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Aiguille du Argentière, Couloir Barbey

Arve Valley

One of the best steep faces in the area and a much sought after descent

Ski Touring Extreme

2.1 km
39 m
873 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
3 km
High Point
3.8 km
Aiguille du Argentière, Couloir Barbey Map

One of the Aiguille d'Argentière's four skiable sides, with a variety of descents to the valley from the bottom.


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. From the ridge that connects the top of the Glacier du Milieu to the summit, locate a good spot to drop in, taking care with the often large cornice guarding the face. The top is briefly 50 degrees and normally slightly icy. Continue down and rightwards. The angle lessens here to 45 degrees and the slope opens up. Ski out onto the Saleina Glacier and down to skier's right until you need to put skins on. From here you can skin up to either the Col du Chardonnet or the Fenêtre du Tour. From the Fenêtre du Tour, ski down the upper reaches of the Glacier du Tour joining the route of the Col du Passon and down to Le Tour.



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

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.


4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

between February and May


  • Face
  • Alpine
  • Cliffs
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area