NW Flank and SW Ridge (Normal)

Page Type
Wallis (Arolla), Switzerland, Europe
Route Type:
Mountaineering, Scrambling
Time Required:
Most of a day
PD Snow / Glacier / Scramble

Route Quality: 5 Votes

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NW Flank and SW Ridge (Normal)
Created On: Oct 26, 2003
Last Edited On: Apr 30, 2009
Mont Blanc de CheilonThe route starts at the right side of the photo (Col de Cheilon)
and climbs just over the right skyline.

Mont Blanc de CheilonView up from Col de Cheilon


The Northwest Flank and Southwest Ridge is the normal route on the mountain and the usual descent route. It is a scenic, popular and frequently climbed route without much difficulty in normal conditions, but snow and ice on the Southwest Ridge can complicate the ascent considerably.


Mont Blanc de CheilonBeginning of the route

The route begins at the Col de Cheilon (3243 m) that is most easily reached from the Dix Hut with a straightforward one-hour walk across the Cheilon Glacier and up its moraines on a good track.

See the main page for the routes to the Dix Hut.

Route Description

Mont Blanc de Cheilon from the Col de CheilonApproximate line of the route from Col de Cheilon

From the Col de Cheilon climb an obvious rock rib or the snow slopes immediately adjacent to it to the glacier above. Ascend this (crevasses) to the obvious saddle in the Southwest Ridge, which is then followed to the summit. Climbing on the Southwest Ridge is normally mixed snow and rock, which can be icy and / or heavily corniced depending on the time of year and conditions.

If conditions are poor, it is possible to continue a short ways past the Col de Cheilon and climb to the saddle on the glacier all the way via more gently slopes.

Climbing Photos

Mont Blanc de CheilonLow on the route
Mont Blanc de CheilonAt start of SW Ridge
Starting up the Southwest...Starting the SW Ridge

Mont Blanc de CheilonClimbing on SW Ridge
Mont Blanc de CheilonClimbing on SW Ridge
SW Ridge Mont Blanc de CheilonClimbing on SW Ridge

Essential Gear

Normal glacier travel equipment.