A memorable technical mountaineering route up one of the finest ridges of its standard in the Alps.


Analysing terrain data

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The exposure grade does not take into account objective hazards (stone fall, seracs, etc) but only the consequences of the skier falling.

Low Exposure (E1): Exposure is limited to that of the slope itself. Getting hurt is still likely if the slope is steep and/or the snow is hard.

Medium Exposure (E2): As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.

High Exposure (E3): In case of a fall, death is highly likely.

Extreme Exposure (E4): In case of a fall, the skier faces certain death.


This is a coveted prize for alpinists and for many has the perfect combination of some technical difficulty, incredible views and a perfect ridge to a beautiful summit.

It has a relatively straightforward descent, traversing the mountain and returning to either the Cosmiques Hut or to the Aiguille du Midi cable car and down to Chamonix. Directions: From the Torino Hut follow the well worn track horizontally then downhill, before reascending to Cirque Maudit and then carefully locate the snowy ramp to access the ridge itself.

This is best climbed with 2 axes and in good conditions should be almost entirely on snow and ice.

Follow the ridge, sticking mainly to the crest with occasional deviations either side.

There is a particularly photogenic section on a smooth snowy crest before a short descent on snow to a saddle.

Beyond is an obvious tower- the Pointe de l'Androsace.

Turn this to the left by a very exposed traverse leading to some technical mixed and rocky terrain straight up and then to a gully which heads straight up to the crest again.

Follow this more easily and less steeply to the summit.

The descent is down the easier West side of the mountain to join and reverse the well trodden 3 Monts route of Mont Blanc.

The hardest part of this is the 100 metre steep descent down the shoulder of Mont Maudit (which is clearly visible from the summit).

Careful down climbing or possibly a couple of abseils may be needed.

You can either stop at the Cosmiques Hut or continue up the hot and exhausting trudge to the Aiguille du Midi lift and down to Chamonix. Access: From Courmayeur or Chamonix head to the Skyway Monte Bianco ski lift and take this to the Torino Hut in the afternoon, before spending the night there and getting a pre-dawn start.