmayeur – established a new route on South East Wall of Roi de Siam, just right of Lifting du Roi .
The route (9 pitches) is 250m long and all bolted, included belays.
Descent: rappelling the route
Very good rock quality, except on the 7th pitch
6a/A1 – 5c obl
Dans quel sens
Massimo Datrino and Gionata Landi 2011
6a A1 – 5c obbl.
Descent: rappel on the route
Start from the extreme right of the wall, see picture.