Grade AD 4a This climb is deservedly extremely popular. Short, safe and exhilarating, on good quality rock, it is a perfect introduction to Alpine mixed climbing.
Height 150m climb to 3770m
High season June to September
Equipment 50m rope, half set of nuts, 4 quickdraws, 4 slings
Access Reached from, and ending at the top of the Aiguille du Midi téléphérique.
Route From the téléphérique station, walk down the snowy crest ( can be icy so crampons and axe advisable) to the Col du Midi.
Go around the rock spur to the foot of the Cosmiques Rid.
From there climb the snow slope to the right of the ridge- narrow in places. Move rightwards to reach the inclined slabs. Climb to the first gendarme of the subsidiary summit 3731m and proceed along the crest of the ridge to the second.
From here the route descends slightly while traversing. This is exposed and it can be advisable to abseil. Continue on to pass between two rock walls and then abseil 30m down a small gully. Traverse across to a tower where you climb a slightly awkward chimney (4a) to a substantial ledge on the right.
Go over a short snow slope to regain the ridge and from here you can choose either to go right round a second tower or left around it by descending a split in the tower to a snowy crest. Proceed along the ridge to the final step. Climb a short, slabby wall (4c) to a small ledge, then up a few metres either by a chimney on the left or a crack on the right to a platform.
Traverse left and step down to reach a large corner/ chimney. Climb this in 2 pitches (3c/4a) to a final snowy shoulder and the applause of the crowd as you reach the viewing platform. Bask in the glory and have a well- earned beer!
Descent Aiguille du Midi téléphérique.
Image via CosleyHouston