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.
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.
Technical Information:Difficulty rating: AD, 4a (4c crux) Elevation min/max : 3550 m / 3842 m height difference: +300 m / -300 m Difficulties height difference: 240 m Difficulties start altitude: 3600 m