Aiguille Verte : Moine Ridge

Aiguille Verte : Moine Ridge


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Associated waypoints

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  • Swisstopo - 46 - Val de Bagnes
  • Swisstopo - 282 - Martigny
  • Swisstopo - 1344 - Col de Balme
  • IGN - 3630OT - Chamonix - Massif du Mont Blanc



route_types: return_same_way
durations: 2 day(s)
rock_types: granit
configuration: edge

quality: medium


3c > 3b

    III    P2 


elevation min/max : 2687 m / 4122 m

height_diff_up: 1600 m

height_diff_difficulties: 700 m


glacier_gear: glacier_safety_gear




Classic alpine route leading to a mythic summit. The Moine Ridge is also used in descent when the Whymper Couloir is no longer in condition, e.g. later in the day.


Approach 2h from the hut.

From the Couvercle hut, go to the moraine on the true right bank of theTalèfre glacier at the foot of the SE Ridge of the Moine. Get onto the glacier and go up this alongside the ridge until the foot of a snow or rock gully, (at about 3380m) which comes straight down from the S side of a rock promontory sticking out to the SE from the Moine Ridge. (at about 3830m). Cross the bergschrund in the line of the gully, (can be awkward mid-season onwards.)

Route 6h from the bergschrund

From above the bergschrund, go up easily diagonally leftwards towards a col to the NE of the Cardinal, (3600m). At about 50m below this col turn obliquely to the right and go up diagonally and easily, keeping 50m below the loose crest of the ridge, (which can be reached near a pinnacle at 3633m). One arrives at the top of the gully rising above the bergschrund, (cairns mark the top of the gully.)
In the line of this gully, climb a short, steep wall, (III) to reach a col at about 3800m, which reveals the upper part of the Moine ridge, (possible to bypass this little wall by mixed ground on the Talefre side.) The rock is now a lot better. Follow the ridge on mixed ground, sometimes on the crest sometimes on the Talefre side but never far from the crest.
Bypass on theTalèfre side an obvious pointed pinnacle. Climb a short chimney to regain the crest of the ridge 20m higher and follow this to the summit.

Descent 4 h to 6 h from the summit to the Couvercle hut, (numerous 30m abseils)

By the same route or by the Whymper Couloir if in condition. The descent by the Moine ridge is always preferable if the Whymper Couloir is dry or otherwise in bad condition.
The descent, mixed, never difficult but long and sustained starts directly to the S of the summit towards the Moine Ridge. Do not take the line of abseils, partially equipped, on the Talèfre side. By bass a pointed pinnacle on the Talefre side then keep to this side, just below the ridge until about 3850m.
Descend a chimney/gully, 1 abseil from a maillon, then continue down over slabs and snow bands. Traverse to the right until a small col, but do not go down into the deep gully, instead go to a second, small col on the secondary ridge. Continue to traverse ledges to the right (S), until it is possible to descend towards the Talefre glacier bergschrund, on ground that gets steeper, (go to the left, abseils possible to reach the glacier.) Once on the glacier, (heavily crevassed,) get to the Couvercle hut by keeping to the true right side of the glacier, traversing underneath the Aiguille du Moine.


The ridge gives a long ascent, without an easy escape. Stable weather is essential.
Because it is a long route, make sure you have enough in reserve for the equally long descent. .
The Moine Ridge becomes the normal route up the Verte once the Whymper is no longer in condition, (beginning of July normally.)
Although the rock in the lower sections is not good, the quality of the climbing in the upper sections, (above 3800m,) more than compensates for this
The bergschrund can be very awkward at the end of the season.

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


2 ice axes could be useful for the leader if the bergschrund is difficult. Take several friends up to size 3 for the ridge and slings to back up the belays in descent.
Lots of 30m abseils on the descent, not essential, but can make life easier especially for the bergschrund, (minimum 60m of rope.)


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