Bionnassay Arete - Traverse

Bionnassay Arete - Traverse

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 45.82832°N / 6.81633°E
Additional Information Route Type: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Summer
Additional Information Time Required: A few days
Additional Information Difficulty: AD exposed
Additional Information Grade: III
Sign the Climber's Log


The traverse on the Bionnassay ridge is a great alpine route to the Mnt Blanc, starting in Italy. Its also a slow approach of the mountain, you can get up to the summit without using any transport. The Bionnassay ridge itself is a very narrow snow ridge that connects Aiguille de Bionassay with the Dôme du Goûter. At some points its only one foot wide.

Although the route technically is not too difficult (only for experienced mountaineers), it is very exposed and you need a window with 3 days good weather at least, to climb it. In july 2007 six people died by falling of the ridge, or during bad weather at the start. Extra attention needed for corniche break during the traverse on the ridge.

Getting There / Huts & Map

By car coming from Chamonix France, take E 25 (N 205) direction Les Houches, exit Le Fayet to Saint Gervais. In Saint Gervais les Bains drive direction Les Contamines-Montjoie.

Train station: St Gervais les Bains - Le Fayet station Direct TGV (high speed train)PARIS/SAINT GERVAIS at weekends.

Durier hut - 12 places. Tel hut: 0033 (0)689 53 25 10  Valey: 00 33 (0)450 93 90 05 or (0)450 54 40

Refuge des Conscrits (CAF St-Gervais) - 82 places Gardiens : Xavier et Christine MATTEL Tél. :0033 (0)

Map: IGN 3531 ET St. Gervais les Bains - Massif du Mont Blanc - Les Houches (1:25.000)IGN 3531 ET

Route Description

Mostly done is a three days climb, you can also traverse the Domes de Miages,but you can pass them on the right, staying on the gletcher too. Visit the summit Mnt Blanc and descent by normal route back by train to the village.

day 1

Start at Les Contamines-Montjoie and walk slowly in beautiful surrounding 5h to Refuge des Conscrits (2602m).
Dome de Miage

day 2

Cross NE the gletcher up to the col (3340m) Climb Dômes de Miages NW and follow the icy rock ridge to the NE. The last part has red paint spots that leads to the Durier hut (3358m). Call them in advance!
Durier hut.

day 3

start early,its a long day... and climb the S ridge l'Aiguille de Bionnassay (4052m) and make the traverse on the steep ridge to the Piton des Italiens and Dôme du Goûter. Go to Vallot hut and follow normal route (Bosses ridge) to summit Mont Blanc (4808m).


Essential Gear

Alpine high route: The usual. Crampons, rope 50m, ice axe, ice screw, helmet. Some nuts. Fuel, food and a stove helped us to eat and drink, and to reach the summit, an other team without it blocked at the Vallot hut...