- Joe Fratianni
New Routes, Left Buttress "Coeur D'Armeos"
There are a handful of new lines bolted on the slabs that form the left buttress of the sub-sector "Coeur D'Armeos" to the left of the main sector "Poets" above Armeos. The routes were recently opened by Claude Idoux. There are no names or difficulty ratings on the rock. The routes are great for summer climbing as they are in the shade until about 13:00 or 13:30. Furthermore, the area is just a short 15 minutes approach using the standard access to the "Poets" sector going up the concrete drive between Sofrano's coffee shop and Mike's Bikes.
The routes are nicely bolted and offer great climbing for beginning-level to lower, mid-grade level climbing. Additionally, the two multi-pitch / extension lines (routes nr. 7 & nr. 8) are nice opportunities to practice multi-pitch rope technique.
The hand drawn topo above are my estimations of the routes difficulties and lengths. PAY ATTENTION TO LENGTH OF THE ROUTES NR. 2 & NR. 3! These routes are every bit of 40 meters and may be slightly over 40 meters long. Therefore, an 80-meter rope is essential to lower-off from the top of these routes. TIE A KNOT AT THE END OF YOUR ROPE! Additionally, even with rope stretch, be prepared to down climb the last three meters (note that the cruxes of both routes are between the second and third bolts).
As an alternative to lowering fully on routes nr. 2 & nr. 3, you could swing over to the top anchor of route nr. 4 and re-thread than continuing to lower-off from there. This manoeuver can be made with an 80 or a 70 meter rope.
Another nice harder combination of routes is to use the new route nr. 8 (far right-hand route) to access the route, "Scrogneugneu" 6b+ of the "Coeur D'Armeos" sub-sector. To do this, move right onto the edge of the Arete after climbing the first pitch of the lower route. Combining these routes in this manner gives you a 50 meter pitch that felt 6b+/6c. With an 80-meter rope, you can climb all the second pitches / extensions of routes nr. 7 & nr. 8, as well as the "Scrogneugneu" variation, lower to the anchors at the end of the first rope lengths, and then re-thread to complete the descent.
Wearing helmets is a good idea while climbing here until the routes see more traffic and weather the seasonal rains in the coming winter. The ledges at one-third height of the wall have some loose rock embedded in the dirt. Take care when using holds at the ledges as you reach over the lip as well as with foot placements once standing on the ledges.