So, as promised here is an English and hopefully comprehensive topo for the Voie Du Korbe route on Terres Maudit…here is the UK Climbing account of the route.
DP- Double Points
P1 (5b)- At the highest point of the scree slop, with a large rising (loose looking) corner of your left you will see a line of bolts leading up to a rightwards rising crack, follow these to a set of Double Points.
P2 (5a)- From the DP follow a shallow gully up a to a bulge and over the top on a ledge you will find a chain.
P3 (3b)- From the chain the bolt line goes straight up over very tricky ground, if you step right across the shallow gully you will find the older bolts, follow these easily up (you join new bolts after a few old ones) to a chain belay on a nice large ledge.
P4 (4b)- An old bizarre rusted looking bolt is on your left, clip it, and follow it straight up the wall (with an interesting mantelshelf move) past a pigs tail and into a gully/crack. A few harder moves up a thin slab brings you to another chain.
P5 (4a)- Follow the crack straight up, the bolts feel a little spaced, but are slightly hidden, some on the right, and then some on the left. Follow to a chain.
P6 (4c)-You are now on the Grande Vire! Step right from the belay a little, and make a tricky move on small holds onto the ledge above. From here easier climbing leads straight up to another chain.
P7 (4a)- The bolts head off to your left and follow a grassy corner. The bolts then take a direct line up a bare slab, which is very difficult, there is much easier ground to the left of the bolts, which we went over and skipped the awkward bolts.
P8 (4a)- From this ledge, you can’t see any bolts, and a little faith is required, climb the easiest line possible that goes directly up the pocketed/dappled wall. Bolts WILL come into view and are enough to get you a set of DP. You will be able to see the chain hanging off the large overlap.
P9 (4a)- Lead straight up towards to the next chain underneath the overhangs. There is a chain (on 2 bolts) a rusty bold and a sneaky shiny bolt hidden in amongst some grass.
P10 (4b)- Lead up over the overhangs (DP just the other side of the overlap) and up the slab on a leftwards rising traverse. When you get to the next overlap there are again 2 bolts just the other side (one old and one new) an easy move takes you over the overlap and brings some blue tat into view, we belayed from the DP due to BAD rope drag at this point.
P11 (4b)- Lead rising leftwards to the blue tat, and then straight up to a chain, some hard moves on smeary nothingness.
P12 (4a)- Climb a small friction slab under the 3rd overlap and make an easy move onto much easier broken ground above. Belay at a chain.
(NOTE)- There is a grassy ledge to the left of the chain where we stopped for lunch, there is also a large red spike that has the remains of red paint on it, we rigged a spot here, and its one of the comfier ledges.
P13 (3b)- Move up past the lunchtime ledge and some corners to DP (you could belay here, but the are actually a belay for the route Morzionoise which rejoins you here). Make a rising leftwards traverse and then follow the crack to a chain. (WARNING-the pitch as described is at least 60m long, we squeaked it just with a 50, which involved rope tight on the belayer and moving up to and past lunchtime ledge before my lead could reach the chain)
P14 (4a)- Lead up on the perfect friction slabs above (which feel hard by now!) you will see a rusted chain off to the right, we did belay here but recommend following the bolts straight up to DP.
P15 (4a)- Pull over the overlap and follow the bolts up the first crack, make a leftward traverse to another crack (2 bolts away) and follow this to a chain above on a large comfy ledge.
P16 (3a)-TRAVERSE PITCH-Follow the ledge across to a high bolt in a crack (this is where we got a little lost) The actual line of bolts rises to right up underneath the top head wall and belays from tat and then follows bolts again to the DP. We reached the DP in a different way. Clip the high bolt and head horizontally left, to another bolt and a corner, step onto the higher slab (good cam placements) follow this (with great nut placements) until you can step back down via a small crack onto a huge ledge below, find a place to make a Gear belay (ours was a huge thread on boulder on the floor, 2 bomber cams and a bomber nut). (around 40-45m picth)
P17 (2c)- You should be almost at the edge of the rock, peering round the corner on the left leads to grass only. Follow a faint rib up to the edge of the main head wall. Sling a tree/bush on your left, follow the steep ground around to the right and belay on the DP.
P18 (3c)- Follow the bolts above easily up the grass to a tat belay on 2 bolts.
P19 (4b)- Follow the bolts and step out right, then move straight up through a loose looking section (which was actually solid) and belay again from 2 bolts with tat.
P20 (4b)- Again follow the bolts up several flakes to a loop of black rope, go straight up, fight your way through some bushes on the right and your at the top belay, which is tat around 2 large threads!
Descent- We abseiled straight back down to the DP at the end of P17. Then down to the gear belay at the end of P16, re-lead the traverse pitch and then took 12 abseils straight back down using the chains to the start of the route.
Totals- 11 hours up, 4 down.
The following route describes our new route which myself and Jake Parrish have named Voie Du Dodo (flight of the Dodo) it describes the wrong path we took a few days previously to actually finding the correct route!
VOIE DU DODO (XS, 3c)
Pitch 1 and 2 bolted, Pitch 3, 4 and 5, natural gear and tat. We have decided that although never harder than British 3c (VDiff grade) due to the horrendous nature of the rock and the gear you get to place throughout the route it should be XS. The amount of rubble we dislodged and threw off was uncountable and sizable at times, the amount of times footholds wobbled or snapped or the handhold you touched moved with same pressure as a butterflies wings, is what makes this route so bad. Your gear is never good enough to take a fall on, that’s if you can get any, and that’s if it stay in long enough.
Above is the traverse line in black to left of Voie du Korbe. Please don’t attempt this route, it’s awful, and dangerous, and there are much better climbs on the face…see above.
Pitch 1 (5b)- As for Voie Du Korbe (above)
Pitch 2 (5a)- As for Voie Du Korbe (above)
Pitch 3 – From the belay chain, traverse directly left, over a small hump of rock and onto a loose teetering pile of slabby choss, one you’ve traversed you will find a black sling around a flake, BEWARE everything else in the corner bar the slung flake is awfully loose. Step around the corner and underneath a tree (sling it, and extend it), step around the next corner and up on the a grassy ledge with a bomber thread (thank god) traverse this grassy ledge until you come across black tat and maillons. Belay here. Be careful that the boulders that look like part of the grassy ledge, are wobbly, step only on grass.
Pitch 4 – keep traversing the grass ledge for another 10m until a sound looking bit of rock appears above, don’t let how it looks deceive you, it is as loose as everything else. Follow it up until a super awkward mantle move brings you to a rightwards rising corner, follow this up a few steps (where you will find the only bomber nut on the whole route). Near this nut try and make a belay. Mine consisted of the bomber nut, 2 wobbly-ish cams and another nut that I would rate 5/10.
Picth 5 – This is alas where we gave up, although after looking back at it, you could just above see the Grande Vire with a large tree on the ledge, if you had the balls to spend time on a horrendous belay or move together you could get to the Grande Vire and link it up with one of the bolted routes. Anyway from the poor gear belay, move up on easy ledges that rise towards the right, I followed this for approximately 30m found no gear and defiantly nowhere to build another belay it’s here with 30m of rope between me and a shocking belay we decided we where flogging a dead horse. The line you could take was about 20m right of your gear belay there is a faint gully which you could possibly follow up the tree on the Grande Vire.