The great Petit Dru to the Grand Dru traverse is a serious and committed route, a true monument of mountaineering.

TRAVERSE OF THE DRUS (3754M)

Challenging route, Petit Dru – Grand Dru traverse

   

Expert tech level

 

Physical fitness 5/5

 

2 days of climbing

 

1 night in a mountain hut

 

Guiding ration 1:1

 

Available June - July

The Drus is an immense granite face towering over the Chamonix Valley. 

The smaller neighbour to the Aiguille Verte , it is impressive and imposing. The 900m west face is steep, technical, and a stunning complement to one of the six great north faces of the Alps – recognised for it’s significance in the birth of modern mountaineering. 

The Drus has two separate summits: The Grande Aiguille du Dru (3754m) and Petite Aiguille du Dru (3733m), connected by the Breche du Dru (3697m). 

The traverse, first completed in 1901, remains a serious and committing route – a true test for experienced alpinists. 

While the climbing is quite technical and physical in places, the true challenge lies in combining the climbing, length, terrain complexity, altitude, and level of commitment. 

Our Chamex mountain guides will be delighted to climb this truly iconic route with you!

Itinerary

D1 – Hike up to the Charpoua hut (2841m)

Your guide will either pick you up from your accommodation or meet you at the Montenvers train station to take the train up to the top station. This is where the adventure begins. Quick climb down the ladders leading to the Mer de Glace glacier and hike up to the Charpoua hut (2841m) where we stay for the night. (about 3h30)

D2 – Climb the traverse of the Drus (3754m)

Very early start, we wake up at 1am. We head towards the Charpoua glacier, which we quickly cross towards the foot of the S face of the Drus where we can take off our crampons.  The first part of the climb, with relatively easy passages, leads to the brèche des Flammes de Pierre. This is where the more technical climbing starts with some fairly physical passages to reach the summit of Petit Dru (about 6h from the start of the climb). Two more hours of climbing and we should reach the summit of the Grand Dru. The descent is long with several abseils – it will bring us back to glacier from where we quickly get back to the Charpoua hut. 

We can return to Chamonix the same day. Alternatively, to avoid the pressure to catch the last train to Chamonix,  we can stay in the hut for another night to relax after the climb and enjoy the mountain views. The mission is completed, the dream fulfilled.

Level Requirements

Technical level

This climb is for highly experienced mountaineers. You need to be comfortable, confident and fast, climbing granite up to 6a in mountaineering boots with a backpack. You need to have very good rope skills and expert abseiling skills. You also need experience in glacier travel skills (walking on crampons).

Physical level

You need excellent physical fitness and stamina to climb with confidence and good speed for about 12 hours. The climbing is fairly physical and technical. You also need to be acclimatized for this climb. 

Equipment

Clothing

Mountaineering boots

Mountaineering boots

Warm hat

Warm hat

Fleece or woollen layers

Fleece or woollen layers

Light puffer jacket

Light puffer jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Warm gloves

Warm gloves

Thin gloves

Thin gloves

Gaiters

Gaiters

Sun hat

Sun hat

Climbing pants

Climbing pants

Technical gear

Ice Axe

Ice Axe

Climbing harness

Climbing harness

3 x Screwgate carabiner

3 x Screwgate carabiner

Belay device

Belay device

Climbing helmet

Climbing helmet

Crampons

Crampons

Lanyard

Lanyard

60 cm tape sling or cordelette for prusik

60 cm tape sling or cordelette for prusik

30l backpack

30l backpack

Other essentials

Sunglasses

Sunglasses

Water bottle - Ideally two 1L bottles

Water bottle - Ideally two 1L bottles

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Headlamp with fresh batteries

Headlamp with fresh batteries

Sleeping bag liner - lightweight

Sleeping bag liner - lightweight

Included or not

Included

Mountain hut

1 night in a mountain hut with breakfast and dinner 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.

Lift passes

The cost of any lift access that is required during the course for the itinerary described above. 

Not Included

Personal Equipment

Please see the "Equipment" tab to find out what you will need on this trip / course.  For private customised guiding, please contact us directly to confirm your personalised 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.

Insurance

Travel insurance including a mountain search and rescue insurance is mandatory on all our trips (we can organise the mountai search and rescue insurance for you on request). We highly advice to have a policy covering the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation. When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

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