Analysing terrain data
5 - 6
The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or 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.