Aiguille du Midi, 3842m. Cosmiques Arête

Aiguille du Midi

Chamonix

Skyway Monte Bianco

An iconic and accessible route with great and varied climbing, with amazing exposure down to Chamonix

Alpine Climbing Difficult

Distance
1.2 km
Ascent
299 m
Descent
60 m
Low Point
3.5 km
High Point
3.8 km
Gradient
27˚
Aiguille du Midi, 3842m. Cosmiques Arête Map

This route is fantastic but very popular. It can be done as a half day route by very quick teams but there can be queues, so best to allow a day. There has been significant rockfall, changing it in 2018. Given the unstable nature it is prudent to get the latest information from the Guides Office, as printed information may be out of date. Take the usual descent from the Midi as for Mont Blanc du Tacul, but branch off this as it flattens out, following a good track, as for the Cosmiques Hut. Head up to the R of the hut, to the base of the ridge. There is an easy start up to a minor fore summit then descend towards a gendarme. It used to go on the S side of the ridge here, but due to the recent rockfall, it now involves a 6m then an 8m rappel on the shady side, then following a fixed rope horizontally, before returning to the ridge. Traverse a short distance then pass under the Grande Gendarme on the sunny side, returning to the ridge again. It is flat for a short way before you arrive at the crux final section. This is a short steep wall, which may have a rope down it to aid on, as well as well as scratched crampon holes in the rock, to assist progress. From here head R into a chimney, then up to the crest of the ridge again. The final section is a couple of pitches of steep mixed climbing on big holds, up a chimney on the Chamonix side. This leads to a final easy section ridge, taking you a ladder, to climb up to the viewing platform. Non climbers will be in abundance to take your photo!

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

April, May, June, July, August, September, October

Equipment required

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

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area