The couloir nord des Drus caught my eye on a walk in the Aiguilles Rouges this October, it looked to be in very good condition. We then had rainy weather for a while and the Montenvers train was closed. Recently Jon Bracey did the route and seemed to think it was in tip top condition. With the train running again, I managed to motivate aspi guide Guillaume Thebaudin into heading up there.
At Montenvers station I bumped into the young Scot, Ally Swinton, who had just been on the Leseur route and confirmed general good conditions.
After sharing the bivy spot with some friendly guys from the mountain rescue, we headed up to the bergschrund, starting up the couloir at five o’clock. At eight o’clock Guillaume started his lead on the famous Nominée crack, with his combination of dry tooling, french free and aid.
The next two pitches into the main gully were excellent, airy mixed pitches.
We arrived at the Breche des Drus at two forty five and then rappeled the couloir and the N couloir direct which is uuuh.. steep.. We were back at the bivy before dark for a relaxed dinner and good sleep.
High quality route, the mixed pitches are not to be underestimated. Take a No. 4 camalot or two..