Mont Blanc du Tacul, 4248m. Contamine Grisolle N Face

Aiguille du Midi

Chamonix

Skyway Monte Bianco

A characterful N Face in a wild location, but with relatively easy access.

Alpine Climbing Difficult

Distance
7.2 km
Ascent
975 m
Descent
975 m
Low Point
3.5 km
High Point
4.2 km
Gradient
38˚
VIEW ON MAP
Mont Blanc du Tacul, 4248m. Contamine Grisolle N Face Map

Description

Access, as for most routes in this area, is by the Aiguille du Midi cable car. Descend the sharp ridge from the Midi (which has fixed ropes in the spring) then head down under its S Face and across the Col du Midi. The route lies on the L side of the NE triangle of Mont Blanc du Tacul, but to the R of, and not threatened by, the large hanging seracs on the far L side. Pass to the L of and under the lowest rocks on the L of the NE triangle and then head upwards, crossing the bergschrund at the least unfriendly point. Now head up and R, staying close to the rocks, with possible belays. The route follows the easiest line, as it is the least difficult on the face. Continue up the snow and ice to a shoulder, then branching slightly L up easy mixed ground, largely avoiding the rocks, but with odd rocky runners and belays if needed. There is a snowy rampline just before the final mixed steepening. Again pick the line of least resistance until you are above all the rocks, at the summit of the triangle, at about 3970m. The safest line is to continue up the snowy/icy ridge above, in the direction of the summit. You can avoid the summit by traversing R and joining the numerous tracks that have come up the standard route on Mont Blanc du Tacul. Descend the obvious well-travelled track descending the NW slope of Mont Blanc du Tacul. An alternative descent is traverse off much lower down and find the rappel line of the Couloir Chéré. This can be tricky to find, and there's an avalanche prone traverse across to it. You may also find lots of people on it, hence the aesthetic up and over journey may be much more desirable!

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+

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The route features some exposed and/or difficult to protect sections.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

February, March, April, May, June, July, September, October

Equipment required

  • Crampons
  • Quickdraws
  • Glacier kit
  • 2 Ice Axes
  • Wires and Friends

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Guidebooks in this area