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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
-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
-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
- mountain guide in chamonix
i organise ascent of drus by diferents routes:
classic, traverse, bonatti pilar, north face
- Mountain Guide Adventure - Chamonix Mont-Blanc Mountain Guide - France
A Mountain Guide team will help you to realize your mountain and adventure dreams . A Mountain Guide team in Chamonix propose : mountaineering, alpine rock climbing, ice climbing, heliskiing, ski touring, off piste skiing and expeditions all over the world.
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