Aiguille du Tour

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Grade: F (facile – easy)

Main difficulties lie in routefinding on the upper sections of the Tour glacier.

Height gain

Day 1 : Col de Balme to Albert Premier hut 600m
Day 2 : Albert Premier hut to Aiguille du Tour 840m

This route is at the very eastern border of the Mont Blanc range, straddling the french/swiss border offering great views over the Trient glacier and Valaisan Alps to the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa in the distance.

The peak itself lies opposite the beautiful Aiguille du Chardonnet on the Tour glacier.

The route follows the Tour glacier to the sunny side of the Trient basin. The last 100m of the climb is on good granite.

High season

July, August to mid-September

Access

From the village of Le Tour, take the Charamillon télécabine and the Balme chairlift to the Col de Balme.

Route

Day 1 : To the Albert Premier hut

From the top of the lift, follow the well-marked track south.

The trail goes left, overlooking the Tour glacier, then crosses a rocky section which is fairly steep but not difficult.Crampons may be needed for final section up to the hut. 1½ hours.

Day 2: From the hut to the Aiguille du Tour

The track starts behind the hut in an easterly direction.

After about 15 minutes, the Tour glacier is reached. Put on crampons and rope up.

Cross diagonally eastwards keeping in line with the Aiguilles. As it steepens, look for a rocky outcrop on the right hand side called Signal Reilly. Go around this on the uphill side to gain gentle slopes once more. Continue south-east, passing on the left a glacial bay which leads to the Couloir de la Table.

Walk up a snowy bowl, leading to the Col Supérieur du Tour and so to the Trient glacier.

Head north alongside the Purtschellar ridge.

After a steep rise, you will see the Tour peaks. Cross the bergschrund below the gap between the two peaks.

Go up the snow slope to a shoulder below the left hand side of the left peak. From here it is an easy and pleasant rock climb up to the southern summit.

Descent

Same route in reverse.

3 day route

The Aiguille du Tour can be part of a 3 day route which takes in the Tête Blanche also.

Day 1 – go to the Albert Premier hut.
Day 2 – climb the Tête Blanche and go to the Trient hut.
Day 3 – climb the Aiguille du Tour and return to France over the Col Supérieur du Tour.

 

Image from Summitpost

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