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Aiguille du Dru (or Les Drus)
Mountain/Rock

Aiguille du Dru (or Les Drus)

 
Aiguille du Dru (or Les Drus)

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Mont Blanc region, France, Europe

Lat/Lon: 45.93270°N / 6.95570°E

Object Title: Aiguille du Dru (or Les Drus)

Elevation: 12316 ft / 3754 m

 

Page By: dirkclaessen

Created/Edited: Dec 23, 2001 / Nov 19, 2005

Object ID: 150757

Hits: 69223 

Page Score: 94.63%  - 48 Votes 

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Overview


The Aiguille du Dru consists of two summits who are more or less considered as separate. The Petit Dru (3733 m) is the lower one of Les Drus, as they are commonly named. His neighbour is a few meters higher and is called Grand Dru (3754). In Europe and especially in France the Aiguille du Dru is kind of a legend due to its stunning beauty, its importance in mountaineering history and the plentitude of severe routes on it. From the railway station at Montenvers the impression in particular of the Petit Dru is overwhelming. The mountain is situated a little east of Aiguille Verte.
Even the easiest route on the Petit Dru is a french "D". Les Drus is predominantly a rocky mountain, but there is a very serious ice route on it as well.

Getting There


The valley of Chamonix is the place to get started for any of the routes on Les Drus. There are two ways to approach Les Drus. One is by rail, directly from the town of Chamonix to the railway station at Montenvers (1913 m)(mer-deglace.com). The other one is also accomplished by mechanical means, namely the "Téléphérique de Lognan et des Grands Montets" (grands-montets.com) which departs between the towns of Les Chosalets et Argentière, two towns not far to the northwest of Chamonix. The téléphérique leads to the Aiguille des Grands Montets (3295 m).

The approach via Montenvers is used for all the routes on Les Drus. The approach via Grands Montets is only used for the routes on the north- and westfaces.

Indispensable to find your way about is of course a map. Recommended is the french map of the IGN, 1/25000, nr. 231. An other item you can't do without in the Mont Blanc-region is the "Guide Vallot", two books in which you can find most of the routes, as well easy ones as the very hard ones. The one you need for Les Drus in particular is part 2.

For the routes on the south side of the mountain you can spend the night in the "refuge de la Charpoua" (2841 m), a very small and charming hut. It only gives shelter at about 12 persons. Reservation is obligatory (33 (0) 4 550 53 00 88). From the railway station at Montenvers (1913 m) you descend to the Mer de Glace, a glacier that you cross to the south, then southeast. You gain the right (north) border of this glacier, southwest of point 2082 on the map. You climb some glacier debris (yellow marks). You'll find the path pretty easy. You mount the "Rognon de la Charpoua" until you reach the hut. You'll need about 3 to 4 hours to reach the hut from Montenvers.
Mounting is somewhat tiresome, some parts are secured with steel cables. Some mountain experience is required!

If you want to climb a route on the north or the west side of the mountain you'll have to bivouac in the open sky, for on this side there is no hut available. The site commonly used to spend the night is the "Rognon du Dru". This rocky isle is situated between the "glacier du Nant Blanc" and the "glacier des Drus".
From Montenvers you cross the Mer de Glace plain east, then mount the flanks beneath the Nant Blanc- en the Drusglacier. About 2,5 to 3 hours of ascending.
From Grands Montets there are different ways to reach the Rognon du Dru, but it all comes down to crossing two glaciers and a rocky part that separates the two. This routes are descending. You'll need 1 to 2 hours.

Red Tape


No permits required.

When To Climb


While Les Drus are a rocky mountain its preferably climbed in summer. Depending conditions very steep routes like those on the westface can be relatively quick snowfree.

General information


For any kind of general information about Chamonix, hotels, reservations, campings, guides, fares, transportation, weather, etc., try the "Ofice du tourisme" in Chamonix, 50 53 22 08 or chamonix.com.

Mountain Conditions


You can get excellent information about weather, conditions and routes at the "Compagnie des Guides de Hauts Montagnes" (cieguides-chamonix.com, tel: 50 53 00 88) or the "Maison de la Montagne" at the "place de l'Église" in Chamonix. Don't be afraid to step into their building, its common practice, people are constantly walking in and out. By no means you are expected to hire a guide when you visit.

