Tour Rouge is a fine tower of red protogyn granite rising ahead the solid bulk of Grepon and situated on the French side of the Mont Blanc Group in the Envers des Aiguilles group, meaning "the back of Aiguilles". This chain is located on the South-East side of the Aiguilles de Chamonix. While the Aiguilles de Chamonix are well visible from the town and from the group of Aiguilles Rouges just in front of, the Envers des Aiguilles group is completely hidden if from Chamonix. It's a wonderful setting designed by the superb surroundings: Grandes Jorasses, Drus, Aiguille Verte. The Envers des Aiguilles is one of the biggest climbing spots in Europe: superb routes of all levels. Just a Paradise for climbing in a beautiful mountain atmosphere!
Tour Rouge superb walls had been discovered at the beginning of the Eighties; now the tower has several challenging routes, very desirable in reason of the first-class granite and the beauty of climbing. Among these routes the classic one and most attended is “Le Marchand de Sable”.
Tour Rouge’s reputation is also due to its extraordinary setting and its closeness to the Refuge "Envers des Aiguilles", from which it is quickly approached crossing briefly the Glacier Trelaporte .
From Chamonix Mont Blanc by rack-railway to Montenvers m. 1909. Descend to gain the Mer de Glace and rise along the glacier in the direction of the well visible face of Grandes Jorasses, reaching the first large ice-terrace on the glacier. Near a big yellow arrow painted on a rock on the glacier left orographical side it starts the path to the Refuge Envers des Aiguilles. The shelter is situated in a panoramic position on the last promontory of Aiguille de Roc (2,30 hours from Montenvers).
The sunny walls of the beautiful Tour Rouge are facing the Refuge Envers des Aiguilles and are quickly accessible from the shelter. However care must be taken because the approach needs ice axe and crampons to cross the glacier at the base of the wall. Different superb and challenging routes had been realized on this wall. The most classic and affordable route is Le Marchand de Sable. In full summer the route is getting the sun since eight o’clock.
- Copie Carbone ED+, 6c+, sup. 300 m., 9 pitches - G. Hoparterre, M. Piola 1984 - A nice line, low frequented in reason of some mossy rock
- Chloé ED, 6b+ 300 m., 10 pitches - Long and sustained route, mainly on crack. Excellent rock, equipped belays and few pegs in place.
- L'alchimie du temps qui passe ED-, 6b+ (6a obbl), 340 m., 11 pitches - A lot of cracks and Dülfer, bring 1 set of friends and 1 set of nuts, micro-friend are useful
- Dracula ED, 6c (6b+ obbl.), 330 m., 9 pitches - Starting common with Marchand de Sable, then route takes place on the left. Remarkable rock, beautiful and abrasive, needs a good set of friends and wires # 3
- Le Marchand de Sable TD sup., 6a+ 300 m., 10 pitches - G. Hopfgartner, M. Piola 1983 - See the report route at the dedicated page
- Tentative de coup d'ethique ED, 7a+ (6a obbl), 290 m., 9 pitches - M. Piola, P.A. Steiner 1984 - Starting on the right of Marchand de Sable, bring a set of nuts and friends.
- Hasta-Luego ABO inf., 7a+ 250 m., 6 pitches P. Camison, P. Grenier, J.P. Villanova 1983
- Attends toi a la pudeur ABO inf., 7a+, 250 m., 8 pitches. M. Piola, P.A. Steiner 1984
Descent: the descent from the summit is done abseiling the route climbed
"Envers des Aiguilles" - Michel Piola, 2006 - in English text throughout
"Ascensions au pays du Mont Blanc" - Jean-Louis Laroche, Florence Lelong, 2000
"Mont Blanc les plus belles courses- rocher, neige, glace et mixte" - Philippe Batoux, 2012
"Mont Blanc & the Aiguilles Rouges" - selected climbs - in English
"Le topo du Massif du Mont Blanc" by Michel Piola
- IGN 3531ET St-Gervais les Bains - Massif du Mont Blanc
- IGN 3630OT Chamonix - Massif du Mont Blanc