North Face of the Tour Ronde

Chamonix

Skyway Monte Bianco

One of the areas classic steep north faces. Only 300 meters high, but the top slope is extremely serious

Also in Haute-Savoie, France

Ski Touring Extreme

Distance
375 m
Ascent
0 m
Descent
397 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
3.3 km
High Point
3.7 km
Gradient
54˚
VIEW ON MAP
North Face of the Tour Ronde Map

Description

This beautiful north face is short, accessible and is skied every year when the conditions are good on it. But don't be fooled, it is true extreme skiing and there have been a number of fatal accidents in recent years. Approach from either the top of the Skyway Monte Bianco lift station or from the Aiguille du Midi cable car top station (via a skin up and across the Vallée Blanche). The approach is shorter from the Skyway (Italian side), ski over the Col des Flambeaux and descend towards the Tour Ronde. There are three options for approaching the North Face; climbing it, climbing the Gervasutti Couloir, or climbing the East Face. Halfway down the North Face 90 meters of abseiling is usually required ( and it's best to bring 60 meter ropes for the two abseils). It is interesting to note that during the first descent of the face in 1974, the central ice gully was skied without abseiling before global warming induced the thinning and steepening of the glacial ice there. In very good conditions it may be possible to ski the entire North Face without abseiling, taking a very steep and technical couloir to skier's left side of the central ice gulley. This may involve some 'dry skiing'. Continue down the Vallée Blanche or skin back up to one of the lift stations.

Difficulty

Extreme

Extreme skiing terrain above 45 degrees. These routes are reserved for experienced experts.

Extreme Exposure (E4)

4 out of 4

In case of a fall, the skier faces certain death.

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

April, May, June

Features

  • Cliffs

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area