Three Monts traverse

Three Monts traverse

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 45.83270°N / 6.86430°E
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Jul 20, 2006
Activities Activities: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Summer

Start point: Aiguille du Midi

The top station of the Aiguille du Midi cable car is on the northern summit of the mountain. It is connected to the snow tunnels on the southern summit by a footbridge. The left-hand tunnel leads out onto the east-north-east ridge (3775m). This is the ridge that goes down into the upper basin of the Vallee Blanche.

Auiguille du Midi

Exitting Aiguille du Midi

Descend of the East Ridge (3670m)

This ridge forms the crest between the impresive north face of the Aiguille du Midi (Chamonix site) and the steep slopes of the south face (Valle Blanche side). The constant passage of climbers usually prouces a good track, but the first few metres can still be quite daunting. The descend requires care and the less experienced may want to use a rope, especially for the first few metres, which are quiet steep and narrow. The slope gradually eases until i reaches a flat area from where a track fors right towards the Col du Midi. A short detour is often necessary to avoid a crack before heading back towards the Col du Midi.

Descend to Col du Midi
Aiguille du Midi behind

From Col du Midi to the Mont Blanc

Mont lanc du Tacul
We woke up at 2am. Sky was clear full of stars and also quite cold -11C (12F). Some of the people probably coudn't sleep and were already on the track while we were making some tea and eating couple of energy bars. I had to share my sleeping bag together with my boots and bottle of water - otherwise it would be frozen.

Reaching Mont Blanc du Tacul wasn't tough, snow was hard and we knew the route from previous day. With head-torches it is pretty visible. Just watch out for two crevasses and some seracs. From Mont Blanc du Tacul, descend easy slopes of the Col Maudit and then continue towards the north-facing slopes below Maudit (30min).

Mont Maudit

Go past a line of seracs and then go straight up the slope. There are two crevasses, first is followed by a short wall, the scond by the summit slopes. Crossing this second one sometimes involves some steep awkward climbing.

Mont Maudit climb

When we were, there was a fixed rope attached to the stones above, which you could easily hold on to with your left hand and work your way up with ice-axe in your right hand. From Col du Maudit, traverse the south-west flank of Mont Maudit descending slightly towards the Col de la Brenva (south). Go across the crevasse and then climb up to the Col de la Brenva (30mins). From here, you can easily reach the summit of Mont Blanc. (1h 30mins - 2h). I have to admit. at this part we could feel the altitude and tiredness caused by long movements above 4OO0m. We reached the summit at around 12 a clock, which was almost empty, because all the people from ordinary route were already gone.

Brenva valley

Knowing that reaching the summit is only half the way of journey, we took some pictures and quickly started our way back. Time at our tents - 8:30pm. Last cable car was gone, so we managed to stay second night there. After such a long trip, we slept like a babies even the night was cold again. It is possible to do the whole trip in one day and return with last cable car down to Chamonix, but you have to move quickly without long stops (like we did for taking pictures etc.). Total it took us 17 hours instead of 14 as the guide book says.

Fro more pictures about this trip, visit


Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-7 of 7
Nigel Lewis

Nigel Lewis - May 16, 2007 7:37 pm - Hasn't voted

Good page

A good guide with some interesting personal account and informative pictures.Thanks for the submission.


Jan Virt

Jan Virt - May 20, 2007 2:44 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Good page

Hi Nigel,
thank you. I hope it helps to all the people thinking about climbing MB via this route.


JanG - Nov 15, 2007 5:00 pm - Voted 10/10

Great trip report

Very clear description of an awesome tour. A couple of questions: why didn't you stay at the Cosmiques hut? It would have been warmer and the gear that you left behind would have not been frozen when you returned.
Re:the second picture, was that your bivouac/tent site?

Again, congratulations to your achievement!


Jan Virt

Jan Virt - Dec 7, 2007 3:42 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Great trip report

Hi Jang,
thank you for your comment. The only reson we didn't stay in the Cosmiques was, we wanted to truly enjoy the mountains and there is nothing better then laying in your tent and watching stars above while going to sleep and also when you wake up, not mentioning the awsome silence. When we came back, our gear wasn't actually frozen as we returned, the sun was still up.
The second picture here, is exit/enter to the lift from Chamonix. It is kind of tunnel, first made in ice and then continous as concrete tunnel to the lift area. Camp site is close to Cosmiques hut and can be seen on my web pages at Cheers, Jan.


JanG - Dec 8, 2007 2:25 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Great trip report

Unfortunately I cannot read the text because of language barriers. Which is the link to the photos?

Looking again at the pictures they are great and you should be congratulated for a clear sequence of the route. Incidentally, at the time I did the three summits in 1998 (you can read my trip report at SP) we descended the standard route to Nid d'Aigle and thus compared the two routes. The 3 Monts traverse is definitely much more interesting. Did you try that route?


Jan Virt

Jan Virt - Dec 10, 2007 6:49 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Great trip report

Jan, I have pages translated to english as well. Just click on english flag icon or go directly here:

I haven't tried the standard route yet as I am scared of all those people and crowds there :-) If going to Mont Blanc again, I would try the south face, especially Tournette Spur.


radoskier - Jun 3, 2011 9:42 am - Hasn't voted


Great post with very informative pictures. Planning on doing this route and now I feel like I've been on it already! Damn you!

Viewing: 1-7 of 7



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.