When driving across Lake Geneva in Switzerland, the Dents du Midi are one of the most prominently seen mountains south of the lake.
There are about seven major 'dents' (teeth of noon or of the south) on the mountain that have different climbing ratings. The highest point on the mountain is the westernmost tooth, which is also the easiest tooth to reach. The route to the eastern tooth requires more technical rock climbing and crossing from tooth to tooth requires even more technical work. But just trying for the highest point is a non-technical endeavor and quite a beautiful hike.
Dents du Midi are located western from the Rhône valley at the top of the towns of Monthey and Saint Maurice between Val d'Illiez in the NW and Val de Salanfe in the SE. The Pas d'Encel separates de teeth in the west from the Dent de Bonavau and Dents Blanches . Geologicaly, the Dents du Midi are part of the Faucigny mountains.
Many routes in the Dents du Midi Massif are damaged by erosion in a high rank. May be a particular sismic activity increases this decay. Many "old" routes cannot be advised at present time and some are definitely to avoid.
Some routes can only be covered in winter conditions. Several couloirs can be descended with skis.
The 7 important summits from SW to NE :
- Haute Cime 3257 m
- les Doigts : Doigt de Salanfe (3205 m), le Pouce (the thumb) and Doigt de Champéry (3210 m)
- Dent Jaune
- Cime de l'Est 3177 m
Collars between the teeth :
- Between Haute Cime - Doigts : Brèche des Doigts
- Doigts - Dent Jaune : Col de la Dent Jaune
- Dent Jaune - Eperon : Brèche de l'Eperon
- Eperon - Cathédrale : Fenêtre de Soi
- Forteresse - Cime de l'Est : Col de la Cime de l'Est.
Other and secondary summits :
- Tête de Chalin 2595 m
- Dent de Valère 2267 m
- Pointe de l'Erse 2032 m
- Dent de Valerette 2059 m
- Signal de Soi 2054 m
- L'Aiguille 1866 m
- Pointe Fornet 2214 m
- Dent de la Chaux 2767 m
- Dent de Rossétan 2616 m
- Tour d'Antème 2617 m
- Chaux d'Antème 2177 m
- Tête Motte 2626 m
- Aiguille de Mex 1866 m
- Pointe Fornet 2214 m
- Les Trois Merles 2295 m
- Merle Blanc 2424 m
- La Gure 1920 m
- Rocks of Gagnerie 2735 m
- The Virgin of Gagnerie 2641 m
Limits of the Dents du Midi Massif : Vièze River - RHône from Monthey to Evionnaz - Collars of Jorat and Susanfe - Saufla.
Photo Gallery of the Teeth
Principal start point is the town Monthey. From here you can approach the teeth over :
- Val d'Illiez/Champéry
- Les Jeurs
- Saint Maurice/Verossaz
How to reach Monthey ?
- By plane :
Airport SION 50 km
Airport GENEVE 100 km
Airport ZURICH 300 km
- By train :
Not located on the line C.F.F. Lausanne-Simplon, Monthey can be reached by train with the line Aigle-Ollon-Monthey-Champéry (AOMC).
- By road :
Highway N9, exit St-Triphon if you are coming from Lausanne and exit Bex if you are coming from Martigny.
How to reach Salvan ?
Motorway A9 - exit Martigny. Then drive to Salvan. Once in Salvan follow the signs in the direction of Vallon de Van and continue until you reach the camping site in Van d'en Haut. Pass the small wooden br/idge on your left and keep driving up to the car park. Leave your car there. You may count on approximately 1½ hours walk to reach the inn from the car park.
