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A3

Pointe Lachenal Contamine Route, 3613m

Varied route with incredible views and great moves - a "must" for all rock climbers!

A beauty! The Pointe Lachenal climb is challenging but not too hard with lots of variation on this pure rock face.

Located half way down the Vallee Blanche traverse, the climbing route offers breathtaking views of Grand Capucin, Dent du Géant, and the east face of Tacul - all the iconic Chamonix peaks. A must if you are a keen rock climber!

Mid-way between the Aiguille du Midi and Punta Helbronner on the Vallee Blanche, Pointe Lachenal Contamines route is one of the great classic Chamonix trad routes - it is usually sunny and is fairly well-protected from the elements.

The Contamines route follows the right side of the South face of Pointe Lachenal. It is mainly crack climbing with two fantastic 6a+ pitches high up, the route is trad climbing but the belays are equipped with bolts.

This is a full day out, usually catching the first "bin" of the day from the Aiguille du Midi, which can be as early as 06:30am during the peak summer months. The climb itself typically takes around 3-4 hours with a gain of 250m, over 8 pitches of maximum 6a+, but you can expect the whole trip to take around 6-8 hours.

Description

Level Requirement

To climb Pointe Lachenal you must be a confident rock climber, either on an indoor climbing wall or preferably with outdoor climbing experience. You need to be able to top rope grades 5 to 5+.

The face is quite steep and the descent is via an abseil, so you need to have some experience in this as well. If you are unsure of your ability we would be happy to have you join us on our Chamonix Granite Rock Climbing Weekend to gain some experience and tuition in techniques such as crack climbing, multi-pitch climbing and rope skills.

Price

450€

Price for the climb for a group of maximum 2 persons 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.

Office Support

Our team is based at the foot of the Aiguille 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.

Group Equipment

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

Not Included

Lift Passes

You will need a lift pass to access the Aiguille du Midi cable car and the Montenvers train, the Mont Blanc Unlimited is the best option as it covers both. We can have this ready for you on request, please don't hesitate to ask us to organise it for you.

Insurance

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

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 persoanlised kit list.

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.

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.

Welcome meeting

You will meet your guide the night before and discuss the route.
Our CHAMEX guide will also check your gear and make sure you have everything that you need. If there is anything that you do not have we can help you organise rental here in Chamonix, please request this in advance so that we can reserve your equipment.

Climbing Day

You will meet your guide at the Aiguille du Midi bottom lift or the guide will pick you up at your accommodation. You should expect an early start and the plan is to jump on the first lift up (around 6.30am).

From the top of the cable car you will walk down the Aiguille du Midi ridge and hike to the bottom of the climb, this takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

We leave the heavy glacier gear at the bottom and we climb light. The climb takes about 4-6 hours with 8 pitches in total. From the top we abseil a direct line down and hike back to the Aiguille du Midi cable car. From the bottom of the South Face of Pointe Lachenal it takes about 1.5 hours to walk back up to the Midi lift. We should arrive back in Chamonix around late afternoon.

Pointe Lachenal Contamines Route Climbing in Chamonix
Pointe Lachenal Contamines Route Climbing in Chamonix
Pointe Lachenal Contamines Route Climbing in Chamonix
Pointe Lachenal Contamines Route Climbing in Chamonix
Pointe Lachenal Contamines Route Climbing in Chamonix
Pointe Lachenal Contamines Route Climbing in Chamonix
Pointe Lachenal Contamines Route Climbing in Chamonix
Pointe Lachenal Contamines Route Climbing in Chamonix
Pointe Lachenal Contamines Route Climbing in Chamonix

Clothing

Mountaineering boots

Mountaineering boots

Warm hat

Warm hat

Light puffer jacket

Light puffer jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Thin gloves

Thin gloves

Gaiters

Gaiters

Sun hat

Sun hat

Climbing shoes

Climbing shoes

Climbing pants

Climbing pants

Technical gear

Ice Axe

Ice Axe

Harness

Harness

Telescopic poles

Telescopic poles

Screwgate carabiner

Screwgate carabiner

60 - 120 cm tape sling

60 - 120 cm tape sling

Belay device

Belay device

Climbing helmet

Climbing helmet

Crampons

Crampons

20-30 litres rucksack

20-30 litres rucksack

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)

Headlamp with fresh batteries

Headlamp with fresh batteries

Pointe Lachenal Contamines Route

Pointe-lachenal-chamonix-climbing-01

The day begins by taking the first lift up in the Aiguille du Midi cable car. From the top station we hike down the ridge of the Aiguille du Midi in the direction of Italy and the Punta Helbronner. The start of the Contamines route is midway, taking about 45 minutes to 1 hour to reach on foot.

The route follows the right side of the South face of Pointe Lachenal and comprises 8 pitches, ranging from 5 to 6b.

Pitch 1: 6b or 5+ 
Pitch 2: 5 
Pitch 3: 5 
Pitch 4: 6a+ 
Pitch 5: 6a+ 
Pitch 6: 3+ 
Pitch 7: 5 
Pitch 8: 4

We leave the heavy glacier gear at the bottom and climb light. It is mainly crack climbing with two fantastic 6a+ pitches high up, trad but the belays are equipped with bolts. The climb takes about 4-6 hours with 8 pitches in total.

Once we've reached the top we abseil a direct line back down. From the bottom of the South Face of Pointes Lachenal it takes about 1.5 hours to walk back up to the Aiguille du Midi cable car station, from where we return to Chamonix for a cold beer to celebrate!