|1/3 Les Ecandies, Vallon d'Arpette/Trient, Alpine – Pillars, Le Rasoir and Saut d'Ange, Trad, 5c max, 2h 30m 1,100m climb on the approach.
Saturday dawned with promise to be a great day for the mountains. Prepped the picnic, water, route guide and gear (not that much really: 4 Camalots (0.4, 0.5, 0.75, 1.0), some nuts, 4 slings, 8 express, rap gear, belaying gear, climbing shoes) then set off for the 8:30 RDV. Paul was on time, after a quick control check I suggested he go get his climbing shoes but a minute later we were off. Parked just above the Relais d'Arpette then started the walk in. You can see Les Ecandies at the end of the valley about 10 minutes into the hike.
As for the hike, it's unending with all the food and gear: 1,100m, 2h 30m.
We finally arrived at the dump spot just below the first 4 pillars and the following arete, dried off, ate and drank, geared up and did the last 15 minutes of the approach to find the thing is in a top draw situation: glacier de Trient on one side with the Lac d'Emosson and les Dents du Midi in full view and, on the other side, there's the Vallon d'Arpette with it's one ridge line leading the eye right along to Pierre Avoi and the other ridge line featuring the peaks of Orny with a massive amount of mountains set into the view between the 2 ridges...but we were here to get the pillars and arete done.
I took the first pitch, nice bit of 5b crack/corner climbing followed by an arete then a quick nip up one of the pillars...where there was no belay station so I just down climbed and used a piece of tat at the base of the pillar.