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Col du Chardonnet


Les Grands Montets

Stunning views and the first leg of the famous Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route

Ski Touring Moderate

8.2 km
820 m
1.6 km
4-5 hrs
Low Point
2.5 km
High Point
3.3 km
Col du Chardonnet Map

You are unlikely to be alone on this one, with many others joining you from the top of the Grands Montets. In addition many people may be ahead of you, perhaps waiting at the col. to get down the far side, having left early from the Argentiere Hut. From the top of the Grand Montets cable car, ski down the very start of the Point du Vue piste before quickly ducking the rope and heading skier's right and down the Glacier du Rognons. Take care to watch out for some large crevasses on the upper section. Keep to skier's right of the Rognon itself (a large rock island). This soon brings you down onto the Glacier d'Argentière. Transition to skins and head east to the bottom of the Glacier du Chardonnet. The first couple hundred meters of the climb can be quite steep and it is advisable to take ski crampons (or it may even be necessary to climb on foot sometimes). It is possible to climb either to the left or the right of the icefall in the middle. Ski back down the same way or continue into Switzerland by dropping down the other side of the Col Chardonnet. The top of this is 50 degrees and most teams use a rope to get into it- there is sometimes one in situ, but only for the top section. If coming back down the Argentière side, you can continue down the left side of the Glacier d'Argentière and continue back to Lognan.



Slopes become slightly steeper at around 25-30 degrees.

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.


3 out of 4

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

Best time to visit

between December and May


  • Alpine
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area