Rockfax Description
III, 3 - 5 hours. One of the best routes of this grade in the Alps, the Forbes has everything you look for in an alpine adventure - excellent climbing, stunning views and a real high mountain feel. The route is often underestimated though, so start early and leave plenty of time for the descent. Approach - From the Refuge Albert Premier, reach the Glacier du Tour and head southeast in the direction of the Grande Fourche. When the Chardonnet is due south, walk straight towards it, passing just under the rocks at Pte. 3238m to reach the prominent rock buttress southwest of the Aiguille Forbes. Climb up immediately to the left of this and then swing back around to pass over the top of it and continue up 30 degree snow to reach 'La Bosse', the glacial plateau just below the Forbes Arête. Continue up steepening snow to join the ridge next to Pte. 3703m. 1) Turn the first small summit on the south side of the ridge before returning to the north side and traversing across snow slopes to another summit. 2) 4b. Go around the second summit on the south side then come back to the ridge crest at a small col. Climb a short slab (4b) on the north side to reach a small pinnacle. 3) Downclimb a chimney from the top of the pinnacle and then make an exposed traverse across the north face to rejoin the ridge. 4) Follow the ridge crest, turning anything tricky on the north side, to reach a final rocky scramble to the summit. Descent - From the summit, descend the southwest ridge for 20m to reach the top of a wide 40-45 degree snow couloir dropping down on the right. Descend this, ideally on foot but abseiling from spikes if conditions are bad, sticking to the right (when looking down) as far as possible until you reach a saddle. The couloir is perched above a cliff band so take care and keep concentrating all the way down. From the saddle, continue down the vague ridge crest to reach the top of an abseil line down through a cliff band. There are numerous anchors dotted around but the ones marked on the photo of the descent require 25m abseils. If the abseils are busy, there is also a line further to the right (when facing down) which is reached by climbing back towards the saddle and then traversing across exposed snow slopes to reach the line of anchors. Whichever line you follow, the abseils bring you onto a steep snow slope which gradually eases and leads you back onto the Glacier de L'Epaule. Descend this onto the Glacier du Tour. In good conditions it should be possible to descend more or less directly back to the hut but if this is too crevassed it is necessary to descend the glacier until below the Col du Passon before crossing over via a safer line. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
Classic ridge traverse.

From the Albert Premier, cross the Glacier du Tour in about 2 hours. Climb up the snow slope (50-60 degrees) to make way over bergshrund. Up a bit and then climb the snowy ridge on right to the "Bosse" then up towards the skyline ridge (1.5-2 hours from base of climb). Follow the ridge to the summit. One 6-8 meter section of horizontal ice traversing towards the latter stages of the ridge. About 3-5 hours on the ridge. Descend via the NW Ridge route

Paul Sisley with Maurice and Joseph Crettez 10/Aug/1899

Ticklists: Rebuffat's 100 Finest Routes in the Mont Blanc Massif, Top quality Alps under 4000m, ROCKFAX Chamonix: Top 50, Mark's Alpine Ideas 2017.

OLGrady 26/Jun/17 AltLd O/S

Amazing route although could have been in better condition. Very little snow made the last section harder than it should have been and caused us to have to abseil the whole descent with about 17 abseils taking up a lot of time and leading to an unplanned bivi. Return trip over the glacier was interesting due to it been heavily crevassed. Looking forward to doing it in better conditions.

ChrisH89 26/Jun/17 AltLd O/S

Awesome route and mountain, but extremely lean conditions made this much harder than normal. Turned into a bit of an epic with an unplanned bivvy in a snowstorm above the rock band on descent, which required about 17 abseils due to lack of snow in the descent gully. Heavily crevassed glacier to descend the next day, we managed to navigate it all successfully except the last 250m before the hut when I fell 6m into a crevasse and had to be hauled out...

with OLGrady
PatrickRT 26/Jun/17 AltLd O/S
Climbingspike ??/2017 -
Hidden ??/2017 -
roxyroundtheworld 28/Aug/16 2nd