By train and bus
From Martigny's main station, take the regional train Martigny-Châtelard up to Les Marécottes. Get off the train in les Marécottes and take the bus (shuttle service) to the camping place in Van d'en Haut. (This bus is only available during the high season). train and bus timetables: www.cff.ch
Groups of 10 people or more, are requested to book their places on the shuttle from Salvan to Van d'en Haut. Call the station at Les Marécottes : Tel and fax : 027/761.13.29
Haute Cime has his own SummitPost page. The highest point of the Dents du midi is the easiest to climb over the Col de Susanfe and Col des Paresseux. From the summit the Arête des Lacs (lake ridge) spreads in SW direction to Dent de la Chaux and Dent de Rossétan. In NW direction, we have the Arête de Sélaire. Between the two, the impressive and over 1000 m high NW face with the Antème lake down below.
Routes Overview :
1) Normal route (S ridge) : easy route for hikers, crowded Diff T5
2) From Dents du Midi Hut PD
3) Traverse from Dent de Rossétan PD -
4) Slope and ridge of the Lakes PD +
5) Sélaire ridge D
6) N face D only in winter
7) Couloir des Doigts and Eperon Couloir des Doigts and Eperon
Photos of the Normal route to Haute Cime
Doigts de Salanfe et de Champéry
Doigt de Salanfe is a double summit of loose rocks between Col de la Dent Jaune and Haute Cime. The less high in the NE is called the Thumb. Few visited.
Doigt de Champéry has 3 summits
Routes overview to Doigt de Salanfe (loose rocks, rarely climbed) :
- From Finger breach AD
- SE face AD
- NE ridge PD +
Routes overview to Doigt de Champéry (highest point) :
- From Fingers of Salanfe PD +
- N face couloirs D
- NNE face TD -
The Dent Jaune, the yellow tooth is a proud pyramid between Dent Jaune collar in the W and Eperon in the E. The most interesting summit for climbers.
Routes overview :
1) Normal route : Genevois route AD - : beautiful climb. 40 m roping down.
2) Little SW face, Champéry chimney (on the left) AD
3) Little SW face, central chimney D
4) Little SW face, slaughter chimney TD -
5) S ridge TD
6) SE face, Flotron route D
7) SE face, Cretton route TD
8) NW spur TD
9) S face and Spur breach PD. Route of the first ascent. No used today.
10) N face D - : not used today
11) N face and Spur breach : not used today
Eperon might have been the highest summit of the teeth... before a huge rock fall in Middle Age but there is no evidence for this information.
Routes overview :
1) Spur breach PD
2) NE ridge (traverse of the spurs) AD
3) Complete Traverse D
4) N face D
5) NW face : winter climbs on ice
Heavy summit, twin of the Fortress. On the breach between the two, you find the Aiguillette Délez
Routes overview :
1) SE couloir (Délez couloir) PD +
2) SW ridge D
3) Traverse Cathedral - Fortress AD -
4) NW face D
5) SE face AD
Double summit at the junction point between Arête de Soi and Dents du Midi
Routes overview :
1) E ridge from Cime de l'Est collar F
To the Cime de l'Est collar :
- S face, Plan Névé PD
- N face, Chalin glacier D +
- Chalin glacier direct TD +
2) NW couloir AD
3) Soi ridge and NW face AD +
4) S face , Blanchet route PD + : route destroyed after rock fall
Cime de l'Est
The Cime de l'Est, W summit is at a distance of only 6 km from the Rhône located 2800 m lower... In the N, the summit goes on with the Dardeu crest, a sharp ridge with the Chalin Hut and lower with the secundary summit of Valère.
Routes overview :
1) W ridge, normal route : PD +
2) Rambert couloir PD
3) Borloz couloir : not used today
4) S face PD
5) Jorat ridge TD -
6) NE central spur, Roch route TD
7) Breugel route AD -: old route never used
8) Valère ridge, Harlin route : climbed by J. Harlin, Chris Bonnington and Baily in august 1965 TD +
9) NW face TD
No permits, no fees.
When To Climb
The different teeth are usually climbed in summer snowfree conditions (july to october)
The normal route to Haute Cime is snow covered until mid july and crampons are then useful.
Haute Cime can be climbed with skis in winter and is an AD ski route.
