Grands Montets >> Le Tour - Col du Passon - Mont-Blanc - France

Grands Montets >> Le Tour

Col du Passon - Mont-Blanc - France

Min / max altitude3230m / 3028m
Duration1 day
Main facingNW
Route typetraverse
Glacier gear required
Lift approach

A classic, popular tour with a long descent for a short ascent


Descent # from the top of the Grands Montets cable car

From the col des Grands Montets, start off down the “Point de vue” piste and leave it rapidly to ski down the Rognons glacier NE in the direction of the Argentière glacier, classic off piste with lots of variations. For example cross the ropes marking the boundary of the piste at a signpost go towards the Rognon at 3000m keeping to the right and then to the S of the Rognons moraine.

Ascent # Col du Passon from Argentière glacier

Two options:

  • Either cross the flat part of the glacier at about 2550m to its tru right bank and make a long ascending traverse NW, often tricky, under the lower buttresses of the Aiguille du Chardonnet to reach a flatish area around 2730 m. (Red trace on the photo.).
  • or bypass on the true left bank a zone of crevasses and seracs and traverse a flat part of the glacier at about 2400m. Go up the short but steep moraine and then go up the sustained slopes to the N to reach a snow bowl leading to the flattish area at 2730m, where you join the first option (blue trace on the photo.)

Continue to the N to traverse into the gullies coming down from the Col du Passon. Climb the one on the right, rocks or ice possible near the top.)

Descent to Le Tour

From the col du Passon, make a descending traverse to the NW. At point 2722m you can go to the left, (steeper) or to the right of a rocky outcrop.

Two options to reach Le Tour:

  • either go to the left to pass under the base of the Bec de la Cluy (2334m). Continue by descending the NW cwm of the Bec de Lachat and enter a larch forest. (blue trace.) Descend towards the village, going to the left some rock bands before traversing back right to cross a foot bridge at 1470m.
  • or continue to descend to the right of the Planard stream and at about 2000m, traverse right to the NE a step zone of shrubs, (vernes) to reach the cwms below the Tour glacier, (risk of collapsing seracs.) Go down the cwms and join the Le Tour pistes by traversing a zone of shrubs, around 1600m.

It is also possible to descend by the Peclerey, (blue traces in the photo.)

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