Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 45.90550°N / 6.92310°E
Additional Information County: Haute Savoie, Monte Bianco group
Activities Activities: Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Seasons Season: Summer
Additional Information Elevation: 9511 ft / 2899 m
Sign the Climber's Log



Tour Rouge 2899 m


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! 

Aiguilles de Chamonix and Mont Blanc seen from Aiguilles Rouges
Aiguilles de Chamonix and Mont Blanc seen from Aiguilles Rouges

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
Tour Rouge
Views from Refuge Envers des Aiguilles (Mont Blanc Group)
Views from Refuge Envers des Aiguilles











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 .

Tour Rouge annotated pano
Tour Rouge annotated pano

Getting There


Envers des Aiguilles map





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).

Routes overview

SE face routes

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.

Mer de Glace (Mont Blanc group)
Mer de Glace seen from the approach
Le Marchand de Sable, Tour Rouge (Mont Blanc Group)
Le Marchand de Sable, Tour Rouge









- 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.


Technical slab on Le Marchand du Sable, Tour Rouge
Technical slab on Le Marchand du Sable


South-West Face

- 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

Mer de Glace

Approach along Mer de Glace

Petit Dru

Petit Dru seen from the shelter

Tour Rouge

Tour Rouge

Red Tape

There are not particulary restrictions in climbing and hiking.

When to climb

Best season is full summer.


Refuge Envers des Aiguilles, Mont Blanc Group

Refuge Envers des Aiguilles m 2523

Refuge Envers des Aiguilles m 2523 C.A.F. (French Alpine Club)
Situation: French side of Mont Blanc Group - Back of Aiguilles de Chamonix
Open: from June 13th to September 13th
Size: 57 persons
Winter-shelter: 12 persons
Guardian: Giusto Evelyne Refuge's phone:

Other accomodation

Chamonix is a primary mountaineering destination, offering several accomodations (hotels, huts, gites, renting rooms). Numberless campsites are situated both in the Northern and Southern ends of the town. Main campsites:
- Camping la Mer de Glace - Les Praz (3 km. North to Chamonix) +33(0)450534403
- Camping les Deux Glaciers - Les Bossons (3 km. South to Chamonix) +33(0)450531584
- Camping les Arolles - close to the centre of Chamonix - +33(0)450531430
- Camping les Cimes - Les Bossons (3 km. South to Chamonix) +33(0)450535893
- Camping Glacier d'Argentière - Argentière (8 km. North to Chamonix) +33(0)450541736
- Camping les Marmottes - +33(0)450536124


Chamonix Meteo
Meteo Switzerland

Guidebooks and maps


"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

Useful information

Office du Tourisme de Chamonix - Phone +33 0450 530024
Office de la Haute Montagne de Chamonix - Phone +33 0450 532208
Compagnie du MontBlanc Cable-car informations Phone +33 0450 532275




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.