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Aiguille d'Argentière - Traverse couloir en Y >> glacier du Milieu


Grands Montets

Les Grands Montets

Stunning one shot climb by couloir Y and descent via Glacier du Milieu

Ski Touring Severe

20 km
1.7 km
3.2 km
1 day +
Low Point
1.2 km
High Point
3.8 km
Aiguille d'Argentière - Traverse couloir en Y >> glacier du Milieu Map

One day shot on Aiguille d'Argentière by starting at TC Bochard in domaine des Grands Montets. Col des Rachasses, and descent on Glacier d'Argentière via Glacier des Rognons (watch out for the crevasses). Then traverse the Glacier d'Argentière direction Refuge d'Argentière. Near the refuge, take the direction glacier des Améthystes and stay on the left to get around the big séracs and large crevasses. You will see the entrance to couloir en Y : two pitches of mixed climbing are welcoming you! (1-2 friends, 2-3 ice screws recommended). 1 piton after the first 20 meters, and then a second belay station on the right after 30m. Then the couloir becomes snowy until the end (left branch of the couloir, skiers coming down the right branch). If the timing is good, the descent in the couloir is surely a blast! At the summit, go down towards Glacier du Milieu. The large ice wall below the summit (10-15m) can be either rappelled down or you can get around by climbing down on your right. Then the fun starts! Get your skis ready and hit the descent. There is a narrow couloir where skis usually don't fit - a well-equipped belay station can help you to rappel down 25-30m the rocky section. Then descent towards glacier d'Argentière (watch out the section at the end of the glacier where you pass the rimaye) and join the Grand Mountets skiing domain to go down to Argentière village. Be ready for a full day with glacier, mixed climbing, couloir and skiing !


Needed time: approx 9h Gear: glacier equipment, rope (single 50-60m is sufficient) if you are doing the traverse to Glacier du Milieu (25m rappel in the rocky section) but if you're planning to go down through couloir en Y the mixed section requires a 50m rappel, 2-3 friends, 2-3 ice crews. 5-6 quickdraws. Video: https://youtu.be/MSYVQayK4Ec Camptocamp: https://www.camptocamp.org/outings/1506518/fr/aiguille-d-argentiere-a-la-journee-par-couloir-en-y-et-glacier-du-milieu



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

High Exposure (E3)

3 out of 4

In case of a fall, death is highly likely.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between February and May


  • Couloir
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area