Tête Blanche North Face, 3412m

Arve Valley

A short introductory North Face with a long approach and descent.

Alpine Climbing Difficult

Distance
7.2 km
Ascent
767 m
Descent
767 m
Low Point
2.7 km
High Point
3.4 km
Gradient
26˚
VIEW ON MAP
Tête Blanche North Face, 3412m Map

Description

In the summer follow the standard route from the Albert Premier Hut, as for the Aiguille du Tour. This will be a very well-travelled track with plenty of people. Leave the route to the Aiguille du Tour at the Col Superior du Tour, then head E then SE up the Trient Glacier, heading gently up to the base of your objective. Climate change has made the line rockier (it used to be a popular steep ski) and in late season it will probably be blue ice and best avoided. You can climb it pretty much anywhere, but on the least rocky part, on the R of the face, there is a vertical interval of about 120m from bergschrund to top. There are no undue technical difficulties and from the top of the face you head easily along the ridge to the summit. Descent is mellow off to the S, then W, to re-join your earlier tracks, which you follow down to the hut. In the winter and spring, with solitude guaranteed, you would more easily approach the route via the Bochard lift at the Grands Montets. From here follow the route to Rognons glacier, as for the Haute Route, then Col Passon, to access the le Tour Glacier. Descent might be best on skiers L of the le Tour Glacier, as per the standard Col Passon descent, to the lifts of le Tour. This would make a fine, long and wild day out.

Difficulty

Difficult

The beginning of truly technical terrain which might involve pitched climbing on rock and/or ice, exposed terrain and complex route finding in ascent and descent. Equivalent to AD, AD+

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The route features some exposed and/or difficult to protect sections.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

February, March, April, May, June, July, September, October

Equipment required

  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit
  • 2 Ice Axes

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area