Aiguilles Crochues Traverse


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1 day

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Aiguille Crochues

The Chamonix valley is bound between two mountain ranges, the Mont Blanc Massif to the southeast and the Aiguilles Rouges to the northwest. While the Mont Blanc side is considerably harder and justly more well known, many climbers enjoy outings to the Rouges just as much.

The Aiguilles Rouges are know for two things, the rock climbing and the views across the valley. The rock in the Rouges is fractured and offers fine climbing with sharp edges and lots of holds. Not all of it is good, but generally the ridges are excellent. Here climbers usually head up for a day's fun, retuning at night to the comforts of Chamonix. And with the use of the lift system many alpine rock routes become fun day adventures.

The traverse of the Aiguilles Crochues is one of the best routes in the Rouges. It follows a sharp ridge, is airy and offers amazing views across to the big peaks to the south. The climbing is interesting but not overly difficult. It is a great route for learning to move efficiently on exposed but easy alpine rock terrain, and we often climb it just for that purpose.

To start we take the Flégère cable car, then the Index ski lift up its terminus at almost 2400 meters. A short walk brings us to the access gully at the foot of the Crochues. Once up this gully the technical climbing begins. A short chimney, the technical crux of the route, leads to easier climbing right on the crest. We follow the crest all the way tot he summit, climbing over most towers, but avoiding one or two.

The descent is easy, down easy rock and snow to Lac Blanc, where we often stop at the little restaurant there for a tart and perhaps a coffee or beer. then back on the hiking trail for 40 minutes or so to walk back to the top of the lift which we ride into town.

Lac Blanc
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The Aiguille Crochues


The Crochues offers a moderate day of easy rock climbing and scrambling. The route takes only a couple/three hours, but with the approach and descent (don't forget the the stop for a tart!) we spend about 6 to 7 hours out. The greatest difficulties are on rock with a few steep moves, but nothing overly difficult. The large amount of very exposed but easier terrain means, however, that climbers need to be able to scramble well and not be bothered by the big drops on either side.


This is a good route for beginners, and also for training for longer climbs. And also a fine route simply if you want to enjoy superb views and a relaxing day up high.

Kathy Cosley & Mark Houston
UIAGM Internationally Licensed Mountain Guides

AMGA Certified • SNGM members
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