Aiguille du Midi : Frendo spur

Aiguille du Midi : Frendo spur


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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



route_types: traverse
durations: 1 day(s)
rock_types: granit
configuration: pillar

quality: medium


    III    P3 


elevation min/max : 2310 m / 3842 m

height_diff_up: 1530 m

height_diff_difficulties: 1200 m

difficulties_height: 2650 m

slope: 80°




First ascent: E.Frendo and R.Rionda on 11 July 1941


Very beautiful altitude mixed route, vast scale, splendid setting, one of best at this grade in the range. Clearly seen from Chamonix.


Approach 1h

From the intermediate station of the Aiguille du Midi tram, go up the moraine under Aiguille du Peigne towards Plateau des Pélerins and skirt the base of the north face of Aiguille du Midi until the foot of Eperon Frendo (2582 m).

Route 6-8h

You go up easily on mixed terrain ascending towards the right, then towards the left along a steep ledge, to the foot of a quite visible steep pitch ideal for locating the start of the route. You then approach a vertical chimney crack system. Go up them for approximately 100 m (UK-3a /US-5.3) to reach the ridge. Via systems of ledges and broken slabs, without moving too far from the ridge, you reach a broad horizontal party ledge on a rocky shoulder, under a steep bastion. Keep to the left side of the spur and go up a crack (UK-4a /US-5.5, piton, steep) on splendid rock. Continue on the left side of the spur, then its edge for 2 pitches by series of cracks, foliated rocks and slabs (very varied, UK-4a /US-5.5). You then reach the base of the characteristic snow ridge. Go up a small snow slope towards the left and take foot on the ridge that you go up until the last rocky bastion. Very narrow but not very steep at the start, it widens and steepens gradually.

From the top of the ridge, there are 3 solutions: 1 Usually the quickest option. Pull on the right by skirting the base of the summit spur for 50/60 m. Then go up the steep snow or ice gully which leads directly to the summit ridge of Aiguille du Midi (60/65°). It is possible to pull even more to the right and reach the top out slopes of Mallory-Porter (the easiest option, but the least elegant, careful of the snow conditions). 2- Pull to the left and go up the increasingly steep snow or ice slopes while skirting the rocks. Key sequence: 20m of up to 80°. Kit out belays. 3 Climb the final buttress starting on the left and go up large slabs the foot of an ice corridor. Avoid it on the right, by climbing the first crack (on the left) until it overhangs. Leave it for the crack on the right (difficult, UK-5a /US-5.8) for a few meters, then to return to the left. Traverse horizontally to the left and climb an obvious mixed gully.


One of the characteristics of this route is the descent, if you keep to the schedule, if the weather does not deteriorate too much, if the wind does not blow too strong it will be done by cable car.

Should you undergo one of the unpleasant surprises quoted above, there are 3 solutions: 1 Spend a night at the Cosmiques refuge. Descend the snow ridge then the snow slopes towards the south. Once at Col du Midi traverse under Arête des Cosmiques and go up a snow slope on the right (west) to easily reach the refuge. 3613 m, 30 minutes from the ice cave of the pinnacle. Telephone: 04 50 54 40 16. 2 - Spend a bad night in the corridors of the top atation, (in theory prohibited, but tolerated in the event of force majeure). 3- Descend via Vallée Blanche and the Mer de Glace; long, long, long... and crevassed!


Leave very early because the snow ridge gets the sun very quickly. You must be able to keep to a schedule to have satisfactory conditions.

This spur is 1200 m high and the difficulties are especially of a glacial nature, exposed ridge, steep tops out (70 to 80 ° via left top out and 65° via right top out).

A fantastic route, the snow ridge is of exceptional beauty with seracs all around and the exit lines a bonus.

This route can be done in a day by a fast and acclimatized rope party by taking the first tram during the summer season. However, it is possible to spend the night at Plan de l'Aiguille refuge (2203 m) visible 100 m under Plan de l'Aiguille (10 minutes). Telephone: 04 50 53 55 60. Closed in winter, the winter refuge has spartan comforts (blankets). Make sure you take a stove.

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


2 technical ice axes, nut set, some friends and ice screws.


Bibliography: - Vallot volume 1. By F.Labande - Les 100 plus belles... By G.Rébuffat


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