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Traverse
Route

Traverse

 
Traverse

Page Type: Route

Location: France, Europe

Lat/Lon: 45.99450°N / 7.01020°E

Object Title: Traverse

Route Type: Mountaineering

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Time Required: Half a day

Rock Difficulty: Class 4

Difficulty: F

Grade: II

Route Quality: 
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Page By: alpinpete

Created/Edited: Jul 10, 2010 / Nov 4, 2011

Object ID: 636558

Hits: 1924 

Page Score: 72.08%  - 2 Votes 

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Overview

The traverse begins at the Albert Premier Refuge and leaves the traditional approach at the Signal Reilly and gains two consecutive cols around the north side of the Aiguille du Pissoir. Because this route is not often visited, you may be lucky to have the north side to yourself, something that will further add to the wilderness feel of the surroundings. High mountain views around the north and east sides are excellent.


Getting There

Start at the village of Le Tour (1462 m). One can take a trail up to the Refuge Albert Premier (2702 m) or get mechanical assistance by way of the Charamillon and Col de Balme chairlifts. From the top of the second chairlift (2180 m) take the obvious trail heading around the hillside south around the Lac de Charamillon. After rounding a bend, follow the moraine path up to the Refuge Albert Premier, sitting on the hill above the glacier. 2 to 4 hrs, depending on whether lifts are used.


Route Description

Difficulty
Grade II / Facile. Glacier travel on slopes up to 40° with some easy rock scrambling. Descending the southerly route in late season may be difficult due to the bergschrund.

Time
Ascent: From Albert Premier Refuge (2702 m) to the Aiguille du Tour summit (3542 m) expect 3 to 4 hours. Descent: 2 hours.

Ascent
From the Albert Premier Refuge, follow cairns east over boulders or snow to the Tour Glacier (20 minutes from the hut). Continue ascending east passing around the north side of the Signal Reilly (2883 m). From here, ascend the glacier north-east passing by the West Ridge of the Aiguille du Tour. Gain the Col du Midi des Grands (3235 m) by climbing the slope of scree or snow. From the Col du Midi des Grands, traverse along a left-leaning slope east to reach the second col connecting the Aiguille du Pissoir and the Pissoir. Continue south from here along the Trient plateau, passing next to the Aiguille du Pissoir and the North Summit of the Aiguille du Tour to join the Normal Route to the South Peak. 2 to 3 hours from the hut.

From the base of the South Peak of the Aiguille du Tour, cross the bergschrund and ascend one of the three summit block variations. Most parites opt for the diagonally sloping ledge for easy scrambling. The other variations include a short gulley between the south and north peaks followed by the ridge crest or directly up the south ridge (moves of 3b, steep and exposed but with good holds).

Descent
From the bergschrund, head southeast and then south, passing by the Aiguille Purtscheller (3289 m) and descending to the Col Superieur du Tour (3289 m). Cross the col and continue going west, descending to the Signal Reilly and back to the refuge. 2 hours from the summit.


Essential Gear

Crampons, ice axe, rope (50 meters may be needed for the bergschrund), one or two ice screws, two or three slings and a few carabiners.


External Links

Accommodation
Refuge Albert Premier Tel: +33(0)4.50.54.06.20

Transport
Domaine de Balme: Le Tour - Charamillon - Col de Balme

Maps
French Geographic Institute (IGN) 1:25,000 map Number 3630 OT "Chamonix massif du Mont Blanc"

Weather
Chamonix Meteo

Route Conditions
Office de Haute Montagne (OHM)


Time to Go

This route can be done in spring, early summer or even in winter on skis.


Images

Aiguille Purtscheller on descent of Aiguille du TourSouth Ridge of Aiguille du TourDescending the North Ridge of Aiguille du TourView from Aiguille du Tour summitTraverse of Aiguille du TourDescending to Col Superieur du Tour from Aiguille du TourSouth Peak of Aiguille du Tour
Descending to Albert Premier Refuge from Aiguille du Tour