7 - 8
FATMAP difficulty grade
The classic route to the summit, via the Gouter or Tete Rousse hut. From the top of the rack and pinion railway that takes us up to the Nid d'Aigle (2372m), walk for 2-3 hours to the Tete Rousse hut (3167m) where you can spend the night.
Alternatively, you may choose to ascend for a further 2 hours to the Gouter Hut (3800m) for the night, but remember you must book either hut well in advance! In the evening, fuel up with a hearty home-cooked meal and watch the spectacular sunset before resting up ahead of the big day tomorrow. Setting off very early start, somewhere between 2 am (if you slept in the Tete Rousse) and 5 am (if you stayed in the Gouter), and begin your ascent in the dark using headlights.
From the Tete Rousse hut it will take approximately 6-7hrs of climbing to reach the summit, from the Gouter it will take 3-5hrs to arrive at the peak. The first part of the climb is a rocky scramble, the second half is a glaciated slope followed by the elegant and exposed Bosses ridge.
After admiring the view from the top of Western Europe, return via the same route and stay a second night in either hut. After a later and more sociable breakfast, descend from your hut back to Nid d'Aigle and eventually to Les Houches and into Chamonix for a celebratory drink!