North Face of the Aiguille de l’Amône

Arve Valley

One of the Alps most elegantly exposed steep lines, yet very skiable.

Ski Touring Extreme

Distance
7.9 km
Ascent
692 m
Descent
2 km
Duration
3-4 hrs
Low Point
1.6 km
High Point
3.5 km
Gradient
55˚
North Face of the Aiguille de l’Amône Map

Perhaps one of the most inspiring and beautiful steep lines of all the Mont Blanc Massif’s north faces. A once obscure objective it has become increasingly popular and has featured in several recent films with pro riders ripping huge GS turns down it. Although the upper face is extremely exposed, it is never extremely steep when compared with the steepest lines in the Argentière basin.

Description

The face is also entirely hidden from view from the French side of the range. This means that it is difficult to scout unless you approach from La Fouly and climb it. This option is popular with Swiss ski mountaineers who attack the face in a light and fast style in a long day from the valley (2000 meters vertical). It is also possible to breakup the ascent by staying in the Cabane de l’A Neuve. The more attractive option for skiers approaching from the Chamonix side is to ski the line onsight starting from the Grands Montets. Normally when the north faces of the Argentière basin are in good condition, the North Face of the Aiguille de l’Amone should be too.

Approaching from the Grands Montets, ski down the Glacier des Rognons and out onto the Glacier d’Argentière. Skin up to the far reaches of the glacier and climb the South Couloir of Aiguille de l’Amône. After topping out the couloir continue rightwards along the crest of the ridge. This involves an exposed mixed ridge of PD difficulty, therefore the comfort of a rope will probably be needed. The ridge then brings you out onto broad slopes near the top of the hourglass shaped face. Strap in and enjoy the descent! After negotiating a few crevasses at the bottom of the face which are usually passed on skier’s left, continue down to the sleepy Swiss village of La Fouly. There is little in the way of public transport from La Fouly, so hitch a ride or arrange a pickup to get back to the Chamonix valley.

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

Features

  • Face
  • Alpine
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area