Rocky Ridges above Chamonix

There are thousands of rocky ridges and summits in the Alps which provide many unforgettable experiences for the Mountaineer. Lots of these routes involve the full complement of alpine skills; glacier work, moving together, pitching and abseiling. This course based around Chamonix will aim to sample a number of different styles of route. The grade range of this course will be AD- to TD (generally though D-).

Dates: June, July, August, September.

Ratio: 1:2 Maximum.

Who’s it for: All Mountaineers and Climbers who have some alpine experience or experience on the terrain suggested in the following courses; ‘Great Ridges and Buttresses of Scotland’, ‘Scottish Winter Mountaineering – Ridges and Gullies.

Instruction/GuidingInsurance (essential)
Harnesses, helmetsCrampons, ice axe, boots
(can be hired in Chamonix)
Personal hut fees on a half board basisAccommodation in Chamonix
Transport during the courseUplift
Guides hut fees, lunches and upliftPersonal lunches, drinks and drinks at huts

Sample program

The course begins the evening before day one to hire and check equipment. This allows for an early start the next morning.

Day 1: Drive through the Mont Blanc Tunnel to Courmayeur.  We use the lift system to access Punta Helbronner and traverse the Aiguille d’Entreves (3600m) (AD-). We descend the lift system and return to Chamonix.

Day 2: We make the short drive to Lac D’Emosson and traverse the Grand Perron (2673m) (AD). This is an exhilarating ridge traverse on which queues are very rare.

Day 3: Following a later start and some rock climbing at La Duchere we ascend to the Refuge Gramusset in Les Aravis.

Day 4: Today, we traverse the Pointe Percee. We ascend this fine summit via the Arete du Doigt (D-) and descend the mountain via the Cheminee Sallanches (F). Return is mad to Chamonix that evening.

Day 5: We use the Aiguille du Midi lift system to give access to the Col Du Midi from where we ascend the Arete Laurent (PD) and the Arete des Cosmiques (AD) before returning to Chamonix.

Other possible objectives

  • The North East Ridge of the Aiguille de L’M (2844m) (TD)
  • The Arete des Papillons (D)
  • The traverse of the Aiguille Crochues (2834m) (AD-)
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