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Mont Tondu: Normal round trip route for Tré la Tête glacier.

This description is primarily written for a ski ascent but is also valid for alpinists on foot.


Day 1: Climb to Tré la Tête hotel (1970m, 750m HD) or to Conscrits hut (2605m, 1400m HD). The two days are more equal by climbing to Conscrits refuge. From Cugnon follow the summer trail of Tré la Tête hotel (via Les Plans). Altitude 1970m. 2h00. Continue on the SE side which dominates Glacier de Tré la Tête arm and climb up 70m of HD. Go towards the flat area and then go down to reach the base of the final arm of Glacier de Tré la Tête. This place is known as Mauvais Pas. It is often necessary to take off your skis.  Then go back up the centre of the glacier, then its true right bank. At the level of the ramp marking the ascent trail to the summer refuge, go towards the rocks to avoid a zone of crevasses (seracs of Tré la Grande). You arrive on a flat area that you go up for a distance of 200 or 300m. Here you can see the roof of the refuge on the right bank of the glacier perched 200m above the glacier. You reach it by one of two snoe bowls. The one located before the spur on which the refuge sits, or the one located after the spur (less steep than the first). It takes 2h30 from Tré la Tête. Altitude 2605m.

Warning: on the old maps, the hut indicated is the old Conscrits refuge (at 2730m, 750m further to the east than the new one). The old refuge was demolished.


Day 2: From Conscrits hut, go back to the Glacier via the snow bowl taken the day before, or trending to the left (SE) if the snow cover allows it. Traverse the entire width of the glacier, (almost 500m to the altitude of 2450m,) in the direction of the foot of the slope leading to Col des Glaciers (on the right of the Bosse). Climb to the right under this bump. By an ascending traverse on the right (SW) you reach Mont Tondu glacier. Go up it (passing over the small bulge in its centre, to avoid the sluffs coming from Pointe des Lanchettes) until the small pass between Pyramide Chaplan and Pain de Sucre. Go up the ice cap leading to Pain de Sucre on foot. (In summer a line up the broken rocks to the left might be preferable.) Continue as far as the first summit (3169) requiring a few meters of easy climbing. The real summit (3196), 250m further to the S, is seldom climbed in winter, (airy rock scrambling climbing in summer).


By the same route (without climbing to the Conscrits hut again). Start in S4 then S3.

Descent variants: From the summit of Pain de Sucre, descend the NE face (100m at 45°), then the left bank of Glacier du Mont Tondu (35°) to reach Tré la Tête glacier more directly. N.B.: It is preferable to stay on the right bank of Tré la Tête glacier rather than the left bank (increasingly crevassed at the level of Tré la Grande seracs).

Overall timespan for the second day: 6 hours

  • Difficulty: S4 - Difficult (<45°)
  • Danger/Exposure: E2 - Medium/High
  • Total climb: 2016 m
  • Total elevation drop: 2016 m
  • Highest altitude: 3196 m
  • Lowest altitude: 1180 m
  • Extra gear: None
  • Lift access: No



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