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.
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!