From the motorway exit at Morgex (usable only in the Aosta-Courmayeur direction), or from that of Courmayeur, head toward Pré-Saint-Didier. From the village, take the road to La Thuile and, immediately after, turn right following the signposts to the village of Palleusieux. At the hairpin bending to the right, before reaching the said group of houses, take the road heading north-west. Continue on this road (if clear snowbound) up to a bridge over the Dora Baltea River that it crosses. Leave your car and head south-east towards the ice wall. Climb the slope leading to the start point. 20 minutes.
It is the centre solution of the great Muro di Champex. It had already been climbed almost entirely in 1984 by M. Datrino, E. Pallais and D. Spreafico but who had given up climbing the last few more challenging and delicate metres that allowed exiting on the woods summit. The first ascent was therefore attributed to the French champion ice climber G. Perroux who succeeded in climbing the last few metres of the ice climb during one of his numerous visits to Aosta Valley.
Length: 80 m
First ascent: C. Fayard, G. Perroux 1996
Altitude: 1250 m
Coordinates: Lon.: 6,97234 Lat.: 45,769805 – UTM (ED50) – X: 342426,55 Y: 5070669,77
It is climbed in two 40-metre pitches, belaying on ice halfway at a grade break. The most challenging pitch is the second one featuring a nice vertical output stretch. Be careful to the final metres before the woods where the ice often does not consolidate perfectly. Belay at the top of the tree.
Descent: with a long abseil on the tree that marks the end of Happy birthday.
Text and photos taken from Effimeri barbagli (M. Giglio, 2014), the complete guide to ice climbs in Aosta Valley.