South Arete

Page Type
France, Europe
Route Type:
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Time Required:
Half a day
Rock Difficulty:
5.4 (YDS)
Number of Pitches:

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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South Arete
Created On: Jun 13, 2010
Last Edited On: Nov 4, 2011


The south arete offers a combination of scrambling and a short section of technical (5.4, 3b) climbing. It could be considered either an excellent introduction for beginning mountaineers or a relaxing day for more experienced climbers when the weather on the Mont Blanc massif is less favorable. The route finding is straightforward. The technical sections of the route are short and the belay stances are comfortable.

Getting There

See the Getting There section for Aiguille du Belvedere.

Route Description

Grade I / Facile. Easy rock arĂȘte (~200m) with a short (10m) chimney rated 3b. Snow approach in early season.

Ascent: From Flegere (1890m), expect 1 hour to reach Lac Blanc (2352m) and 2 to 3 hours to reach the summit of the Aiguille du Belvedere (2965m). Add 2 hours if hiking from Les Praz / Chamonix.

Ascend west and north-west from the Refuge du Lac Blanc through rocky terrain or snow in early season. It's easiest to pass in between the two lakes and ascend the scree slope to the right of a rocky ridge. After approximately 400m of elevation gain, reach the Col des Dards (2790m) at the start of the south arĂȘte. Scramble on low-angle broken rocks until gaining the start of the ridge. After crossing to the east side on an easy slab, reach a short chimney (3b). Continue to scramble up the ridge, passing rock features on the right or left, until reaching the summit.

Return the same way south to the Lac Blanc and back to Les Praz / Chamonix.

One can also traverse the Aiguille du Belvedere connecting the Col des Dards and Col de Belvedere in either direction or combine an ascent of the Aiguille du Belvedere with other summits in the Aiguilles Rouges.

Essential Gear

Bring a rope (30m), slings, carabiners and helmet. Crampons and ice axe for the approach in early season.

External Links

See the External Links section of the Aiguille du Belvedere.

South Arete

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