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Grand Mont d'Arêches: Western Ridge and descent via Combe des Cristaux

Climb: From Quefins, after having traversed the Perches ski piste, follow the forest track near spot elevation 1338m, to spot elevation 1543m (turn facing a boxed in narrow part). Go up the left bank of the narrow part, encumbered by sea buckthorn, sometimes tedious in the event of insufficient snow cover. Go up a small steeper slope, continue following the narrow part until it widens (1750m).

At the altitude 1870m, you arrive at a "bridle": go up the right branch (steep but short section). At the flat area, go up the scoop to the SW located exactly at the lower part of the bump 2098m. You pass a colluvium resulting from the bump at the altitude of 2150m, then go back up the dale to the Passage du Dard (2342m).

From Passage du Dart, you reach the base of the ridge on the left. Follow it via some rocks and snow slopes. Halfway up, a first steep pitch is crossed in snow, then by an ice gully in mixed/snow (1 spit at the summit) continue the ridge until an exposed shoulder that you descend until a colluvium. There is a possible escape route on skis in the NW scoop (called Des Cristaux). Follow the ridge which becomes technical and exposed: rope recommended, some spits. The end of the ridge becomes less steep and makes it possible to reach the highest point (2686m). It takes 3 to 5h.

Ascent variant: after point 1543m, continue the track, then reach the neck under the summit 2073m, go back down to Lac Tournant, then go up via the left side of the bump 2098m to join the normal route.

Descent via Combe des Cristaux : from the radio relay, descend the northern facing face, then return above an exposed corridor on the northwest face. Descend between rocky spurs (40-45°, S4, exposed), then traverse towards the left to reach the large more accessible slopes, good for very long wedelns or large freeride curves. You reach the base of the western ridge and descend via the ascent route. It takes 1h to 1h30.

Possible descent variant by the northern scoop.

  • Difficulty: S4 - Difficult (<45°)
  • Danger/Exposure: UNKNOWN
  • Time: 06:00 hours
  • Total climb: 1386 m
  • Total elevation drop: 1386 m
  • Highest altitude: 2686 m
  • Lowest altitude: 1300 m
  • Extra gear: None
  • Lift access: No



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