Grand Envers

Aiguille du Midi

Chamonix

A mega classic that links steep sustained pitches before finishing in the requin hut exits couloirs. Incredidble but very serious skiing.

Freeride Skiing Severe

Distance
5.2 km
Ascent
19 m
Descent
1.6 km
Low Point
2.1 km
High Point
3.7 km
Gradient
43˚
Grand Envers Map

A mega classic variation of the Vallee Blanche that links steep sustained pitches before finishing at the Requin Hut exit couloirs, which you can do as well, but can also be avoided. Incredible but very serious skiing. Beware of crevassed areas and avalanche risk, particularly in the first steep pitch. Make your way down the north ridge of the Aiguille du Midi, which is equipped with a handrail during the winter season but is still exposed! Crampons are not essential but are helpful. Get your skis on at the broad col at the foot of the ridge. Ski along the ridge past the first col and back up onto the next ridge section. Follow this down and holding your speed and nerve get as high as you can back up the next ridge section before sidestepping up a short section. Cut right under the ridge and traverse high to reach the shoulder above a steep triangular NE face. This can hold excellent powder (or windslab!) but also some large crevasses. Ski down into the bowl below and then exit by traversing left out under a rocky spur to another steep shaded slope. Follow the fall line of the next long wide face before exiting again left under a steep ridge. Ski down and left again to lower angle slopes. Traverse left under the next impressive rock face. The entirety of this itinerary is on steep glaciers and crevasses open and change on a daily basis, it is a truly adventurous line and not without danger. Follow the line of weakness down gullies and slopes before traversing round left to a final large bowl above the Mer du Glace. Follow this to pick up the classic Vallée Blanche line to finish.

Difficulty

Severe

Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

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

Remoteness

4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, December

Features

  • Glacier

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area