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Tour Rouge

Tour Rouge

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Tour Rouge

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: France, Europe

Lat/Lon: 45.90428°N / 6.92576°E

Object Title: Tour Rouge

County: Haute Savoie

Activities: Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing

Season: Summer

Elevation: 9511 ft / 2899 m


Page By: Silvia Mazzani

Created/Edited: Jun 30, 2011 / Jan 14, 2016

Object ID: 725447

Hits: 3346 

Page Score: 86.37%  - 22 Votes 

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Tour Rouge 2899 m

Tour Rouge is a fine tower of red protogyn granite rising ahead the solid bulk of Grepon and situated on French side of Mont Blanc Group in Envers des Aiguilles group, meaning "the back of Aiguilles". This chain is the South-East side of Aiguilles de Chamonix, hidden from the town. Envers des Aiguilles is a paradise for climbing, a wonderful setting designed by Grandes Jorasses, Drus, Aiguille Verte. Tour Rouge superb walls had been discovered at beginning of the Eighties; now the tower has several challenging routes, very desirable in reason of the first-class granite and the beauty of climbing, among which the classic one and most attended is “Le Marchand de Sable”. Tour Rouge’s reputation is also due to its extraordinary setting and its closeness to the Refuge "Envers des Aiguilles", from which it is quickly approached.

Mer de Glace and Grandes Jorasses in the background
Mer de Glace and Grandes Jorasses from the approach
Getting Envers des Aiguilles Hut
On the path near Refuge Envers des Aiguilles
Technical slab
Le Marchand de Sable

Getting There

Envers des Aiguilles map

From Chamonix Mont Blanc by rack-railway to Montenvers m. 1909. Descend to gain the Mer de Glace and rise along the glacier in the direction of the well visible face of Grandes Jorasses, reaching the first large ice-terrace on the glacier. Near a big yellow arrow painted on a rock on the glacier left orographical side starts the path to the Refuge Envers des Aiguilles. The shelter is situated in a panoramic position on the last promontory of Aiguille de Roc (2,30 hours from Montenvers).

Routes overview

Tour Rouge SE face routes

On the beautiful Tour Rouge sunny walls facing the Refuge Envers des Aiguilles, quickly accessible from the shelter - pay attention, the approach needs ice axe and crampons to cross the glacier at the base of the wall - had been realized different superb and challenging routes. The most classic and affordable is Marchand de Sable. In full summer the route is getting the sun since eight o’clock.

The environment
A fabolous setting
Views from the hut
Les Aiguilles seen from the shelter
Le Marchand de Sable
The climb

- Copie Carbone ED+, 6c+, sup. 300 m., 9 pitches - G. Hoparterre, M. Piola 1984 - A nice line, low frequented in reason of some mossy rock
- Chloé ED, 6b+ 300 m., 10 pitches - Long and sustained route, mainly on crack. Excellent rock, equipped belays and few pegs in place.
- L'alchimie du temps qui passe ED-, 6b+ (6a obbl), 340 m., 11 pitches - A lot of cracks and Dülfer, bring 1 set of friends and 1 set of nuts, micro-friend are useful
- Dracula ED, 6c (6b+ obbl.), 330 m., 9 pitches - Starting common with Marchand de Sable, then route takes place on the left. Remarkable rock, beautiful and abrasive, needs a good set of friends and wires # 3
- Le Marchand de Sable TD sup., 6a+ 300 m., 10 pitches - G. Hopfgartner, M. Piola 1983 - See the report route at the dedicated page
- Tentative de coup d’ethique ED, 7a+ (6a obbl), 290 m., 9 pitches - M. Piola, P.A. Steiner 1984 - Starting on the right of Marchand de Sable, bring a set of nuts and friends.

South-West Face

- Hasta-Luego ABO inf., 7a+ 250 m., 6 pitches P. Camison, P. Grenier, J.P. Villanova 1983
- Attends toi a la pudeur ABO inf., 7a+, 250 m., 8 pitches. M. Piola, P.A. Steiner 1984

Descent: the descent from the summit is done abseiling the route climbed

Mer de Glace
Approach along Mer de Glace
Petit Dru
Petit Dru seen from the shelter
Tour Rouge
Tour Rouge

Red Tape

There are not particulary restrictions in climbing and hiking.

When to climb

Best season is full summer.


Refuge Envers des Aiguilles, Mont Blanc Group
Refuge Envers des Aiguilles m 2523

Refuge Envers des Aiguilles m 2523 C.A.F. (French Alpine Club)

Situation: French side of Mont Blanc Group - Back of Aiguilles de Chamonix
Open: from June 13th to September 13th
Size: 57 persons
Winter-shelter: 12 persons
Guardian: Giusto Evelyne
Refuge's phone:

Other accomodation

Chamonix is a primary mountaineering destination, offering several accomodations (hotels, huts, gites, renting rooms). Numberless campsites are situated both in the Northern and Southern ends of the town.

Main campsites:

- Camping la Mer de Glace - Les Praz (3 km. North to Chamonix) +33(0)450534403
- Camping les Deux Glaciers - Les Bossons (3 km. South to Chamonix) +33(0)450531584
- Camping les Arolles - close to the centre of Chamonix - +33(0)450531430
- Camping les Cimes - Les Bossons (3 km. South to Chamonix) +33(0)450535893
- Camping Glacier d'Argentière - Argentière (8 km. North to Chamonix) +33(0)450541736
- Camping les Marmottes - +33(0)450536124


Meteo Chamonix

Meteo Switzerland

Guidebooks and maps


    "Envers des Aiguilles" - Michel Piola, 2006 - in English text throughout

    "Ascensions au pays du Mont Blanc" - Jean-Louis Laroche, Florence Lelong, 2000

    "Mont Blanc les plus belles courses- rocher, neige, glace et mixte" - Philippe Batoux, 2012

    "Mont Blanc & the Aiguilles Rouges" - selected climbs - in English

    "Le topo du Massif du Mont Blanc" by Michel Piola


    - IGN 3531ET St-Gervais les Bains - Massif du Mont Blanc
    - IGN 3630OT Chamonix - Massif du Mont Blanc

    Useful information

    Office du Tourisme de Chamonix - Phone +33 0450 530024

    Office de la Haute Montagne de Chamonix - Phone +33 0450 532208

    Compagnie du MontBlanc Cable-car informations Phone +33 0450 532275


    Refuge Envers des Aiguilles, Mont Blanc GroupMer de Glace and Grandes Jorasses in the backgroundLe Marchand de SableMer de Glace (Mont Blanc group)Petit DruGetting Envers des Aiguilles HutMer de Glace
    Mer de GlaceEnvers des Aiguilles mapTour RougeViews from Refuge Envers des Aiguilles (Mont Blanc Group)Hanging belay, Le Marchand du Sable (Tour Rouge)Tour Rouge"Mont Blanc & the Aiguilles Rouges" selected climbs guidebook
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