North Ridge

Page Type
Valle D'Aosta / Haute Savoie, France/Italy, Europe
Route Type:
Time Required:
Most of a day

Route Quality: 4 Votes

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North Ridge
Created On: Feb 17, 2004
Last Edited On: Mar 4, 2006

Historical Notes

1st ascent: Riccardo Cajrati Crivelli, Maria e Giorgio Mazzucchi with Laurent and Joseph Croux, Cesar Ollier and Alexis Brocherel - Jul 25, 1901


The route is approached via the Estelette (or Hess) bivouac hut (2958 m.)

Route Description

From the Hess hut, follow the easy rock ridge above, crossing some obstacle always on the left (Estelette side, quite exposed). After 20 minutes, you'll reach the upper Lex Blanche glacier plateau (3030 m.) Cross the glacier under the massive east face of the Aiguille Des Glacier, until you reach the easy snow slope (some rock) coming down from the Col De La Scie (3615 m., 3 hours from the Hess hut).

At the col, turn left and climb the easy snow ridge (great view on the two sides) until you reach the a shoulder (3706 m.), with a small col, that dominates a little glacial basin on the other side, between the summit ridge of the Aig. Des Glacier and a snow dome called Dome Des Glacier (check the map!). Ignore the steeper section of the ridge to your left, and make a sligthly ascending traverse until you reach the first evident couloir (always to your right). Follow this easy couloir to the summit ridge, then simply follow it to the summit (some easy scrambling). 2 hours from the Col De La Scie, and 5 from the Hess hut.

To descend, use the normal route: from the top simply go down an evident couloir on the S side that reaches the glacier below and the little basin described above. From here, turn left (south) and go down until you reach a small col at 3030 m. Afterwards, simply stay on the left until you reach the Col De La Seigne (2514 m.), then left again on the TMB path until you're back to the Elisabetta Hut (3 hours from the summit)

Essential Gear

The usual Mt. Blanc clothes, plus longs shafted axe, rope and crampons.

Bring always a good map, a compass and an altimeter!!

Miscellaneous Info

This is an extremely pleasant intermediate difficulty route, and a good way to get accustomed to the MB massif environment. While not the easiest route to the Aig. Des Glacier summit, it's definitely one of the most satisfying.

However, don't underestimate the risk of this kind of route. You must know how to travel roped on a glacier, how to use crampons and axe, and have basic navigation abilities. In doubt (as usual) consider using a mountain guide - for more info

North Ridge

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