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Aiguille d'Argentière: West flank and NW Ridge (Whymper route)

Historic route, replaced by the glacier du Mileu

Route

Follow the itinerary for the ‘col du Chardonnet’ until a  plateau at 3050m. Loop around to the right towards the upper Chardonnet glacier.
Climb this glacier to its bergschrund  (~3500m, can be awkward) then follow the most obvious gully (“Couloir en X”), that gives access to the NW ridge of  Aiguille d'Argentière at around 3650m.
Follow this ridge to a rocky outcrop around 3750m. Go onto the N face and climb a large steep slope (often icy unfortunately) which gives access to the W summit of  the Aiguille d'Argentière.

Descent

By the same route, (two 50m abseils down the ice slope and another abseil over the bergschrund,) or by the ‘glacier du Milieu’.

  • Difficulty: S5 - Very difficult (40-50°)
  • Danger/Exposure: E2 - Medium/High
  • Time: 06:00 hours
  • Total climb: 1350 m
  • Total elevation drop: 1350 m
  • Highest altitude: 3901 m
  • Lowest altitude: 2550 m
  • Extra gear: None
  • Lift access: No

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