Simply an amazing collection of gorgeous granite summits along the south side of the Chamonix Valley. Approaches range from 10 minutes to one hour and the possibilities seem endless.
Classic lines include the Frison Roche on the Brevent, any routes on the Aiguille l'Index, Chapelle Gliere, or Clocher-Clochetons. Many of the routes are also reatured in Rebuffat's Mont Blanc Massif: 100 Classic Climbs.
Most of the routes can be approached from either the Le Brevent or Flegere lifts.
Among the summits in this range:
Chappele de la Glière
Aiguille de l'Index:
La Grande Floria
Twin 50m ropes, 12 draws, a small set of nuts and cams in the 1-2.5 range, and a few slings will enable you to climb just about anything in the Aiguilles Rouges. Of course a helmet is also recommended. Many routes can be approached in Teva sandals but a pair of normal approach shoes is better for some of the walkoffs.
These routes can be quite crowded in the summer so get there early and move quick.
Also, you'll see lots of stupid and dangerous things occur at the overcrowded belay stands. Climb safe and wear a helmet.
Guide Books, etc
The best guide books for the area are:
Les Aiguilles Rouges; Escalade au Soleil
Thomas Dulac and Godeefroy Perroux
Available in Chamonix or via Amazon.fr
The Mont Blanc Range Topo Guide
Not as complete as the book listed first but does include some good topos.
Camping, Gites, Eats, and Sheets
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
Groceries available all over Chamonix but the best are:
Alimentation Generale, Rue Aiguille du Midi
Chamonix Saturday Farmer's Market
Casino under the Hotel Alpina