Vraie Vallée Blanche - Aiguille du Midi - Mont-Blanc - France
Min / max altitude1020m / 3795m
Duration1 day
Main facingE
Route typetraverse
Glacier gear required

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, crampons may be useful. The slope becomes less steep and broader (classic ski route start).

Descend a first slope for 100 meters (east) then diagonally towards the southeast to follow the direction of Vallée Blanche gondola to spot elevation 3415. Via very crevassed steep slopes descend (northeast then east) the part of the glacier located to the North of Gros Rognon. The start of these slopes can pose problems due to the crevasses, the rest of the route is easier. You reach the classic Vallée Blanche route at the level of La Bédière. Then head towards the lower base of Petit Rognon, the slope becomes steep and crevassed. Stay well to the left of Séracs du Géant.

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.

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