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Aiguille du Midi
Mountain/Rock

Aiguille du Midi

 
Aiguille du Midi

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Mont Blanc, France, Europe

Lat/Lon: 45.87890°N / 6.88780°E

Object Title: Aiguille du Midi

Elevation: 12605 ft / 3842 m

 

Page By: Jeroen Vels

Created/Edited: Mar 22, 2001 / Sep 7, 2009

Object ID: 150216

Hits: 91156 

Page Score: 97.7%  - 72 Votes 

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Overview



Aiguille du Midi (that in english language means Needle of Mid-day) is situated in the Mont Blanc mountain range. The cable car was built to the summit in 1955 and held the title of the world's highest cable car for about two decades. In a spectacular ascent it is possible to travel from Chamonix up to the top of the Aiguille du Midi over 2800m vertical in only about 20 minutes.

A nice way to climb Aiguille du Midi is start from Punta Helbronner (reaching by cablebox from Courmayeur, Italy) and crossing the Glacier du Geànt and the Vallee Blanche (really wonderfull). During this experience (about three hours) you can admire on the left Tour Ronde, Mont Blanc, Mont Maudit and Mont Blanc du Tacul. On the right Dent du Geant and Grandes Jorasses. Be carefull to the sun, the light and the reflex on the ice are very dangerous and you need a very high protection! You can reach also Aiguille du Midi from Chamonix and Cormayeur through Punta Helbronner by cablebox.

Getting There



From France:

1. 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.

2. You reach the Chamonix Valley by bus:
From/via Annecy, Geneva, Grenoble, Courmayeur, Aoste and Turin

3. 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.

From Italy:
7. You reach Courmayeur by bus or car:
a. From Chamonix through the Mont Blanc Tunnel from the NW.
b. From Torino (from the SE) on the A5 via Villeneuve.

Red Tape

Cablebox (from Italy to France):
  • Courmayeur (1800 m.) - Ref. CAI "Torino" (3300 m.) - Punta Helbronner (3480 m.)

  • Punta Helbronner (3480 m.) - Aiguille du Midi (3850 m.)

  • Aiguille du Midi (3850 m.) - Plan de l'Aiguille (2317 m.) Chamonix (1030m.).
Go and come back on the cablebox from La Palud to Helbronner costs about 25 Euro. That one from Chamonix to Aiguille du Midi the same.

The crossed from Aiugulle du Midi to Punta Helbronner about 80 euro and is very panoramic. The cablebox is closed in case of strong wind. No fees are necessary to climb in this region. If you cross by car the Mont Blanc gallery (Chamonix-Courmayeur) you have to pay about 35 Euro. There is also bus service that throughs the tunnel (11 Euro go, 20 euro go and come back, 45 minutes trip).

Mountain Conditions

The best time to climb is between June and September (but in August the crevasses are more than June and September). By skies from December to May (in February is perfect, but depends by the conditions of the glacier, check before to leave!).

Check the weather and the informations about the cablebox from Courmayeur to Punta Helbronner on the follow web page: Funivie Montebianco . An other web page about meteo is Chamonix Homepage.

Refuges

Ref. des Cosmiques (3593 m)
The Ref. des Cosmiques is situated on a shoulder between the Col du Midi and the SW-ridge of the Aig. du Midi (Cosmiques-ridge).
according to Eberlein:
  • 140 beds

  • guarded from February till october

  • phone: ++33(0)450544016
Abri Simond Bivouac Hut (3600m)
The Abri Simond Bivouac is situated just a few meters northern of the Ref. des Cosmiques, just at the beginning of the Arête des Cosmiques/South-South-West Ridge to the Aiguille du Midi.
  • 18 beds

  • no fee for staying there overnight

  • open in winter, when Ref. des Cosmiques is closed
The Abri Simond Bivouac hut does not exist anymore "officially", i.e. no current guide book, as far as I know, names this bivouac hut anymore. In an old edition of Eberlein, one could read already about 15 years ago, that this bivouac hut is NOT useable anymore... so it is only insider-knowledge, that this bivuoac hut is open in winter when the Ref. Cosmiques is closed. The true reason (according to insider knowledge) why this bivouac hut still exists and is open in winter (and even the garbage cans of which are removed "officially" by the order of Chamonix or the Ref. Cosmiques) is that mountain guides use this bivouac hut in winter when they bring up their clients for winter ice climbing. Obviously, it is more comfortable for them to stay in the bivouac hut than to camp (although I am myself not totally convinced that the stuffy hut is better than a tent with fresh air if you stay only one or two nights overthere).

Another unconfortable (but cheeper) solution:
Is it also possible to sleep in the cablebox-station of the Aiguille du Midi on the floor, at 3842 meters: is free and many alpinists that climb Mont Blanc, Mont Blanc du Tacul or Mont Maudit do it, but is very important have something against the cold, because the temperature after the sunset is very low!

Maps

Institut Géographique National
1:25000 no. 3630 OT (Chamonix)
(to order at DAV Service or at cordee.co.uk )

The Abri Simond Bivouac Hut is not really marked on any current map as fas as I know. On the current french map (3630 OT), there is only written the name "Abri Simond" as summit station of the old material cable car. But the bivouac hut is located just at this point.

Books

The following books provide further information on the Ref. des Cosmiques:
  • Damilano/Perroux, Neige, Glace Et Mixte: Mont Blanc.Editions Ice 1996.
    ISBN 2950986803
    (to order at cordee.co.uk)

  • Helmut Dumler/Willi P. Burkhardt, Viertausender der Alpen. 11th ed. Munich 1998.
    ISBN 3-7633-7427-2
    (to order at amazon.de)

  • Hartmut Eberlein: Mont-Blanc-Gruppe. DAV-Gebietsführer. 9th ed. Munich 2000.
    ISBN 3-7633-2414-3
    (to order at amazon.de)

Chamonix Informations

You reach the Ref. des Cosmiques and the Abri Simond Bivouac Hut from Chamonix.

You reach Chamonix by train:
a. From Martigny (Switzerland) via Vallorcine.
b. From Geneva (airport) via Anncey (TGV till here) and St. Gervais.

You reach Chamonix by bus:
Via Annecy, Geneva, Grenoble, Courmayeur, Aoste and Turin

You reach Chamonix 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.
c. From Courmayeur through the Mont Blanc Tunnel.

In order to reach Ref. des Cosmiques and the Abri Simon bivouac, you need about 1/2 h from the Aig. du Midi. If you leave the cable car station via the bridge, you go to the Southsummit. On the firn ridge, you go down with SE-direction to an even ridgeplatform; then turn right to the S and SW-direction below the S-face of the Aig. du Midi. Pay attention to crevasses!

Office de Tourisme in Chamonix: 0033/450530024

Camping and hotels in Chamonix (France, only two hours by highway from Geneva).

To contact the refuges of the region look the addresses and the telephone numbers on Club Alpine Francaise.

External Links

Images