Added by Rachel Davidson
Great introductory mixed rock and ice climb above Chamonix Valley that gives you unparalleled views of Western Europe’s highest peak, Mont Blanc.
The valley of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is most well known for the mountain it’s named after, Western Europe’s highest peak. Yet just right across the valley on its north side lies a dramatic and beautiful range that cuts the horizon with tall rock spires: The Aiguilles Rouges.
Part of the Rouges range, the Aiguilles Crochues Traverse offers incredible views and breathtaking heights for new climbers right out of Chamonix Valley. Because of the city’s convenient chairlift system, this climb can be completed in a day. Visit the official tourist site for more information on chair lifts and trails our of Les Praz.
To begin, go to the village of Les Praz and take the Flegere Cable Car (1,894 m) and Index Ski Lift to the top (2,396 m). Don crampons and walk up and to your right until you reach the gully that marks the foot of the Crochues, should take you close to an hour from the top of the ski lift. In Spring and Summer this will be a crowded route (even mid-week), and the way up should be obvious. There is only one truly technical aspect to begin with, a chimney that once passed, opens up the whole ridge for quick and easy climbing.
Once on top of the Aiguilles Crochues (2,840 m), look south to admire Mont Blanc in all its glory. If the weather is temperate enough you’ll probably see paragliders throughout the valley as well. There’s lots of exposure all throughout this climb, but good handholds and footholds accompany you throughout your day.
This traverse ends above Lac Blanc, one of Chamonix’s most beautiful frozen lakes and popular tourist spots. There’s a restaurant here which serves beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and classic Savoyard dishes. Remove your climbing gear and follow the well-trafficked hiking trail for 45 min-hour to the top of the Index Ski Lift, where you’ll return to the village of Les Praz.
- Chamonix Ski Lift Pass
- Ice axe
- Crampon-compatible mountaineering boots
- Alpine harness
- Figure-8 / Descender
- Plenty of water and snacks
- Plenty of sunscreen and sun protection
- Storm gear in case of sudden weather change
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