One of Chamonix Aiguilles' most frequented summits. First ascended in 1906 by G. Liegard, R. O'Gorman, J. Couttetand, and J. Ravanel.
Looking up from Chamonix, you can't help but notice this aiguille standing like a pawn in front of the Pelerins. At some point while taking the lift up to the Aiguille du Midi, you look off to your left and see this elegant piece of granite and make a mental note to give it a look next time you want to do a one day route while the higher objectives are socked in.
Why wait any longer? The Aiguille du Peigne (The Comb Needle - since the summit is shaped like a comb) features numerous routes for a variety of skill levels side. Most routes dry out quickly after poor weather.
See the map under the overview photos for more details on the approach.
Its an easy train ride to Chamonix since there are direct trains from Paris, Geneva, and several major cities. If you take the train from Geneva to Chamonix, beware that the Geneva train station is *not* the central station. You need to cross half the city to get to a small (grass overgrown) station from where the train to Chamonix departs (thanks to RBI for this key tip).
There is a station in central Chamonix and everything is within easy walking distanced. Your starting point for most climbs will be cable cars and/or the Montenvers mountain train. Public transportation is practical in the Chamonix Valley. If you have a car, it is quite difficult to park downtown due to tourists.
Here are some photos of the kind of climbing you can expect on "the comb."
When To Climb
The Peigne can be in good shape most of the year but most ascents are made during the April-September timeframe.
This is a one day peak so I've listed valley camping and hostel options.
Camping Close to the train station:
Grass, no frills. Like a United Nations of climbers spot:
T: +33 (0)4 50 53 14 30
F: +33 (0)4 50 53 14 30
Hostel/Gite situation on west end of town (with built-in pub) :
(Mainly English speaking crowd) Run by Irishman from Wessex:
365, av Ravanel le Rouge
T: +33 (0)4 50 53 15 43
F: +33 (0)4 50 53 15 43
Hostel/Gite 500m east of Gare SNCF (Train station)
(Mainly continental european crowd):
Le Chamoniard Volant
45 route de la Frasse
T: +33 (0)4 50 53 14 09
F: +33 (0)4 50 53 23 25
The Peigne stays pretty dry through most of the year but most climb it from April-October. Check at the Office du Haute Montagne by the church downtown for the latest beta on route conditions.
Naked sunbathing on the Plan De L'Aiguille
Just watch out for the marmot poop before you pick a spot to lay down.