Yes. If you continue straight up rather then taking the big traverse right on the Ceccinel/Nominee, you can see the couloir narrowing and becoming very steep. Then several hundred meters from its end it branches. The Fowler finish the right hand branch, ours is the left hand. The last pitch was vertical ice for a good part of the ropelength. We used a 300' 9 mil. It exited on mixed and over the top of the B/G and others. There was more snow than in your photo at the time. Early July,'78.
We actually wasted a lot of time trying to free the first bit on the Cecchinel/Nominee. We had some success and eliminated some but not all of the aid. So when we got up to the traverse it looked faster to go up rather than right. We did not know if it was climbed before til we got back to Cham. Boivin informed us. Btw his and Gabbarou's route is to the right of the C/M and up through the hanging serac band. That is the area that collapsed to our right and went over the route and of course the Brenva Face further right. Think it was mostly TD except for the finish which was ED and then the A1 start. Nice photo.
It sounds like you have done most of the routes that I WISHED I had done.
One of our biggest troubles was finding anything that remotely resembled a topo of a route. Also, the grades were different. I think that the Fissure Brown was rated TD, and other, easier, but more serious routes were rated ED.
We ended up doing most of the classics. None of the Argentiere ice routes were in that summer except the Triolet. We ended up doing the Lachenal direct finish (I think that was the route name) that went up steep ice to the left of that big serac.
We couldn't afford huts, so we would hike all the way up from town and then bivy out on the glacier until midnight to start. Beneath the Triolet there was a bunch of truck and bigger sized ice chunks that had fallen off of that spooky serac, and ran quite a ways out in front of the route. There was one part where the ice was less than 2 inches thick, so we just soloed that part. Man, that was a hard day's work.
It was great fun, but the objective hazards were all too obvious. We would see the SAR choppers landing across the river from Snell's daily. Once I was up killing a few hours at the Charpoua Hut (I knew the hutkeeper) and we watched three different rescues going on from that vantage point.
They can bolt it all they want. They still can't stop that grapefruit sized rock which misses your brain by 6 inches. We learned to go fast, put in minimal pro, and generally not dick around. It was a big learning experience which I carried on to my rock climbing when I got home. If I had a partner who wanted to dick around and take pictures, I would get nervous.
I have a great story of stumbling along glaciers at night in a storm with a very hammered Walt Shipley, but to be fair, I also had a couple of liters of the cheapest, foulest, wine in my belly as well.
It makes you realize how safe rock climbing is. You know exactly what you are in for on a rock climb, with very few exceptions.
They can bolt it all they want. They still can't stop that grapefruit sized rock which misses your brain by 6 inches. We learned to go fast, put in minimal pro, and generally not dick around. It was a big learning experience
why Hemingway said mountain climbing is the real deal and not clipping bolts or sherpa'ing a pad around the Buttermilks
Rick, I think it's a different line. I just compared the digital copies you returned to me with the initial view up the Col and I think our line was to the left where there is no snow or ice these days.
The route is likely a rotten rock climb these days.
I hope summer is treating you well. I've been slacking on climbing but still trying to stay fit for when I get motivated.