Climbing
Snow/glacier/ice route, Trad climbing
Alpine climbing NCCS rating
Grade IV
Elevation Gain
1,112.00 ft (338.94 m)
Distance
2.00 mi (3.22 km)
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This climb feels like a miniature version of the Arête des Cosmiques climb. It's an excellent short climb that can generally be completed between two to three hours, isn't excessively challenging, and that offers plenty of exposure along the route. 

The approach starts at the Aiguille du Midi station tunnel where climbers start decending down the steep ridge to reach Vallée Blanche glacier. Head west, where you will pass the Midi south face, Arête des Cosmiques, and Refuge des Cosmiques to reach the base of the route. From here you can try to join the ridge from anywhere, but it is easier to start from the small snow slope about 100 meters to the left of Col du Midi. Then climb leftward up a ramp before turning right and following the ridge on its crest. 

The crux is an awkward slab that can either downclimbed (4b) or abseiled (5 m). Once you are at the foot of the slab, return to the ridge crest and continue along the ridge to reach the terrace at the back of the Refuge des Cosmiques.

Take a break at the hut for a little bit before heading back toward Midi Station through the same path.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Short route. Less crowded than Arête des Cosmiques. Easier access.

Cons

Can be crowded in the summer.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

12,388.00 ft (3,775.86 m)

Highest point

12,388.00 ft (3,775.86 m)

Net Elevation Gain

1,112.00 ft (338.94 m)

Features

Glacier
Big vistas

Access

Vehicle

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Primary aspect

North facing

Drinking water

Snowmelt

Location

Field Guide

Comments

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