1) Susanfe Hut (CAS Yverdon)
Contacts & Reservations
from juto to october : Cabane de Susanfe +41 (0)24 479 16 46
from october to may when the hut is closed : Roger Gillabert +41 (0)24 479 22 72
Person in charge : Rolland Jaquier +41 (0)24 426 30 39
Champéry Grand Paradis - Bonavau - le Pas d'Encel
3h30 diff T3
Barme Sous la Dent - Bonavau - Pas d'Encel 3h30 diff T3
Salvan Van d'en Haut - Lac de Salanfe - Col de Susanfe 6h
4h30 de Van d'en Haut diff T3
Marécottes Emaney - Col d'Emaney - Lac de Salanfe - Col de Susanfe 8h diff T3
France Col de Sagerou - Col des Ottans diff T4
Access in winter (for experienced mountaineerers only)
Champéry Grand Paradis - Barme - Col de Comba Mornay 5h TD / ESA
Salvan Van d'en Haut - Lac de Salanfe - Col de Susanfe 5h AD / BS
Marécottes Col de la Golette - Lac de Salanfe - Col de Susanfe 4h30 AD / BS
2) Salanfe Hut (private) Fabienne et Nicolas Marclay
Case postale - CH-1922 Salanfe/Salvan
Tél. **41 (0)27 761 14 38 - Hors saison : **41 (0)24 485 36 18
E-mail : [email protected]
Salanfe is located in the canton du Valais in Switzerland, between the valleys of Trient and Illiez. The shortest way to get to Salanfe : From Van d'en Haut, a hamlet situated just above the village of Salvan – Les Marécottes.
120 beds in dormitories
There are approximately 9 bunk beds (18 places) in each dorm. Woolen blankets and pillows are available.
21 beds in comfortable bedrooms
The three double rooms and the five three-bed rooms have a balcony over looking the lake. These rooms are equipped with duvets, towels and running water. Toilets are on the floor.
3) Plan Névé Hut or Dents du Midi Hu 2884 m
Under the crest and the glacier of Plan Névé. Access from Salanfe or from Susanfe Hut, Salvan or Champéry
Contact : Info. : Huguette Witwer - avenue du Cloître 6 - CH-1860 - Aigle - Tél. 024.466.15.30 - CAS Section Argentine - CP 33 - CH-1880 - Bex -
- Chalin Hut 2590 m not keeped
1. Rhonetal - Monthey - Val d'Illiez
2. Rhonetal - Massongex - Verossaz
1. Val d'Illiez - Gare - Chalin - Crête du Dardeu; ca. 5 h
2. Verossaz sur St. Maurice - Chindonne -
or Le Véla - Crête du Dardeu; ca. 5 h
CAS Sektion Chaussy, 1860 Aigle
Jacques Amiguet, 1860 Aigle, Tel: 024 466 31 24
- Antème Hut 2032 m
Access : Monthey - Chambèry - Grand Paradies - La Lui - Les Moses - Metecoui 3h 30'
Private hut : contact Fernand Jordan, 1874 Champèry
Tel+Fax: 024 - 479 23 35 und 024 - 479 13 40
Telefon 079 - 473 71 40
Natel 079 - 473 71 40
Beds 35 (Winterlager 30 )
- Les Giettes – Café/restaurant de Chindonne (1604m)
70 places in dormitories. Restaurant, shower room, parking.
Open : Informations: +41 024 471 33 96
-Les Giettes - Centre sportif des Jeurs (1560m)
60 places in dormitories and rooms. Restaurant, shower room, parking.
Informations: +41 024 471 34 95 – +41 079 634 20 00
- Mex – Abri PC (1112m)
45 places in dormitories. Showers.
