Aiguille de Talèfre : NW couloir and W ridge

Aiguille de Talèfre : NW couloir and W ridge


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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



durations: 1 day(s)
configuration: corridor

quality: medium


D   1    III 


elevation min/max : 1909 m / 3730 m

height_diff_up: 1930 m

height_diff_difficulties: 600 m

slope: 60°


glacier_gear: glacier_safety_gear




Approach 2-3h

From the Couvercle hut, follow the faint path and cairns to the E to reach the Talèfre glacier. Cross two moraines on a flattish area and go straight towards the start, keeping a large area of crevasses to your left.

Route 5-6h

Cross the bergschrund to reach the foot of the couloir, 45/50° for 200m, the true left bank is exposed to rock fall from mixed ground which gets the sun first thing. The slope steepens to 55° under the middle bulge, which you overcome by going diagonally to the left to reach a less sustained slope, 45/50° for 200m at the side of the Aiguille de Talèfre cliff. By a last steep step, 55/60° for 60m,) you reach the Col des Aiguilles de Talèfre (3h to 4h). An escape is possible on the S side (45° for 200m then easy slopes to the Leschaux hut).
Climb the ridge on broken rocks, you can avoid a tower by going around on the Talèfre (left) side, then a last snow crest leads to the SW summit. The NW summit, (highest point) is reached by a short ridge. (2h)

Descent 2-3h

From the SW summit, go down the S ridge towards the Aiguille de l'Eboulement (snowy plateau) but after only a short distance, on the right, go into a SW then W couloir at 45/50° (recommended to abseil), then snow slopes, (glacier) leading in the direction of the Leschaux hut. Keep going to the right, until a rock island, which one can pass either on the right or the left. Traverse a moraine to the right to reach a grassy slope which you descend while keeping a large ravine to your left, and reach the traverse (balcony) path, (ladders) which leads back to the hut


  • Faces N and NW, so does not get the morning sun, (though the true left bank does get the sun and so be a source of stone fall.)
  • Not a long approach but the bergshrund can be difficult later in the season.
  • Steep descent which softens quickly, faces SW
  • Varied, a steep gully in a wild area, then an exposed, mixed ridge.
  • The Couvercle hut is guarded from mid June to mid September.

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


2×40 m rope, 5 ice screws, 4/5 friends et 4/5 nuts, 2/3 pegs and some slings


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