Traversée des Aiguilles de Chamonix

After almost a week of bad weather, high pressures are back and Alex and I could finally go back in Mont Blanc Massif for a fantastic climb of the Aiguilles de Chamonix. Around 3.5 km of ridge, 7 peaks crossed and 20 hours of climb from Aiguille du Midi to Plan de l’Aiguille.

After col du Caiman (© A. Chabot)
After col du Caiman (© A. Chabot)

We took the first cable car Aiguille du Midi and started the traverse at 7am.

Aiguille du Midi (right) to Aiguille de Blaitière (left) (© P. Gatta)
Aiguille du Midi (left) to Aiguille de Blaitière (right) (© P. Gatta)

Between Aiguille du Midi and Aiguille du Plan (© A. Chabot)
Between Aiguille du Midi and Aiguille du Plan (© A. Chabot)

We reached the Aiguille du Plan in 2h20, thanks to the great snow conditions.

Aiguille du Crocodile seen from Aiguille du Plan (© P. Gatta)
Aiguille du Crocodile seen from Aiguille du Plan (© P. Gatta)

Short break at Breche du Caiman (© A. Chabot)
Short break at Breche du Caiman (© A. Chabot)

Aiguille du Plan to Breche du Caiman: 2h40.

View over Crocodile from Breche du Caiman (© P. Gatta)
View over Crocodile from Breche du Caiman (© P. Gatta)

View over Caiman from Breche du Caiman, the route is straight up (© P. Gatta)
View over Caiman from Breche du Caiman, the route is straight up (© P. Gatta)

Climbing Aiguille du Caiman (© A. Chabot)
Climbing Aiguille du Caiman (© A. Chabot)

Breche du Caiman to Caiman: 1h45.

Last abseil to the col du Caiman (© P. Gatta)
Last abseil to the col du Caiman (© P. Gatta)

Abseiling Aiguille du Caiman is tricky. According to Philippe Batoux topo, the second abseil from the top is 35m high on Envers side. It might be a bit longer than that and goes to the right. There is one peg (piton) to climb a 2m crack (5) to reach a short ledge. The next anchor is at the end of this ledge, on Chamonix side and cannot been seen from the ledge.

Looking back over Chevalier and Caiman (© P. Gatta)
Looking back over Chevalier and Caiman (© P. Gatta)

Caiman to Col of Caiman: 2h.

Traversing Lepiney (© P. Gatta)
Traversing Lepiney (© P. Gatta)

Bivouac at Col du Fou (© P. Gatta)
Bivouac at Col du Fou (© P. Gatta)

Col of Caiman to Col of Fou: 2h40.

Full moon over Grandes Jorasses and Rochefort ridge from Col du Fou (© P. Gatta)
Full moon over Grandes Jorasses and Rochefort ridge from Col du Fou (© P. Gatta)

Southwest route of Fou seen from the bivouac (© P. Gatta)
Southwest route of Fou seen from the bivouac (© P. Gatta)

First pitch of Aiguille du Fou (© A. Chabot)
First pitch of Aiguille du Fou (© A. Chabot)

Looking back at Traversée des Aiguilles de Chamonix (© P. Gatta)
Looking back at Traversée des Aiguilles de Chamonix (© P. Gatta)

Col du Fou to Aiguille du Fou: 2h30.

A chimney on the way down from Aiguille du Fou (© P. Gatta)
A chimney on the way down from Aiguille du Fou (© P. Gatta)

Abseiling from Aiguille du Fou (© P. Gatta)
Abseiling from Aiguille du Fou (© P. Gatta)

The abseils to reach the shelves below Les Ciseaux are not easy to find and there was lot of soft snow. The rappels traverse to the North.

Climbing Les Ciseaux (© A. Chabot)
Climbing Les Ciseaux (© A. Chabot)

Aiguille du Fou to Col des Nantillons: 2h50.

Abseiling Spencer Couloir (© P. Gatta)
Abseiling Spencer Couloir (© P. Gatta)

Aiguille de Grépon seen from Col des Nantillons (© P. Gatta)
Aiguille de Grépon seen from Col des Nantillons (© P. Gatta)

Col des Nantillons to Plan de l’Aiguille: 3h30.

Aiguilles de Chamonix in the clouds (© P. Gatta)
Aiguilles de Chamonix in the clouds (© P. Gatta)

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