Pigne de la Lé
|Difficulty:||Basic Snow/Ice Climb|
|Best months for climbing:||Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec|
|Nearest major airport:||Geneve|
Thanks to J. Vranjes for adding this peak.
Pigne de la Lé (3396 m) is a mountain at the southern end of the Moiry valley which is the extension of the Val d'Anniviers. From Sierre in the Rhone valley follow the signs to Grimentz. After Grimentz drive towards the Moiry lake (2249 m) and after passing it you will arrive to a free car parking close to a glacier lake at the altitude of 2350 m. There is also a post-bus service up to this point, even a toilet with running water is available at the parking. The place offers a nice view of the huge Moiry glacier and many glaciated peaks around it.
One can climb Pigne de la Lé directly from the parking or alternatively walk up to the Moiry hut (2825 m) and sleep there. Some people sleep in cars at the parking or put tents in the evening.
From the parking to the hut it is a simple walk for which one needs about 90 minutes. After the hut the route goes towards the beginning of the glacier where one may choose either to continue and make a glacier approach from the south-west, or to climb over a much shorter rocky north ridge. The glacier route is longer but unproblematic; the lower part of the route is rather flat and it is followed with one short steep part with over 45 degrees and a few visible small crevasses. Close to the summit one is again on the rocky terrain up to the top. Time from the hut to the summit is about 2-3 hours.
The start point of the north ridge route is Col du Pigne (3141 m); the route is steeper and implies not so complicated scramble. In summer time it is mostly snow-free.
Essential gear for the glacier route: crampons and an ice-axe. For the north ridge no equipment is required except perhaps a helmet in case of many people around.
The summit is without a cross but with a cairn. It offers perfect views of several mountains of over 4000 meters (Bisshorn, Weisshorn, Zinalrothorn, Ober Gabelhorn) and several others (Grand Cornier, Besso, Pointes de Murti, Sasseneire etc).
Useful map: Arolla (Swisstopo, 1:50000).
Thanks to J. Vranjes for this description.