For weather reports you can call 50 53 03 40. In winter the number 50 53 17 11 gives snowconditions and avalanche risks.

Mountain rescue is secured by the "Gendarmerie de Haute Montagne", 50 53 16 89.

Routes overview


-Grand Dru,Normal route, difficulty AD, 6 h
-Grand Dru, South face, Contamine route, difficulty TD, 7 h
-Grand Dru, South face, Trident pillar, difficulty TD, 12 h
-Grand Dru, South face, Stembert pillar, difficulty TD
-Petit Dru, Normal route, dificulty D-, 6 h 30 m
-Petit Dru, South west Pillar, Bonatti Pillar, difficulty ED+(free),
10 to 18 h
-Petit Dru, West face, French directissime, difficulty ED+
-Petit Dru, West face, American directissime, difficulty EX
-Petit Dru, West face, American direct, difficulty ED-/ED, 13 to
19 h
-Petit Dru, North face, Allain-Leininger route, difficulty TD-/TD+,
8 to 10 h
-North east great couloir, difficulty TD+, ice up to 80°, 10 to 18 h
-Traverse of Petit and Grand Dru, difficulty D, 10 h

External Links

Additions and Corrections

[ Post an Addition or Correction ]
Viewing: 1-20 of 23 « PREV 1 2 NEXT » 
omUntitled Comment

om

Hasn't voted

we ofen name the mountain "Les Drus" but the name "Aiguille du Dru" is not a wrong name.
Posted Jan 3, 2002 9:08 am
omUntitled Comment

om

Hasn't voted

Try to search both names on google, yahoo or more...


Les Drus is more popular, Aiguille du Dru more correct.
Posted Jan 3, 2002 10:40 am
JohnUntitled Comment

John

Hasn't voted

Similarly, for the mountain in California, I believe that Mt. Baldy is more popular, Mt. San Antonio is more correct. I've heard that many casual hikers only know this mountain by the more popular name.
Posted Jan 3, 2002 4:14 pm
UlrichPrinzUntitled Comment

UlrichPrinz

Hasn't voted

Sorry, I don't mean to question you, but


just out of interest: How do you / does one define 'correct' ?


The Maps and Guidebooks a the most official things that I could


find and the French IGN and the Swiss


Landeskarten Amt are both quite accurate Agencies.


Also it is in 3 of my Guidebooks under this name.





Maybe this is because there are 2 Peaks, thats why


it is "Les" (plural) and not like with THE Aiguille de Midi ?





Just trying to help,





Ulli Prinz


Posted Jan 4, 2002 12:19 am
UlrichPrinzUntitled Comment

UlrichPrinz

Hasn't voted

Thanks for the change,


I guess this Note can now be all deleted ...





Cheers,


Ulli
Posted Jan 4, 2002 12:26 am
Rahel Maria LiuUntitled Comment

Rahel Maria Liu

Voted 10/10

Hi Ulli,


I do not have an answer to your question (but would like to have), I only read totally different stuff:


- Eberlein: Aiguille du Dru, Petit Dru, Grand Dru


- Rébuffat: Les Drus, Petit Dru, Grand Dru


- Damilano/Perroux: Petit Dru, Grand Dru


- french map (IGN): les Drus, Petit Dru, Grand Dru





Maybe the best solution for SP is to write "Aiguille du Dru (Petit Dru/Grand Dru)". 'Les Drus' is only the plural of boths Drus and no single new name, while 'Aiguille du Dru' is a new name (for which people maybe look).





Regards, Rahel
Posted Jan 4, 2002 1:37 am
dirkclaessenUntitled Comment

Hasn't voted

Hi everybody,





according to the "Guide Vallot" - which is in my opinion (and most French climbers) the autorithy - the mountain is called, I quote: "Aiguille du Dru, communément appelée les Drus. Elle presente 2 sommets voisins: le Grand Dru et le Petit Dru..." (GUIDE VALLOT, La chaîne de Mont Blanc, 2, Arthaud, 1987, p. 123.).


To avoid any confusion I will change the name of the page into "Aiguille du Dru (or Les Drus, or Grand Dru and Petit Dru)".





Greetings


Posted Jan 4, 2002 10:20 am
omUntitled Comment

om

Hasn't voted

Hi !





