Rock climbing the ridge in Italy right up from Graie Alps Aiguille d'Entrèves
Location: Valle d'Aosta / Haute Savoie, France/Italy
The views of the Tour Ronde, the south side of Mont Blanc du Tacul and the Brenva face on Mont Blanc are exceptional
One of my favorite climbs in Italy/France is the Aiguille d'Entrèves Traverse. Here we are with our guide almost to the summit at 11:30AM
We started our journey by car at 6:30AM from Chamonix, through the Mount Blanc Tunnel to our final destination in the car-park in Entrèves near Courmayeur. From Entrèves we took a series of cable cars from La Palud to Punta Helbronner.
Car Park for cable car La Palud - Italy
Transportation is expensive so bring lots of euros. One car in Mont Blanc Tunnel: one-way: €40.90, return: €51.00. The cable car ride up is 38€ round-trip per person.
We exit the cabin / cable car and start our short hike at (3470 m) to the gate.
Here is the end of the pedestrian walkway and the gate to start walking on the snow. At this point you'll need to put on your gear and rope into each other.
You need a climbing harness, rope, crampons for the snow/ice, ice axe, walking polls, backpack with layers for weather, sunglasses, sunblock, food, water and chocolate. Our guide had the more technical climbing tools.
Views are amazing in the valley and along the hike. The weather was perfect for us, too. You should be in good physical shape to do this alpine hike.
The guide we hired for 150.00€ each and was well worth it since he had all the climbing tools. It's a 1.5 hour hike on snow to the start of the climb. The approach does not normally present technical difficulties, but the glacier is crevassed and roped travel is highly recommended.
Camping overnight must be very cold - we saw about 4 to 5 tents along our hike.
Views of the valley while hiking - looking towards France
Views in the valley: Tour Ronde, Mont Blanc, Grande Capucin, Pyramid du Tacul, and Mont Maudit to the Tour Ronde and Grand Capucin
Views in the valley with tents: Tour Ronde, Mont Blanc, Grande Capucin, Pyramid du Tacul, and Mont Maudit to the Tour Ronde and Grand Capucin
Take the crest of the ridge either at the col or further left with easy scramble. Here we start the climb with our guide.
This is considered and 'easy' climb with a head for heights. I would say it is 5.7 rating and we were able to climb in our hiking boots.
Looking back at where we were climbing with an epic view of the Italian alps in the background.
Follow the ridge to the summit. There is a easy downclimb right before going back up to the summit.
From the Aiguille d'Entrèves see the "Dent du Géant" in the background.
Sitting on the ridge of the Aiguilles d'Entreves Traverse waiting for his friends
Taking a break while wait for the other climbers to continue forward... It was a busy day with lots of people on the ridge. Sometimes we had a traffic jam. Self photo of my hiking boots
Summit of Aiguilles d'Entreves. The most interesting climbing is just before the summit where a few easy but very exposed belayed pitches, then lead climb the tiny summit blocks.
Hiking on the side of the ridge of the Aiguilles d'Entreves.
After summit, there is the start of the belayed downclimbing
Descent down the east ridge is mostly easy, but starts with some belayed downclimbing
More photos with beautiful views of Italy and France
More photos of climbing
Photos from the Aiguilles d'Entreves
Finally we drop down on the glacier and have lunch
Typical French climbing food. I cut the bread and the meat before packing it the night before. I forgot to slice the cheese, but it's easily broken off into small pieces. Not shown is my massive bar of chocolate I purchased at the Casino market in downtown Chamonix. Chocolate bars are used in place of 'power bars' and they tasted better, too
After lunch, we start the hike back to the cable car Punta Helbronner to La Palud. Make sure you do not lose your round trip lift ticket. You don't want to pay twice.
Water break and photo time now that we can slow down. Our guide was on fire!
More photos while hiking back with my team mate
Cable car in view. About 1.5 hour walk back in beautiful weather. I can't wait to return and do this hike again.
Louisa (me) with the "Dent du Géant" in the background
The office to book a guide is situated in Chamonix town centre next to the church. The office is on the first floor of the "Maison de la Montagne". Open everyday 09:00-12:00 and 15:00-18:00
You can book all tours there and meet the guides the night before your adventure.