OverviewTour 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.
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 overviewTour 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.
- 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.
- 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
Red TapeThere are not particulary restrictions in climbing and hiking.
When to climbBest season is full summer.
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: 06.76.52.61.17
Other accomodationChamonix 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.
- 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
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 informationOffice 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