Aiguille d'Argentière

Aiguille d'Argentière

Height: 12,801 feet/3,902 meters
Location: Haute Savoie (Mont Blanc), France, Europe

Last update: April, 15th, 2002
   © Copyright by Rahel Maria Liu

  Aiguille d'Argentiere

Aiguille d'Argentière viewed from Grands Montets

© Copyright by Rahel Maria Liu


Aiguille d'Argentière is situated in the Mont Blanc Massif, in the North of some major peaks as the Mont Blanc and Les Droites and south-east of Aiguille du Chardonnet. It is a very beautiful and interesting mountain concerning its shape and with regard to the ascents. According to Eberlein, there exist more than 50 ascents (although he does not name all). Most famous are the normal route and the northface ascents. But also the SW-Ridge and the many ridge towers provide many interesting climbing routes. There only more in the Aiguilles of Chamonix.

First ascent: E. Whymper and A. Reilly with M. Croz, M. Payot and H. Charlet on the 15th of July 1864.

Routes Overview

1. Southwestflank: steepest passage 50°, PD+, 400 hm (summitface), altogether 1200 hm, 4-5 h from Ref. d'Argentiere. (Eberlein, p. 411)

2. Westflank and Northwestridge: mixed, steepest ice passage 45°, PD, 5 h (Eberlein, p. 411f.)

3. Northface: 50° in the average, D, 600 hm (face), 3-6 h from the foot (Eberlein, 412)

4. Northeastface: average of steepness: 49°, steepest passage 55°, IV, mostly III, D, 700 hm (face), 4-6 h from the foot (Eberlein, p. 414)

5. Eastface: average 45°, steepest passage 50°, AD, 600 hm (face), 5-6 h (Eberlein, 414)

6. East-South-East-Ridge: III, mostly easier, ice till 50°, AD, 1000 lm, 350 hm, 5,5 h (Eberlein, p. 415)

7. Y-Couloir (S-Couloir): pure firn, 45° at 450 m, AD, 550 hm, 4,5 h (Eberlein, p. 416)

8. Jardinridge: IV+, mostly IV and III, D, 900 hm, 1500 lm, 9 h (Eberlein, 416)

Getting There

1. To the Aiguille d'Argentière
  • a. You come from the Ref. d'Argentiere.
2. To the Ref. d'Argentière
  • In order to reach the hut, you have 3 possibilities:

  • a. From Croix de Lognan (1970 m) in 3 - 3,5 h, to Croix de Lognan with cable car from Argentière: From Croix de Lognan, you go on foot up over the morainecrest till about 2250m. Than you continue horizontally to the glacier, which you follow on the orographically left side. After about 1 km, the glacier becomes steeper and more torn. You climb onto the morain of the Rognons, first over a slippery shelf, than via a marked way which you follow until you reach the upper end of the ice break. You climb the glacier with SE-direction and reach over the moraine the hut.
  • b. On foot from Argentière in 5 h: From the ground station of the cable car, you follow the wide aisle of the ski-run. You leave it at the height of about 1750m and reach the way of the middle station of the cable car (2 h). Now, you need 3 h to the hut.
  • c. From Aiguille des Grands Montets (summit station of the cable car from Argentière; last train up: 4:45 p.m.) in 2 h: From the summit station, you go via a stairway to the Col des Grandes Montets. You traverse a bergschrund (maybe with the help of a rope) and go up the steep hang to the Glacier Rognons. You go with ENE-direction on the western side along P. 3000 to P. 2754m. You go down southeastern to the glacier d'Argentière, which you reach above the icebreak. From here in 2 h to the hut.
3. You reach the Chamonix Valley by train :
  • a. From Martigny (Switzerland) via Vallorcine.
  • b. From Geneva (airport) via Anncey (TGV till here) and St. Gervais.
4. You reach the Chamonix Valley by bus :
  • From/via Annecy, Geneva, Grenoble, Courmayeur, Aoste and Turin
5. You reach the Chamonix Valley by car :
  • a. From Geneva (from the NW) on the A40 till St. Gervais and from here on the N205.

  • b. From Martigny (from the NE, Switzerland) via Vallorcine and the Col des Montets on the road no. N506.

When To Climb

  • It depends on your capabilities ... (summer and winter).

  • Camping and/or Accomodation

  • There is a campingplace in Chamonix .

  • Mountainhuts

    Ref. d'Argentière (2771m):

    The Ref. d'Argentière is a modern big hut with a view directly to the northfaces on the opposite side: from Aiguille Verte to Mont Dolent. It is situated near the corner where the Glacier d'Argentière and the Glacier des Améthystes come together.
      according to Eberlein :
    • 120 beds
    • serviced from 15. March to 15. September
    • winter room with 35 beds
    • phone: +33-450 531692
    • Email:
    • internet: Ref. d'Argentière
    • to the Ref. d'Argentière :
    • a. from Croix de Lognan (1970 m) in 3 - 3,5 h, to Croix de Lognan with cable car from Argentière
    • b. on foot from Argentière in 5 h
    • c. from Aiguille des Grands Montets (summit station of the cable car from Argentière) in 2 h

    Mountain Conditions and General Information


  • Institut Géographique National 
  • Books
  • Damilano/Perroux, Neige, Glace Et Mixte: Mont Blanc.Editions Ice 1996.
    ISBN 2950986803
    (to order at )
  • Hartmut Eberlein: Mont-Blanc-Gruppe. DAV-Gebietsführer. 9th ed. Munich 2000.
    ISBN 3-7633-2414-3
    (to order at )
  • Laroche/Lelong: Die Gipfel des Montblanc. Munich 1999.
    ISBN 3-405-15693-9
    (to order at )
  • Gaston Rébuffat: The Mont Blanc Massif. The 100 Finest Routes. London 1996
    ISBN 1-898573-03-4
    (to order at or at )
  • Erich Vanis, Im steilen Eis. 80 Eiswände in den Alpen. Munich et al. 1980.
    ISBN 3-405-12158-2
    (to order at )