Dômes de Miage Traverse

Arve Valley

Saint-Gervais-les-Bains

An über classic low grade route which is a perfect introduction to longer alpine climbs.

Also in Haute-Savoie, France

Alpine Climbing Moderate

Distance
9.9 km
Ascent
1.3 km
Descent
1.3 km
Low Point
2.6 km
High Point
3.7 km
Gradient
22˚
VIEW ON MAP
Dômes de Miage Traverse Map

Description

Before the day's climbing even begins on this route you will have a special experience simply by waking up in the beautiful Conscrits hut. It sits in a valley that feels more Himalayan than alpine, and sitting in the curved dining room in the pre-dawn darkness is a wonderful feeling.

Once out of the door, head north-east up mellow slopes to the Aiguille de la Bérangère, a nice little peak which is technically easy to reach. There's some slightly steeper snow and very easy scrambling just below the summit but basically the 2 - 2.5 hours it takes to get from the Conscrits to the summit are easy, non-glaciated walking.

Go north off the summit along an easy but exposed ridge (which is home to the occasional loose block, watch out for these) which leads to the Col de la Bérangère. From the broad and wild-feeling col, take a look down to the left and you will see part of the Armancette Glacier, a popular and classic ski descent in the Spring.

Continue north-east on a steepening snow slope to the left of a ridge crest to the first of the Dômes de Miage summits, Pointe 3670m. Carry on along the easy but often very exposed snow ridge to Pointes 3666m and 3633m before descending down to the Col des Dômes. The descent back to the Conscrits hut drops off from here but it is highly recommended to carry on eastwards from the Col to the final (and highest) summit of the Dômes de Miage, Pointe 3673m, before going back to the Col and descending. Pointe 3673m is only a 20 minute detour as a roundtrip and marks the "official" end of the Dômes so make the effort to tick it if fitness and weather permit!

To descend, drop of the Col des Dômes and follow the right back of the Tré la Tête Glacier and then (when the glacier runs out) a good path all the way back to the Conscrits Hut.

Difficulty

Moderate

May involve slightly more complex glacier hikes, easy but possibly long rock ridges and steep snow up to 45 degrees. Equivalent to PD, PD+

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Much of the route is difficult to protect and a fall could be disastrous at certain points.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

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

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September

Equipment required

  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area