Tête Blanche North-west Ridge.

Arve Valley

A classic easy peak which provides a wonderful journey through high and beautiful mountains.

Alpine Climbing Moderate

Distance
7.7 km
Ascent
715 m
Descent
715 m
Low Point
2.7 km
High Point
3.4 km
Gradient
22˚
VIEW ON MAP
Tête Blanche North-west Ridge. Map

Description

Chamonix is best known for its long, hard and scary climbs but there are plenty of excellent low grades routes here, and the Tête Blanche North-west ridge is one of them.

The trip begins with the hike up to the Refuge Albert Premier, which was refurbished a few years ago and is now a very modern and well equipped sanctuary in the wild and high Chamonix mountains.

Start in the pre-dawn darkness from the Refuge and follow a clear path which leads south-east up to the Glacier du Tour. Go south-east across this and exit it briefly onto a path which leads back onto the next branch of the glacier.

Keep pushing on south-east, passing beneath the Aiguille du Tour and Aiguille Purtscheller and climbing towards the Col du Tour. Once on the Col du Tour, climb the Tête Blanche's North-west ridge for an hour to reach the summit. There are countless little variations you can take and everything even vaguely tricky can be avoided on the right. The toughest way to climb the ridge is to stick on the crest itself, which features a few steep steps.

Once on the summit there are a few options for descending - downclimb the ascent route or descend south off the summit and onto the Glacier du Tour directly. Whichever option you choose, descend the glacier all the way back to the Refuge. By the time you are making your way down the snow on the glacier is likely to be wet and soggy, but the prospect of a cold drink in the Refuge is should keep you motivated to continue.

Once back at the Refuge, either descend back to Le Tour or stay another night and pick another of the many nice peaks in the area to climb.

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+

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

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

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