FATMAP difficulty grade
Serious extreme skiing.
A Chamonix MEGA classic and as good as it gets.
900 meters of sustained and serious terrain between 40-50 degrees.
Head out of the Midi station and down the ridge.
Traverse under the south face of the Aiguille du Midi towards the Refuge des Cosmiques, involving a short walk/skin.
From the col to the right of the refuge take a look down into this impressive couloir.
Usually, two 30m rappels are required to get down the initial steep rocky section.
Once established in the couloir follow the fall line! It starts off steeply and only relents a few degrees over the whole length, resulting in a truly epic experience.
A couple of short rock steps can exist in the middle which can be avoided by a traverse on the left.
At about 2/3 of the way down the couloir splits, and then the left branch splits again.
All the options are excellent and the conditions can dictate which you take- the L splits are more sun affected.
When you cross the rimaye and hit the Glacier des Bossons head down the right side keeping hard under the rocks where the glacier becomes heavily crevassed.
Traverse right across the next series of faces (called the Para faces after the old lift station - consider carefully the snow stability of these faces before engaging in the Cosmiques couloir) and keeping height and sidestepping/skinning where necessary all the way under the north face of the Aiguille du Midi.
Variations exist depending on the snow cover.
This brings one to the head of the Glacier des Pelerins which is followed down its right side back to the Plan de l'Aiguille.
Be sure that the route is in condition as this is not the place to be at the wrong time.
In particular, it often avalanches the first afternoon after heavy snow.
The face gets the sun in the afternoon and is often frozen in the morning.
Be sure that the exit is also in condition.