Open : all the year
Informations: +41 027 767 13 72
C A M P I N G D U G R A N D P A R A D I S
CH - 1874 C H A M P E R Y / Valais
Telephone +41 024 479.19.90
Fax +41 024 479.24.25
E-mail : [email protected]
Swiss national maps 1:25000 1304 / 1324
3 little glaciers cover the teeth sides :
- Plan Névé glacier on the SE face : in fact a flat snow field with some crevasses
- Soi glacier on the NW side, several steep icy snowfields hanging in the lower part of this face ( this glacier will probably disappear soon)
- Chalin glacier : a proud hanging glacier between the summits Cime de l'Est and Fortress.
- Salanfe Dam : Salanfe's dam is 52 meters high, 40 m wide at its (foundation) basis and 608 m long at its top. It has a storage capacity of 40 million cubic metre. It is made of forty-two concrete blocks, which are 14 m wide. It has a volume of 230 000 cubic metre concrete
- Antème lakes
- Soi lake
Dents du Midi round hike
A must for hikers in 5 days
Day 1 (02h45)
La Doey Vérossaz) - la Sachia - Le Fahy - Crète-des-Jeurs - Chalet à Bagnes – Les Jeurs (centre sportif des Jeurs)
Day 2 (4h00)
Les Jeurs – Chindonne – Valerette – Valère – Chalin – Signal-de-Soi – Cabane d’Antème (Anthèmoz)
Day 3 (3h00)
Cabane d’Antème – Metecoui – Rossétan – Bonavau – Pas d’Encel – Cabane de Susanfe
Day 4 (3h00)
Cabane de Susanfe – Col de Susanfe – Salanfe
Day 5 (4h00)
Salanfe – Col du Jorat – Mex – La Doey (Vérossaz)
"Dents du midi" is the name of a mountain chain visible from very far. IlThis name is relatively new : 100 years ago the Dents du Midi were called Dents de Tsallen, and only Haute Cime was called Dent du Midi. After the disappearance of the name Dents de Tsallen, Haute Cime gave the name Dents du Midi the whole chain.
Haute Cime was also called Dent de l'Ouest in 1784, the Doigt was the Doigt de Salanfe in 1886 and Doigt de Champéry in 1882, the Dent Jaune was the Dent Rouge in 1879, and the Dent Noire du Midi in 1842 became the Cime de l'Est.
Meaning of the Teeth's names :
-Cime de l'Est (East Summit)- 3180 m
From the Rhône valley, this summit is very impressive, elle fait grande impression and has several names in 1635, he was called the Mont de Novierre, then after two huge rockfalls, in 1635 et en 1636, his nave became Mont St Michel; in the 17th and 18th century, he was the Dent Noire, name due to his black colours.
First ascent : 16 august 1842 Nicolaz Delez.
Forteresse (Fortress) - 3164 m
First ascent 7 june1870 E. Javelle et J. Oberhauser
La Cathédrale (Cathedral) - 3166 m
Seen from Val-d'Illiez, has the shape of cathedral pillars. Sometimes confounded with the near Forteresse. Between the two, there is a vertiginous gully with a little spur, the éperon Delez, name of the first climber in 1890, the guide P.-L. Delez.
First ascent : 1890 Nicolaz Delez.
L'Eperon (Spur) - 3116 m
Looks like a wood saw seen from Val d'Illiez. 2 summits form the Eperon, the big spur and the little spur.
La Dent Jaune (Yellow Tooth) - 3187 m
First called Dent Rouge and wore 2 sommets, one of them collapsed down in the 19th century.
First ascent 4 august 1879, by using a mobile scale
Le Doigts (Finger) - 3212 m
Called Doigt de Salanfe in 1886, and Doigt de Champéry in 1882
La Haute Cime (High Summit) - 3257 m
Was called Dent de l'Ouest in 1784.
Lord Byron - The prisoner of Chillon
The Dents du Midi were the daily vista of the prisoner of Chillon
The text of The prisoner of Chillon
- Champery site
Accomodation, misc. info...
- Refuge des Dents du Midi
- Nice page - many photos
- Tour Dent du Midi