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A2

Cosmiques Ridge

Arete des Cosmiques, climb one of the classic Chamonix alpine routes

The Cosmiques Arete is a spectacular climb that starts and ends at the Aiguille du Midi. It is understandably one of the most popular alpine routes in the Chamonix Valley and is an unmissable experience for any climber.

The Cosmiques ridge offers varied climbing on snow, rock and ice - it is not too difficult but remains interesting. Stepping out through the ice tunnel at the top of the Aiguille du Midi, you will traverse an extremely exposed ridge line with breathtaking views in all directions. There are some challenging sections but all are short and anyone with previous climbing experience should not find them to be too much trouble.

Climbing the Arete des Cosmiques is a fantastic day in one of the most spectacular parts of the Mont Blanc Massif - you'll cross glacial terrain, climb up granite slabs and scale icy couloirs surrounded by towering peaks. The Cosmiques Ridge is a superb varied route which is doable by relative beginners to Alpine climbing, yet is interesting enough to satisfy experienced climbers.

It is possible to climb the ridge year round depending on snow conditions, the most popular time of year to climb the Cosmiques Arete is between June and September.

If you would like to gain some experience before climbing the Arete des Cosmiques we recommend that you take part in either our Chamonix Granite Climbing Weekend or our Introduction to Alpine Climbing Week. Alternatively, you can book a private mountain guide for personal tuition for as many days as you like.

Description

Level Requirements

The Cosmiques Arete climb is graded AD with passages of up to PD+. All the cruxes are short leaving this climb as a perfect introduction route to Alpine mixed climbing. You should have previous climbing experience as this route requires good abseiling and other rope skills. If you are unsure of your ability, please feel free to contact us for advice.

Climbing the Cosmiques Ridge takes about half a day, you will start early in the morning and finish early in the afternoon. We take the Aiguille du Midi cable car up to the summit and then start the approach which is a short 20-30 minute glacier hike, the route finishes back at the Aiguille du Midi lift station from where we will return to Chamonix.

Price

330€

For groups of maximum 2 clients per guide

Course Dates

Any date on demand

Included

Guide Fee

UIAGM / IFMGA mountain guide - a fully qualified and experienced Chamex guide will accompany you for the duration of your trip.

Group Equipment

Ropes, safety equipment, etc will be provided when needed by your guide.

Office Support

Our team is based at the foot of the Aiguillle du Midi cable car and will be happy to help you with any questions you may have before, during or after your trip to Chamonix.

Not Included

Equipment

Please see the "Equipment" tab to find out what you will need. Anything that you do not already have can be rented here in Chamonix, if there is anything you need then please contact us and we will be happy to organise it for you.

For private customised guiding, please contact us directly to confirm your perdoanlised kit list.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you take our Search and Rescue mountain insurance - we can organise this for you on request.

Food & Drink

The price does not include lunch or snacks. You can bring your own food and we can stop for a picnic, or there may be the option to buy lunch at a mountain hut. Please make sure that you are carrying sufficient water and snacks as we will be in the mountains for a number of hours.

Lift Passes

We will advise you on which lift passes you will need prior to your trip. If lift passes are required we can preorder them for you on request.

Accommodation

Accommodation in Chamonix is not included in the price but we would be happy to advise or organise it on request.

Travel to Chamonix

The price does not include flights, airport transfers or any other travel to/from Chamonix. However, we can organise airport transfers for you on request, please contact us for details.

Cosmiques Arete Itinerary

You will meet your mountain guide at the Chamonix Experience office in the morning. Your guide will check that you have the right equipment and then you will take the lift to the Aiguille du Midi, It is best to buy your lift pass in advance to avoid having to queue, we can organize this for you on request.

At the top of the Aiguille du Midi (3842m) you will rope up, put on your crampons and make your way out the ice tunnel to enter the world of alpinists.

