/ Aiguille Du Midi route in April
Does anybody here have experience with the Arete de Cosmiques route on Aiguille Du Midi in Winter? Or knowledge of the condition? Are ski's necessary to go from the cable station to the cosmiques hut? And is the climb from the cosmiques hut back to the station (via the Cosmiques arete) much harder in winter conditions, or pretty much the same?
Assuming good clear weather that is...
Thanks in advance,
but you 'should' be o.k. walking down to it.
there will be more snow on it maybe, but again, not if there hasnt been alot of fresh stuff. it will be harder under snow.
Thanks for the information! I'm not used to climbing in winter. Is it generally true that snowfall is higher in march/april than february?
Or is this just this year's phenomenon
first off, i havne't climbed the route yet, but doing it in July so I'm gathering a lot of beta myself...so i could be wrong on this, but so far this is what i've managed to figure out
yes annual snowfall in the winter is considerably more during those months, making progress by walking difficult. there will also be unstable weather patterns during this period, what sort of window do you have for making your bid? I would recommend at least a week, two would be more suitable.
the hill is very very steep from the cable car to the bottom of the route. there is a very informative video on youtube if you search aiguille du midi. its by a yank, and he is climbing but not on the arete, though you'll get so good info from this. i wouldn't have thought ski-ing it would be possible.
as with most alpine routes, i'd imagine this would be a much more serious undertaking in the winter compared with summer, i'd say add two grades. have you done simmilar, like winter asecnt of tower ridge etc?
hope that helps and doesn't come across as trying to put you off - thats not the intention! please let me know how you get on. and good luck. cheers.
Routes are not necessarilly more difficult in winter.
I have done the Cosmiques Arete when there has been plenty of snow.
IIRC all the rock difficulties were covered in snow and were straightforward with crampons and axes.
Did it a few years ago at Easter. Snow shoes to the base (light, easy to carry up the route). If anything found it slightly easier than in the summer - especially the steep wall near the end which was nicely banked out.
people walk down with skis and put skis on when it finishes at a flat col.
Not sure when this rope is taken down usually, but it isn't there in summer
because of this, if you are worried about the steep way down it is probably less serious in winter, as the man who knows says, it is climbed all year round. Do it when the forecast is settled and you will really enjoy it.
Its less likely to be rammed in april as well.
The fact you have done a few pitches by the time the big exposure comes on the ridge and that you are roped up with gear will make it feel alot less intimidating.
There is currently 40cm of fresh snow outside the Cosmiques Refuge, according to Ohm-Chamonix.
Right now you would have to wad to the base of the ridge if you did not have skis.
Some 7 days or more ago, you could have walked..
Al this illustrates is that these routes are condition dependent. There is no substitute - I repeat no substitute - for knowing the prevailing conditions.
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