The Mont Tondu is situated at the far SW end of the Mont Blanc Massif. It rises above the Tré-la-Tête Glacier on the N side and la Ville-des-Glaciers on the S side. Although it's a rather low summit and fairly insignificant next to his big neighbours in the Mont Blanc Massif, it has several interesting routes on its flanks.
The normal route coming from the Tré-la-Tête Glacier passes over the snowy NE FLank and ends on the Pain de Sucre (3169m), a foresummit of the Mont Tondu. From there the real summit is reached in half an hour over easy rocks. Excellent tour to get back into it at the beginning of the season.
A nice 3-day round trip is to climb the Mont Tondu in combination with the Dôme de Neige des Glaciers
, the Aiguille de la Lex Blanche
or the Aiguille des Glaciers
, starting from les Contamines-Montjoie. The first day, one can hike to the Refuge des Conscrits. The second day is to attempt the Dôme de Neige des Glaciers and the Aiguille de la Lex Blanche or the Aiguille des Glaciers and descend to the Refuge Robert Blanc. The third day leads to the Mont Tondu and back to les Contamines-Montjoie.
- NE Flank from the Tré-la-Tête Glacier - F (half a day)
- NE Ridge from the Col du Tondu - PD (half a day)
- Arête des Chasseurs from the Col des Chasseurs - PD (half a day)
- NW Flank from the Lacs Jovet - F (half a day)
- E Couloir + SE Ridge - AD (half a day)
There are several starting points to climb the Mont Tondu. One option is to park the car at le Cugnon, a small settlement to the south of les Contamines-Montjoie. From here one can reach the Tré-la-Tête Hut
(Private - 1970m - 85 places - Phone: 0033 (0)450 47 01 68) in 2 1/2 hours or the Conscrits Hut (CAF - 2580m - 84 places - Phone: 0033 (0)479 89 09 03) in 4 hours. Another option is to start from la Ville-des-Glaciers (or les Chapieux), from where the Robert Blanc Hut (Private - 2750m - 45 places - Phone: 0033 (0)479 07 24 22) is reached in 3 hours.
When To Climb
The Mont Tondu can be climbed almost all the time of the year. The snowy slopes on the NE Flank are accesible with tourskis in winter and spring. The rock ridges can be climbed as soon as the snow has melted. The E Couloir has the best condition during late spring and early summer, when there is still enough snow in the couloir, but no snow on the rocks of the SE Ridge to complete the climb to the summit.
No red tape is required to climb the Mont Tondu. To all visitors, make sure it keeps that way. Off course it's also recommended to be a member of an alpine club to be insured for rescue in case of an emergency. There is a fee to park the car at le Cugnon.