Aiguille du Midi : Vallée Blanche - Petit Envers

Aiguille du Midi : Vallée Blanche - Petit 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: loop
durations: 1 day(s)

quality: medium


3.1 / E2
PD+ / S3


elevation min/max : 1020 m / 3795 m

height_diff: +50 m / -2800 m


glacier_gear: glacier_safety_gear





From the top of the Aiguille du Midi tram, traverse a system of concrete tunnels to reach the beginning of a well marked ridge (small party ledge at the start). Descend it for 200 meters carrying your skis, either on the edge of the ridge, or on a break trail in the north face (in-situ protection). Crampons may be useful. The slope becomes less steep and broader (classic ski route start).

Descend a first slope for 100 meters (east) then continue towards the east on broad not very steep slopes. Pass to the south of spot elevations 3605 and 3626, continue towards the east via gentle slopes. The slope becomes steep, presence of large crevasses. Pass between the two rocks located to the south of Col du Plan, descend the steep slope for 50 meters (crevasse more or less open) then to return towards the south via unrelenting slopes (sequence located under seracs in certain years). You reach a broad flat section located to the west of Petit Rognon, traverse it towards the north and thread through large crevasses to reach the top part of Petit Rognon. You reach unrelenting slopes located to the north of Petit Rognon and descend them until its lower base to reach the classic Vallée Blanche route.

Traverse to the north towards Requin refuge while remaining on the left bank of the glacier (crevassed section and exposed to serac falls). Pass under Requin refuge to reach "la Salle à Manger". Around 2450, traverse Tacul glacier towards the east to reach its right bank. Follow it until a flat section then head towards the centre of the glacier. You 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

Certain sections are rather steep. 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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