/ Chamonix July safe solo expeditions?

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Alfrede - on 18:06 Wed

I will be in Cham the first two weeks of July with gear but possibly some of the time without a partner. Very experienced and perfectly capable of soloing up to PD but not sure which routes around the area might be safe solos (i.e. No crevasses!) Anyone any suggestions? 

GridNorth - on 18:46 Wed
In reply to Alfrede:

I'm hesitant to make recommendations, I don't know you,  but I've soloed Aig. Du Tour, Mont Blanc up and down via Gouter, Aig. Petite Verte, Cosmiques Arete, Index.

Alfrede - on 20:35 Wed
In reply to GridNorth:

Thanks for the ideas and don't worry, I do know my onions so you won't be putting me at risk! Though you are right to be careful and tentative. I have considered all these and Mont Blanc and index look fine but the grapevine seems to be that approaching the Tour is problematic these days, the Montet lift fire wipes out the safe approach to the Petit Montet and I don't know what Cosmiques will be like after the rock fall. But I only need a couple of routes as I should be able to find partners most if the time. But my thanks for taking the trouble. Good climbing to you, Alf.

Misha - on 21:33 Wed
In reply to Alfrede:

These days there are crevasses all over the place where there weren’t previously. I really wouldn’t recommend soloing around on snow covered glaciers. And I wouldn’t recommend soloing on mixed or rock either due to the risk or things falling on your head - it’s not Stanage...

Niblet on 07:08 Thu
In reply to Alfrede:

I did the Crochues traverse last year, not very long but nice and easy. 

goatee - on 09:51 Thu
In reply to Alfrede:

 Aiguille du Belvédère on the Aiguilles Rouges,

Aiguille Bérangère from Conscrits hut.

Can be done with no glacier crossing.

George.D - on 10:10 Thu
In reply to Alfrede:

Often possible to find partners on the ground in my experience - the cham rock climbers facebook group often works quite well. I have known many people without partner find someone on the night before through that. There are some other threads about this - discretion advised though when climbing with new people as always...

BruceM - on 14:19 Thu
In reply to Alfrede:

Ag Crochues
Ag du Belvedere
Scrambles on ridge around Brevent
Ag Gouter (M Blanc route - short bus to Les Houches biv at low hut in allowed area)
Mer de glace walk (only on dry glacier)
Aiguille Bérangère - train/bus to start
Ag Moine (exposed)
Ag L'M (exposed)
Peaks on rock/mixed ridge behind Albert Prem Refuges

There's a newish VF on the Ag Rouge

From Italy (take bus through tunnel)
Petit Mont Blanc (3 days total from Chamonix)

Just some starters that I always look at.

Have fun.

brunoschull - on 20:01 Thu

Hi Alfrede,

The past 2-3 summers have been very warm in Cham, and the glaciers have been open, with little or no freezing at night.  To each his own, but I would really advise against wandering around on the glaciers alone...I know, it's Cham, and people solo stuff all the time, but people also get injured or killed all the time.

As I'm sure you know, many of the routes mentioned here do involve glacier travel.  There are dangerous crevasses even on "easy" routes like the approach to the Petite Verte and the Cosmiques Arete.  Again, I know, people solo these routes all the time, but there's a crevasse just below the Cosmique hut that I'm told catches many people out (or in), and the guardian of the Cosmique hut for decades apparently has never once walked to the hut unroped.  I saw a solo climber fall completely into a hidden crevasse just a few meters from the heavily tracked trail that leads from the Torino hut over to the Valle Blanche. 

Food for thought. 

I would keep to climbs that involve no glacier travel, and limited exposure to rockfall (which has been high, because of the limited freezing).

Have fun (and stay safe).

Pete Houghton - on 23:15 Thu
In reply to Alfrede:


To add to the Petit Verte suggestion, you can approach it via the north east ridge of the Grands Montets from the Col des Rachasses, which itself can be accessed by going up the track which would be the ski piste around the back of the Grand Mur in the winter, and then turning right when it hits glacier and going straight up to the ridgeline north of the col. This way, you don't touch a shred of glacier until you are on the Petit Verte itself. This makes the whole day much better value for money. Once you get to the top of the Grands Montets, just walk down the stairs as though you'd taken the lift.

Because of the closed cable car, it will be incredibly peaceful up on the Petit Verte for a while, which had a tendancy of being unpleasantly busy.

Post edited at 23:16

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