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Climbing
Trad climbing, Snow/glacier/ice route
Alpine climbing NCCS rating
Class IV
Elevation Gain
453.00 ft (138.07 m)
Distance
2.40 mi (3.86 km)
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As a birthplace of alpine climbing, there is no shortage of great climbs in the valley of Chamonix. The east ridge of Grands Montets is graded F, and it is a great beginner route. 

With such a long history as a climbing hub, Chamonix has all of the appropriate infrastructure in place. The lifts, cable car, and panoramic views make the approach very pleasant and shorten the amount of slogging needed to reach the base of the climb. To do this climb, you actually will take the Lognan cable car and the Grands Montets cable car toward the station at the summit of Grand Montets at 3,300 meters. From this station there is an impressive view of Petite Verte, Glacier Argentiere, and all of the surrounding ice pinnacles. 

The stairs from the station will take you down to the glacier where climbers can start gearing up for their climb and non-climbers can walk around a short distance in safety. Once all geared up, the climb starts by heading to the left toward Argentiere Glacier. There is a short walk to the ridge before the route starts dropping down toward the bottom. Generally there are plenty of tracks to follow, but watch for the route at the base of the rock band. 

Even though the climb itself is rated F, it isn't lacking in exposure and it can feel much harder depending on conditions. There are plenty of scrambles and short climbing sections, and at times it the exposure becomes extreme on the crest of the ridge. Further along in this climb the ground will be easier to navigate compared to the beginning, and before you know it the viewing platform will come in view. When the weather is good, expect this platform to be crowded with tourists. Hop over the railing and you are back to the safety of the station. 

Weather can be a huge challange and the deciding factor when climbing this route, so pay attention on the forecast.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Easy access. Beginner level. Amazing view.

Cons

Can be crowded. Lift closes fairly early.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

10,810.00 ft (3,294.89 m)

Highest point

10,064.00 ft (3,067.51 m)

Net Elevation Gain

453.00 ft (138.07 m)

Address

74400
France

Features

Flushing toilets
Glacier

Access

Vehicle

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Primary aspect

East facing

Class / Rating

PD +4c

Drinking water

Snowmelt

Location

Field Guide

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