Aiguille d'Entrèves traverse

Aiguille du Midi

Chamonix

Skyway Monte Bianco

An amazingly exposed rocky ridge, but never too hard, with incredible views

Also in Aoste, Italy

Alpine Climbing Difficult

Distance
5.3 km
Ascent
483 m
Descent
483 m
Low Point
3.3 km
High Point
3.6 km
Gradient
19˚
VIEW ON MAP
Aiguille d'Entrèves traverse Map

Description

From the top of the lift follow the obvious track in the snow that heads horizontally to the N. This is a common start to numerous different routes. Descend a short steep slope under the Aiguille de Toule, then a long slow journey up to Col d'Entrèves. Your route begins here to the L. Start up the rocky ridge, roughly following the crest, with small sections on either side. Before long there is a tricky downclimb to a small notch, with again tricky move or two leaving the notch. Regain the ridge crest which becomes very exposed and photogenic. There is the occasional piece of fixed gear and the odd sling that could be pulled on if needed, shortly before the summit itself. Down climbing from the summit is probably preferable to rappelling as it is easy to get ropes jammed. You follow a series of cracks with the odd bolt. When the ridge flattens out stay on the crest on deteriorating rock, then up slightly, passing to the right of the final rocks, then to the end of the ridge and down R to the glacier. Early season you can take a direct descent to the foot of the Aiguille de Toule, but crevasses often preclude this- you can suss this out from your approach in the morning. More commonly descend down L to rejoin your approach tracks, much higher up the glacier, then return the same way.

Difficulty

Difficult

The beginning of truly technical terrain which might involve pitched climbing on rock and/or ice, exposed terrain and complex route finding in ascent and descent. Equivalent to AD, AD+

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Much of the route is difficult to protect and a fall could be disastrous at certain points.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September

Equipment required

  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Quickdraws
  • Glacier kit
  • Wires and Friends

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area