I've found some data in Horace-Bénédict de Saussure book (18th century ) on :





http://gallica.bnf.fr/scripts/ConsultationTout.exe?E=0&O=N102949





You can download the entire book in french there but unfortunatlely, I don't know if this book has been somewhere translated in english...





but you can see Pages 7/8 that "Aiguille du Dru" is the real historical geographical name of the mountain. Les Drus is the popular name used by mountaineers, because of the 2 peaks but because of the mountain legend too. Note that it's more short to write "Les Drus" than "Aiguille du Dru" on a map... Aiguille means needle.





You can note in that book that Chamonix was named Chamouni (Chamouni was in Savoy not in France), that "Mer de Glace" was named "Glacier des Bois" but was looking like a frozen sea (because of ice waves) that "Aiguille du Dru" was absolutely not accessible and they needed in 1776 a telescope to have some observations on it ...








-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Voyages dans les Alpes Tome second par Horace-Bénédict de Saussure,...





Continuation du Voyage autour du Mont-Blanc, page 1.





CHAPITRE XIII. Le Montanvert, pag. 1.





Retour du Buet à Chamouni, pag. 1. Ce que c'est que le Montanvert, p. 2. On y va par un sentier sûr & facile, p. 2. Fond horisontal de la vallée de Chamouni, p. 3. Rocs que l'on rencontre sur le chemin du Montanvert, p. 3. Belles roches feuilletées, p. 5. Raison de la forme de leurs fragmens, pag. 6. Vue du Montanvert, pag. 6. L'aiguille du Dru, p. 7. Gradations entre les granits & les roches feuilletées, p. 8. Descente du Montanvert au glacier, p. 9. Le glacier vu de plus près, p. 10. Il est quelquefois difficile à traverser, p. 11. Pied de l'aiguille du Dru, p. 12. Plantes du Montanvert, p. 13. Retour du Montanvert, p. 15.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------





Regards
Posted Jan 4, 2002 10:37 am
UlrichPrinzUntitled Comment

UlrichPrinz

Hasn't voted

Hi Dirk,





There is a small typo in the address chamonix.be


it should be chamonix.com or even better:


chamonix.com





See FAQ for infor how to do the link





Cheers,


Ulli Prinz
Posted Dec 30, 2001 6:26 am
UlrichPrinzUntitled Comment

UlrichPrinz

Hasn't voted

Hi Dirk,





I found the name "Aiguille du Dru" a bit confusing,


because I find the Drus only with the name "Les Drus"


in the French and Swiss Maps of that area.


Also my guidebooks all state that name.





Wouldn't it make sense to rename this page


to the official name ?





Thanks,


Ulli Prinz
Posted Dec 30, 2001 7:17 am
omUntitled Comment

om

Hasn't voted

we ofen name the mountain "Les Drus" but the name "Aiguille du Dru" is not a wrong name.
Posted Jan 3, 2002 9:08 am
omUntitled Comment

om

Hasn't voted

Try to search both names on google, yahoo or more...


Les Drus is more popular, Aiguille du Dru more correct.
Posted Jan 3, 2002 10:40 am
JohnUntitled Comment

John

Hasn't voted

Similarly, for the mountain in California, I believe that Mt. Baldy is more popular, Mt. San Antonio is more correct. I've heard that many casual hikers only know this mountain by the more popular name.
Posted Jan 3, 2002 4:14 pm
UlrichPrinzUntitled Comment

UlrichPrinz

Hasn't voted

Sorry, I don't mean to question you, but


just out of interest: How do you / does one define 'correct' ?


The Maps and Guidebooks a the most official things that I could


find and the French IGN and the Swiss


Landeskarten Amt are both quite accurate Agencies.


Also it is in 3 of my Guidebooks under this name.





Maybe this is because there are 2 Peaks, thats why


it is "Les" (plural) and not like with THE Aiguille de Midi ?





Just trying to help,





Ulli Prinz


Posted Jan 4, 2002 12:19 am
UlrichPrinzUntitled Comment

UlrichPrinz

Hasn't voted

Thanks for the change,


I guess this Note can now be all deleted ...