The approach begins with a steep and exposed descent of a sharp snow arête. Below this the route levels out and you will make your way beneath the south face of the Aiguille du Midi towards the start of the route at the Refuge des Cosmiques hut. The approach takes about half an hour.

Now the climbing begins, starting with easy mixed terrain. You continue along the route winding up, over and around big rock spires. There are two short abseil sections and a short rock wall to negotiate.

The climbing is easy again with two great last pitches before you make your way up a rickety ladder to where the route finishes on one of the Aiguille du Midi’s observation terraces. You will generally have people watching you and waiting to ask to have their photo taken with you here!

Climb the Cosmiques Arete from Aiguille du Midi
Climb the Cosmiques Arete from Aiguille du Midi
Climb the Cosmiques Arete from Aiguille du Midi

Clothing

Mountaineering boots

Mountaineering boots

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Thin gloves

Thin gloves

Warm hat

Warm hat

Fleece or woollen layers

Fleece or woollen layers

Light puffer jacket

Light puffer jacket

Warm gloves

Warm gloves

Thermal underwear

Thermal underwear

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Climbing pants

Climbing pants

Technical gear

Ice Axe

Ice Axe

Climbing helmet

Climbing helmet

Crampons

Crampons

20-30 litres rucksack

20-30 litres rucksack

Harness

Harness

Screwgate carabiner

Screwgate carabiner

Extras

Sunglasses

Sunglasses

Water bottle (1 litre minimum)

Water bottle (1 litre minimum)

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Refuge des Cosmiques

Cosmiques

The Refuge Cosmique is situated at 3613 metres, high up amongst the glaciers of the Mont Blanc Massif.

Open during summer and winter it is a popular stopping point for mountaineers on their way to climb Mont Blanc.

Access is via the Aiguille du Midi cable car; take the ridge from the top of the lift station and bear right towards the Col du Midi. After about thirty minutes you'll reach the Cosmiques hut tucked amongst the rocks under the Aiguille du Midi.

The traverse to the hut is remarkable; as you step out onto the ridge from the Aiguille du Midi lift station you have a sheer 1000m drop to the left of you with Chamonix town directly below, to your right you have stunning views of the Col du Midi and some impressive crevasses.

Although relatively close to the lift station, the Cosmiques refuge feels very remote and you will be blowm away by the views of the Vallée Blanche, Glacier du Géant, Mont Blanc du Tacul, Mont Maudit, Les Grandes Jorasses and Mont Blanc.

The Cosmiques hut offers access to a lot of climbing routes and is very popular with alpinists, so booking in advance is essential.

Arete des Cosmiques

Arete-des-cosmiques-morse_2328

The Cosmiques Ridge is a spectacular, varied climb that starts and ends at the Aiguille du Midi. It is the perfect introduction to alpine climbing due to the number of techniques needed to complete the climb: mixed climbing, rock climbing, traverses, ridge climbing  and rappels. It is understandably one of the most popular alpine routes in the Chamonix Valley and is an unmissable experience for any climber.

The approach to the Cosmiques Ridge is easily accessed via the Aiguille du Midi cable car from Chamonix. Stepping out at the top of the Aiguille du Midi (3842m) you will rope up, put on your crampons and make your way out the ice tunnel to enter the world of alpinists.

The Cosmiques approach begins with a steep and exposed descent from the Aiguille du Midi down a sharp snow ridge. Below this the route levels out and you will make your way beneath the south face of the Aiguille du Midi towards the start of the climb at the Refuge des Cosmiques hut. The approach takes about half an hour.

Now the climbing begins, starting with easy mixed terrain. You continue along the route winding up, over and around big rock spires. There are two short abseil sections and a short rock wall to negotiate.

The climbing becomes easy again with two great last pitches before you make your way up a rickety ladder to where the route finishes on one of the Aiguille du Midi observation terraces. You will generally have people watching you and waiting to ask to have their photo taken with you here!

Length of the technical section 300m // altitude 3842m // global rating AD // commitment grade II // free climb grade 4a