« Climbing Aiguille Verte makes an alpinist become a mountaineer ! » These famous words were pronounced by Gaston Rébuffat. They undoubtedly contributed to the fame of this legendary peak.
From the village of les Praz one can easily admire the Aiguille Verte, definitely one of the most elegant and imposing peak of the Mont Blanc massif and throughout the Alps!
It was first conquered by the famous British alpinist Edward Whymper, accompanied by his Swiss guides Christian Almer and Franz Biner, on the 29th of June, 1865. One hundred and forty six years later, the Whymper Couloir is still considered to be “ the normal route » to the summit.
According to the legend, Whymper had previously climbed to a sub-peak on Grandes Jorasses - “Pointe Whymper” -in order to get a good view over the Verte and the obvious couloir. Only a few days later Edward Whymper successfully reached the summit of the Verte, via the Whymper couloir.
On Grandes Jorasses, he was probably intensively focused on the Verte , and didn’t care about the true and still virgin summit of Grandes Jorasses, - Pointe Walker -.
First of all we hike up Mer de Glace , then climb up a series of steep and airy ladders to access the trail that leads to the Couvercle mountain hut (2687m) . After a short night, an early start is necessary to climb the couloir, which faces South and warms up very early in the day. A large part of the ascent is therefore by night. Parties will greet the sun only once high up and close to the summital ridge line.
The course :
Day1 : Meeting the party and the guide. Review mountaineering basics and rope handling. During an easy and quickly accessible climb. 2 people /guide
Day2 : easy adaptation climb (ex : Chevallier Couloir on Petite Verte) Night in a mountain hut 1 person/guide
Day3 : Technical adaptation climb (ex : Y Couloir on Aiguille d’Argentière) 1 person/guide
Days 4 and 5 : hike and climb to the Couvercle hut and ascent of the Whymper Couloir 1 person/guide
Back to Chamonix.
Technical information – Couloir Whymper:
Starting point : Chamonix – train Montenvers – Refuge du couvercle (3h00 de marche).
Route description : Couloir Whymper (45° à 55°) – AD – vertical gain : 800m from the hut to the bottom of the couloir ; 600 m from bergshrund to summit .
The grade for this long and snowy couloirs varies from 45° to 55°. The descent is rather committing due to exposure. An early start is fundamental as it will allow a safe descent.
Difficulty: this route requires a very good level of fitness, and a solid mountaineering experience. (ie. climbed several AD routes with good cramponing skills)
Ski touring skills are recommanded.
DATES : On Mondays, from mid April to Mid July
Please feel free to contact us anytime to check the conditions !
Due to the consecutive hot and dry past summers, dates for this course happen earlier than other courses. This course is in best condition during the spring, when snow and icing conditions are still good.
PRICE 2017: 2900 € per person
- Organization and supervision by a State qualified high mountain guide
- Midday picnics
- Half board accommodation in mountain huts.
Not included :
-Accommodation in Chamonix.
For any further information, feel free to contact Flore: +33 4 50 53 00 88 or by email