Aiguille du Midi : Vallée Blanche - Grand Envers

Aiguille du Midi : Vallée Blanche - Grand Envers


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Associated waypoints

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  • Swisstopo - 46 - Val de Bagnes
  • Swisstopo - 292 - Courmayeur
  • IGN - 3531ET - St-Gervais les Bains - Massif du Mont Blanc
  • IGN - 3630OT - Chamonix - Massif du Mont Blanc
  • Escursionista - ESC01 - Monte Bianco, Courmayeur



route_types: traverse
durations: 1 day(s)

quality: fine


4.1 / E2
AD / S4


elevation min/max : 1020 m / 3795 m

height_diff: +1 m / -2800 m


glacier_gear: glacier_safety_gear





From the top of the Aiguille du Midi tram, descend the well-marked ridge (east) well, used for access to Vallée Blanche. This first part is done carrying your skis, crampons may be useful. The slope becomes less steep and broader (classic ski route start).

Descend a first slope for 100 meters (east) then to continue towards the east while remaining on the ridge which connects Aiguille du Midi to Aiguille du Plan. You reach spot elevation 3605 and go up slightly towards spot elevation 3626. Continue to descend by following the ridge, primarily on its southern slope. The ridge then divides into two, the slope becomes steep. Take the slope located between the two ridges (east) and descend on the plateau located to the south of Col du Plan. Traverse this plateau (northeast) towards the rocks resulting from spot elevation 3532. Descend a second steep slope (crevasse more or less open) and head (east) towards the base of the rocky spur resulting from Rognon du Plan. Traverse Envers du Plan glacier between this rocky spur and spot elevation 3061 to reach the base of the rocks resulting from Chapeau à Cornes (spot elevation 2865, crevassed section). Via a steep, sometimes frozen slope, descend the glacier located to the west of Requin refuge then continue in the same direction (northeast) via steep slopes until the Tacul glacier (end of the difficulties).

Descend the left bank or centre of this glacier, to reach Mer de Glace and follow it via easy slopes up to the level of the gondola while remaining primarily on the left bank.

To descend to Chamonix there are two solutions: - Via the gondola and the Montenvers train, - on skis (1h15) if snow conditions permit it. Follow the glacier in its centre until around 1700 meters. Then approach its left bank (steep sequence) to leave it around 1600 meters. Then you need to take off your skis and carry them for 15 minutes (increase of 50 meters) to reach Cabane des Mottets (located at spot elevation 1638). Then follow the trail called "Sortie Vallée Blanche" on the map until Chamonix.


To descend until Chamonix on skis, the beginning of season (January, February) is better

Steep slopes in places, certain sections may be in ice. Numerous crevasses throughout the route. Certain slopes are liable to wind-slab formation.

The eastern facing slopes get the sun quickly. Certain slopes are under the west wind and are therefore liable to the formation of wind-slabs.

Blanche Chamonix motorway. Aiguille du Midi tram at the entrance to Chamonix. Return to Chamonix on skis or by the Montenvers train

The Aiguille du Midi tram is often very crowded. It is possible to book a place for the ascent at 67.

Sensitive areas
There are sensitive areas on this route. Please refer to the map.


Glacier equipment (ice axe, a pair of crampons at least for the group, rope, safety equipment) is indispensable. GPS and navigation instruments in the event of overcast weather.


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