Aiguille du Génépi (Argentière): S-ridge

  • Activities:
  • Min / max altitude:
    2771m / 3059m
  • Elevation gain / loss:
  • Altitude where difficulties start:
  • Difficulties height:
  • Approach height:
  • Configuration:
  • Main facing:
  • Route type:
    loop / walk down to the base of the climb or hut
  • Duration:
    1 day
  • Global rating:
  • Commitment grade:
  • Quality of in-place protection:
  • Free and required grade:
Summits, passes, lakes and cliffs:
Huts, usual bivis and valley accomodation:
Access points:
Argentière  1240m - r

The classic of the sector, pleasing and varied, on a high mountain cliff with just a few pegs but easy to protect.  The first two pitches are reasonably sustained at 5a/b.  The last two pitches are more impressive than difficult, with a airy « râteau de chèvre”, (flake of rock used for the hands with the feet in opposition.)


From the hut follow the water pipe. Do not go towards the moraine but climb up amongst the boulders, keeping to the left at the end, to reach to foot of the face (to the E of the Aiguille du Refuge).
Start at a crack on the left of the face , directly beneath a little overhang.


P140m5a  A crack with 1 move of 5b to get past the corner (to the right), belay on a ledge
P240m4c Traverse 5 to 6m  to the left then climb a crack, 5a,  belay on a terrace under a roof
P340m4c Go 2 m to the right then straight up, (passing to the right of the overhang), belay on a ledge
P4>50m3 Easy steps, belay on a ledge  behind a large boulder ; junction with the route "Un éclat de rire"
P550m5a The obvious crack, airy, possible belay at mid height (2 pegs), otherwise bolt belay on a ledge
P620m4a Hand traverse the flake (« râteau de chèvre”), get behind it and descend to a ledge and belay


  • Abseil 25m on the N side to a gap, then by the ledges on the side facing the Améthystes to regain the foot of the face.
  • Escape possible from the 6th belay by 2 abseils down the E face, then ledges.  This brings you down, 10m to the right of the start.
  • The rock dries quickly, climbable most of the year (with the right gear)
External resources:
Ascensions au pays du Mont-Blanc - Jean-Louis Laroche, Florence Lelong - 2000
Mont-Blanc Granite - Les plus belles voies d'escalade - Tome 1 Bassin d'Argentière - François Damilano, Julien Désécures, Louis Laurent - 2016
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Version #6, date 29 August 2014