Cheers,


Ulli
Posted Jan 4, 2002 12:26 am
Rahel Maria LiuUntitled Comment

Rahel Maria Liu

Voted 10/10

Hi Ulli,


I do not have an answer to your question (but would like to have), I only read totally different stuff:


- Eberlein: Aiguille du Dru, Petit Dru, Grand Dru


- Rébuffat: Les Drus, Petit Dru, Grand Dru


- Damilano/Perroux: Petit Dru, Grand Dru


- french map (IGN): les Drus, Petit Dru, Grand Dru





Maybe the best solution for SP is to write "Aiguille du Dru (Petit Dru/Grand Dru)". 'Les Drus' is only the plural of boths Drus and no single new name, while 'Aiguille du Dru' is a new name (for which people maybe look).





Regards, Rahel
Posted Jan 4, 2002 1:37 am
dirkclaessenUntitled Comment

Hasn't voted

Hi everybody,





according to the "Guide Vallot" - which is in my opinion (and most French climbers) the autorithy - the mountain is called, I quote: "Aiguille du Dru, communément appelée les Drus. Elle presente 2 sommets voisins: le Grand Dru et le Petit Dru..." (GUIDE VALLOT, La chaîne de Mont Blanc, 2, Arthaud, 1987, p. 123.).


To avoid any confusion I will change the name of the page into "Aiguille du Dru (or Les Drus, or Grand Dru and Petit Dru)".





Greetings


Posted Jan 4, 2002 10:20 am
omUntitled Comment

om

Hasn't voted

Hi !





I've found some data in Horace-Bénédict de Saussure book (18th century ) on :





http://gallica.bnf.fr/scripts/ConsultationTout.exe?E=0&O=N102949





You can download the entire book in french there but unfortunatlely, I don't know if this book has been somewhere translated in english...





but you can see Pages 7/8 that "Aiguille du Dru" is the real historical geographical name of the mountain. Les Drus is the popular name used by mountaineers, because of the 2 peaks but because of the mountain legend too. Note that it's more short to write "Les Drus" than "Aiguille du Dru" on a map... Aiguille means needle.





You can note in that book that Chamonix was named Chamouni (Chamouni was in Savoy not in France), that "Mer de Glace" was named "Glacier des Bois" but was looking like a frozen sea (because of ice waves) that "Aiguille du Dru" was absolutely not accessible and they needed in 1776 a telescope to have some observations on it ...








-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Voyages dans les Alpes Tome second par Horace-Bénédict de Saussure,...





Continuation du Voyage autour du Mont-Blanc, page 1.





CHAPITRE XIII. Le Montanvert, pag. 1.





Retour du Buet à Chamouni, pag. 1. Ce que c'est que le Montanvert, p. 2. On y va par un sentier sûr & facile, p. 2. Fond horisontal de la vallée de Chamouni, p. 3. Rocs que l'on rencontre sur le chemin du Montanvert, p. 3. Belles roches feuilletées, p. 5. Raison de la forme de leurs fragmens, pag. 6. Vue du Montanvert, pag. 6. L'aiguille du Dru, p. 7. Gradations entre les granits & les roches feuilletées, p. 8. Descente du Montanvert au glacier, p. 9. Le glacier vu de plus près, p. 10. Il est quelquefois difficile à traverser, p. 11. Pied de l'aiguille du Dru, p. 12. Plantes du Montanvert, p. 13. Retour du Montanvert, p. 15.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------





Regards
Posted Jan 4, 2002 10:37 am
Rahel Maria LiuUntitled Comment

Rahel Maria Liu

Voted 10/10

Hi Dirk,





I add a precise description how to get to the Chamonix Valley. I have copied it from my Aiguille de Triolet-page.





Regards, Rahel





5. 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.


6. You reach the Chamonix Valley by bus:


From/via Annecy, Geneva, Grenoble, Courmayeur, Aoste and Turin


7 . 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.


Posted Jan 19, 2002 5:37 am
Rahel Maria LiuUntitled Comment

Rahel Maria Liu

Voted 10/10

Hi Dirk,





I add the some train- and bus-infos and the map from my Aiguille de Triolet-page:





3. TRAIN (CHAMONIX VALLEY):


0033/450 53 1298


0033/8 36 35 35 35


0033/450530702 (train station Chamonix)


internet: www.cff.ch


4. BUS (CHAMONIX VALLEY):


0033/450 53 0555





MAP


Institut Géographique National


1:25000 no. 3630 OT (Chamonix)


(to order at DAV Service or at cordee.co.uk )


Posted Jan 19, 2002 5:43 am

Viewing: 1-20 of 23 « PREV 1 2 NEXT » 

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