Aiguille d'Argentière via the Glacier du Milieu

Arve Valley

Chamonix

Les Grands Montets

A prominent and sought after summit at 3900 meters yet it remains much more accessible than the other major peaks of the Argentière Basin.

Also in Haute-Savoie, France

Ski Touring Severe

Distance
9.8 km
Ascent
1.3 km
Descent
2 km
Duration
5-6 hrs
Low Point
2.5 km
High Point
3.8 km
Gradient
54˚
Aiguille d'Argentière via the Glacier du Milieu Map

A major peak and a true 'skiers' mountain with several first rate descents off it. The most amenable way both up and down is the Glacier du Milieu.

Description

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). Alternatively it is often possible to keep a high traverse on the Glacier du Rognons, weaving in and around crevasses and small seracs with the odd bit of sidestepping. This route saves twenty minutes or so of skinning up the Glacier d'Argentière. Skin up the Glacier d'Argentière before heading up the moraine below the Argentière Refuge. Continue up the Glacier du Milieu until you arrive at the bottom of the upper 40-45 degree face. This 'face' has receded in recent years to form a couloir in the middle. Change to crampons and boot pack up the middle of this and onto the summit area. Ski back down the same way and down the skier's left side of the Argentière Glacier to Lognan. Although this route offers a great 'introduction' to ski mountaineering in the Argentière Basin, it is nonetheless a serious route and has seen a number of fatal accidents in recent years owing to inexperienced skiers falling on hard snow on the descent.

Difficulty

Severe

Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.

High Exposure (E3)

3 out of 4

In case of a fall, death is highly likely.

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

January, February, March, April, May

Features

  • Face
  • Alpine
  • Cliffs
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area