The Mont Blanc de Cheilon forms the end of the Val des Dix . It has a beautiful pyramidal form with its clear-cut north face. It's a rewarding, easy summit via the normal routes and a difficult challenge via the north face. Especially the traverse from the Col de la Serpentine to the Mont Blanc de Cheilon is recommended (perhaps in combination with the Pigne d'Arolla). Both summits of the normal routes are often the goal of ski mountaineers during the winter and late spring.
The pyramid of the Mont Blanc de Cheilon has a quite severe N-face which is framed by two sharp rock ridges and is the reason for its elegant silhouette. The summit ridges often have snow and cornices.
During the past 30 years, most north faces of the Walliser Alps have changed very much due to warmth and drought, including the north face of the Mont Blanc de Cheilon. In former times, the north face had snow and ice all year with only a few rocks showing near the summit. Today during summer, the only ice is in the big couloir in the middle of the face.
If the snow conditions are good and the snow amount adequate, climbing the N-face is not too difficult. You only get into difficulties in the upper part if there is no snow, because the rocks are loose. Therefore, during the past years, many new routes have been opened which exit the face to the ridges.
In contrast to these problems, the ridges have rock that is mostly very good with good opportunities for belays.
Cabane de Dix is the base for most climbs.
This is merely a listing of the more popular routes. Consult a guidebook for more details.
1. W-flank and SW-ridge (normal route):
L, UIAA I, 950 vertical meters, 4 to 4 1/2 h from the Dix hut.
2. E-ridge (traverse from Col de la Serpentine):
ZS, UIAA III, 330 vertical meters, 4 h to 4.5 hours from the Dix Hut
3. NW-ridge (Gallet-ridge):
ZS,UIAA IV, 942 vertical meters from the hut (the ridge is 670 vertical meters), 3-5 hours total.
4. NNE-ridge (Jenkins-ridge):
ZS+, UIAA IV, 942 vertical meters from the hut (The ridge is 830 vertical meters), 4-6 hours total.
SS, UIAA V with ice and snow to 57°, (during recent years much less snow),942 vertcal meters (The face 670 is vertical meters.), 6-8 h total.
Swiss topographic maps:
1:25000 no. 1347 Matterhorn and 1346 Chanrion
1:50000 no. 283 Arolla
Weather and Avalanche information
The last maintainer of this page and early SummitPost member Rahel Maria Liu died 24/25 August 2004 after being caught in a freak snowstorm while attempting to climb the Innominata Spur on the southern (Italian) face of Mont Blanc. She was only 34 years old.