South Face, Rebuffat

Page Type
Mont Blanc, France, Europe
Route Type:
Trad Climbing
Spring, Summer, Fall
Time Required:
Half a day
TD, Rock UIAA 6 or 5/A1, 5.10a

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Page By:
South Face, Rebuffat
Created On: Jan 28, 2002
Last Edited On: Nov 2, 2010

The Rébuffat route is the original line that renowned climber Gaston Rébuffat and Maurice Baquet climbed on their first ascent of the prominent south face of the Aiguille du Midi (12,605ft/3,842m) on July 13th 1956. Today, this classic route is one of the most popular climbs in the region.

Aiguille du Midi. The route climbs the south face (right)
of the obvious pillar on the right.
Working the "S"-fissure.

Here's an enjoyable video report of the climb.

When to climb

Mainly summer months. Likely out of condition after recent snowfall, but in warm and sunny weather the route dries quickly.
The route is climbed often and can become pretty crowded, so an early start is advisable.


Regular descent down the exposed Aiguille du Midi east ridge and down to the flats on the glacier on the south side of the Aiguille du Midi. Straight up to base of the wall from there. Watch for bergschrunds!

Route Details

On the crux pitch

For the time being refer to the topo on the left and to guide books (see below). Note that route finding is a bit intricate in the upper sections.

Either rappel back down (plenty of anchors to pick from) or climb around the top of the pillar to the sightseeing platform behind it.
When rappeling, keep in mind that the route ascents the wall slightly diagonally to the left, so try to move slightly to the right to get back to the base of the route. Otherwise you may end up climbing snow in rock climbing shoes right next to large crevasse.

Guide Books

  • The Mont Blanc Massif: The 100 Finest Routes (Gaston Rébuffat) (several editions)
    ISBN 0898864771 (at
  • Mont Blanc Massif: Selected Climbs (Lindsay Griffin) (Volumes I and II, ISBN 0900523573 and 0900523581)
Below the roof after the first pitch.
Mont Blanc du Tacul in the background.
Mont Blanc du Tacul (left) and the gendarme on the
Cosmiques ridge (right) in the background.