Aiguillette de la Floria

Page Type
Mountain/Rock
Location:
Aiguilles Rouges, France, Europe
County:
Haute Savoie
Activities:
Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Season:
Summer
Elevation:
8366 ft / 2550 m
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Aiguillette de la Floria
Created On: Aug 21, 2017
Last Edited On: Mar 7, 2018

Overview


The  Aiguilles Rouges Massif, in addition to the beauty of the rock and the charm of its spiers, offers an exceptional panorama on the Northern side of Mont Blanc, considered one of the most spectacular views of the whole group. This fact contributes to add more interest to the climb in the Aiguille Rouge massif. The gneiss of Aiguilles Rouges is less rough than the famous Mont Blanc red granite, but it’s rich of sharp holds: the climbing style is very pleasant and technical. 

Mont Blanc Group Northern view annotated pano
Mont Blanc Group Northern view from Aiguilles Rouges


Aiguillette de la Floria is a small but well-identified summit at the foot of the Grande Floria, situated about 15 minutes by walking from the Index chairlift arrival Station, along the Col des Crochues trail. On the South wall of this fine triangle of gneiss there are some interesting routes, among which the very classic  Arête Rouge, incorrectly called in some guide-books and websites as "Eperon Sublime", which runs along the edge that delimits the wall on the left.  The short approach and the situation make it possible to climb when the weather on the Mont Blanc massif is uncertain.

Aiguille Verte and Petit Dru
Aiguille Verte and Petit Dru from Aiguilles Rouges


Getting There

The starting point is Chamonix-Mont Blanc m 1087

Main road approachs

- From  Valle d'Aosta (Italy):  Follow the E25 Motorway  towards Courmayeur, then the Mont Blanc Tunnel to Chamonix (65 km. from Aosta)

- From  Martigny (Switzerland):  Follow the road leading to the Switzerland – France border, then reach the village of Argentiere and   Chamonix  (45 km. from Martigny, 13 km. from the border)                              

- From Geneve (Switzerland):  Follow the E25 Motorway to St. Gervais les Bains, then the RN 205 to Chamonix

Approach to the walk starting point

From Chamonix Mont-Blanc head towards NE and reach the village of Les Praz (3 km. from Chamonix). Take the cable-car to “La Flegere”, then the Index chair-lift. 

Small lake below Aiguillette de la Floria
Small lake below Aiguillette de la Floria

From the Index chair-lift station follow downhill towards right (North) the track to Col des Crochues (some snow until late summer) heading to the left spur of the Aiguillette de la Floria and then skirting its S face. The views over the Aiguilles de Chamonix and Mont Blanc are breathtaking!  15 minutes from the Index station.

Arête Rouge report

Arête Rouge report (French scale)

Summit altitude: 2550 m -  Difficulty 5b+max  - Equipment: equipped belays, some bolts and pegs along the pitches -  Climbing length: 150 m. - Exposure: South - First ascent: Paul Giroud - Thierry Mercier  June 25th, 1974 - Starting point: Index upper station


Short but aesthetic and pleasant route on the elegant pilier on the left edge of the spire. The climb is airy and varied on good quality gneiss. The protections in place may be integrate with cams.


Grandes Jorasses annotated panorama from Aiguilles Rouges
Grandes Jorasses annotated panorama from Aiguilles Rouges


Walking approach

From the upper station of the Index chair-lift, take towards North the almost flat path towards the Col des Crochues which after a small lake starts to skirt the South wall of the Aiguillette de la Floria. Once you reach the left ridge of the tower, where it runs the Arete Rouge, leave the main path and climb up a steep slope of stones getting in a few minutes the base of the ridge. Starting point under a vertical wall (stretched string in a hole).


L1 - Climb two short walls in succession, a spur and a slab to the belay, long pitch. 4c, 45m
L2 - Climb a wall slanting left to a small shelf near the edge, under a short overhanging wall with big but flat holds. Overcome it to the right to a comfortable belay. 5b+, 30 m
L3 - Short pitch on a slab, 3c, 20 m

Arête Rouge, Aiguillette de la Floria
Arete Rouge, Aiguillette de la Floria

L4 - Steep slab, then a dihedral-crack and belay on the pilier's wire, 4c, 30 m
L5 - Airy pitch. Climb a wall to the left of the pillar wire, then an overhang to a comfortable stop over the summit ridge, 5b, 25 m
L6 - Follow the easy crest, 3c, then easy terrain, 50 m, belay near the exit of a chimney- crack

Airy climb on Aiguillette de la Floria
Airy climb on Aiguillette de la Floria

L7 - Downclimb the chimney-crack to get the base of a slab cut by a thin crack, 3c, 10 m.
L8 - Climb the slab (Dalle à Oin-oin), getting the summit of the spier, 5b+, 15 m

Alternatively to get the summit of the spier: from the sixth belay, instead of downclimb the chimney, you can cross the terrace with debris and scramble up some easy rock to the summit cairn, 2b, 45 m

Descent - From the summit cairn downclimb to get the terrace again, traverse the terrace leftward (to the East) for a few tenths of meters to reach an abseil-anchor. After a 30 meters abseil, descent on debris and boulders to the right and reach a track that skirts the South wall of the "aiguillette". This brief track joins the main path just some meters below the start of the climb.

Other routes

On the S face - starting from the Arête Rouge to the right - we find: 

Aiguillette de la Floria summit view
Aiguillette de la Floria summit view

- Les dalles brunes

La plage report (Camp to Camp) - 5b/5b obbl, 120m L1 4c 30m, L2 5b 30m, L3 5b 30m, L4 5a 30m 

Robin Wood report (Camp to Camp) - 6a (5c and A0), 120m L1 5b 40m, L2 5b 30m, L3 5c 30m, L4 6a 40m 

La lampe d'Allardin report (Camp to Camp) - 6a (5c and A0), 120m L1 5a, L2 5b, L3 6a+, L4 6a, L5 5a

Athina report (Camp to Camp)  5b, 120m L1 4c, L2 5b, L3 5b, L4 5a

Red Tape

No restrictions in climbing and hiking, no permits, no fees

When to climb

Aiguille de l'Index
Aiguille de l'Index

Best season goes from the end of June to the end of September.

Where to stay

Admiring the Mont Blanc
Admiring the Mont Blanc

Chamonix is a primary destination, offering various kind of accomodation (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 les Marmottes - +33(0)450536124

- Camping Glacier d'Argentière - Argentière (8 km. North to Chamonix) +33(0)450541736 

Meteo

Meteo Chamonix

Guidebooks and maps

Guidebooks

Les Aiguilles Rouges Guidebook
Les Aiguilles Rouges Guidebook

“Les Aiguilles Rouges – Face au Mont Blanc” by Michel Piola – This guidebook is in English text throughout.

“Alpes Francaises du Nord” by Hervè Galley 

"Mont Blanc & the Aiguilles Rouges" selected climbs guidebook 

Maps

IGN 3630 OT Chamonix 1:25.000

Other info

- Office du Tourism de Chamonix -  Phone +33 0450 530024

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

Flegere-Index cable car info -  Phone +33 0450 532275