Brêche Puiseux

Aiguille du Midi

Arve Valley

Chamonix

Skyway Monte Bianco

The classic ski-mountaineering trip of the area, taking in some mind-blowing scenery.

Ski Touring Difficult

Distance
19 km
Ascent
1.1 km
Descent
3.1 km
Duration
7-8 hrs
Low Point
1.7 km
High Point
3.7 km
Gradient
46˚
VIEW ON MAP
Brêche Puiseux Map

Description

Starting from the Aiguille du Midi cable car, exit the lift station and walk down the arête. Ski down the Vallée Blanche, crossing over to the Italian side. Continue skiing down the skier's right side of the Géant Icefall until just above the Salle à Manger. Transition here to skinning. Be aware of the La Noire serac now overhead which is sometimes active and has been known on occasion to reach the Salle à Manger, so this is no place to stop for a picnic.

Skin up the Périades Glacier, continuing straight up (south-east) instead of towards the Col du Tacul. Once below the ridge line at an elevation of around 3400 meters, climb up the widest south-west facing couloir that comes down from the ridgeline. This couloir is 300 meters long and steepens to 50 degrees at the top. At the top of the approach couloir you reach a small col. To the left along the ridgeline is the outrageously positioned Périades bivi hut.

From the small col, abseil for 30-40 meters until onto the Mont Mallet Glacier. Continue down the skier's left side of the glacier, taking care to watch out for some big crevasses. The slope steepens slightly before joining the Leshcaux Glacier. Continue down to the Mer de Glace and the final section of the Vallée Blanche.

Difficulty

Difficult

Serious gradient of 30-38 degrees where a real risk of slipping exists.

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

Features

  • Cliffs

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area