Chuck 26/Aug/16 -
Hidden 26/Aug/16 AltLd O/S
machars 25/Aug/16 AltLd
with Flynn
masa-alpin 19/Aug/16 AltLd O/S

5hrs from Albert 1er to the summit. Went off-route a little in 2 places. Normal descent with a few abseils.

with Rob G
robgixer 19/Aug/16 AltLd

Summit by 9am hut by midday. Luckily another team were descending at the same time to share ropes for the abseil over the bergschrund

seanhendo123 12/Aug/16 Lead O/S

8hours hut to summit, 6hours back to hut as snow conditions were deteriorating.....great route, ran the whole ridge together with nothing too difficult. Great (long) day

bclifton 11/Aug/16 -
timmeehhhh 07/Aug/16 -

Breakfast at 2am in the Trient hut, summited at 11 am. Snow covered rock and wind-driven spindrift made for an exiting ride!

Hidden 02/Aug/16 Lead
JoeWilliams 01/Aug/16 AltLd
with Kate , Ollie B
Ollie B 01/Aug/16 AltLd O/S
with K.Williams, J.Williams
ImmyRyan ?/Aug/16 2nd

Long route, very slushy wet snow

with Eduardo, Aislinn
LDudill ?/Aug/16 -

Finally! Set alarm for 1, woke up at 3.15! Oops... Harder conditions, went over most gendarmes and had to ab down back of one!? Pain moving in a three on this ground, made for a long day, good anyway! Descent not as bad as I thought... Bit of ridge, few abs, down climb, few more abs, down snow and ab over shrund, then walk off! Good to finally do this!

with Kelly campbell, Ben clifton
Aislinn_sun ?/Aug/16 2nd
mattdennies 26/Jul/16 AltLd O/S

First alpine epic. 1am start, approach was in great condition but not much snow on the ridge making for lots of climbing and a couple of abs. Snow soon went slushy making progress slow and sketchy. 3 abs to descend gully and then had to ab across very large bergschrund. 18 hours hut to hut followed by a walk down to Le Tour as we narrowly missed the last lift by about 6 hours.

with Craig
Hidden 26/Jul/16 Lead O/S
Heather Osborne 26/Jul/16 AltLd

Inadvertently had a massive day, 24 hours from hut to campsite. Set off at 1.30am and made good time up to the start of the rock ridge, despite getting cold and then really bad hot aches at the start of the steep snow, and feeling really exhausted at the final section of steep snow before the rock ridge. Summited at 2pm (had anticipated 9pm), pitched more than planned due to soft snow, and had two unexpected abseils due to the need to stick to the rock rather than traverse the snow. Shared abseils with Matt and Craig, Charlotte and Joel, Greg and Rob and a french pair which took far too long. Eventually made it back to the hut and had a painful walk back to the valley. Amazing albeit slightly epic day.

with Mike Nolan, Craig Osborne
Charlotte Nelson 26/Jul/16 AltLd
with Joel
Joel Miller 26/Jul/16 AltLd
MightyStew 24/Jul/16 AltLd rpt

Moved together

with Etienne Lachaud
Michael 18/Jul/16 -
nbryant 10/Jul/16 AltLd O/S

Great day out from the valley up in trainers then changed on the glacier. Plenty of sloppy snow that made things a little slower, and I dropped my axe half way along the ridge which made for an interesting second half!

with Sammy
Hidden 10/Jul/16 AltLd O/S
Michael 08/Jul/16 -
scorpia97 02/Jul/16 AltLd O/S

Down climbed after Migot Spur, back at the car park for midday. Full write up:

CraigOsborne ?/Jul/16 -

2nd time in crampons, scary. 23 hour day

CameronH 28/Jun/16 -
Hidden 28/Jun/16 Lead O/S
Alfie Maun 27/Jun/16 AltLd O/S
with Joe Fisher
Hidden ?/Jun/16 AltLd
Hidden ?/Jun/16 AltLd dnf
Avinash Aujayeb 15/Jul/15 2nd
with ales cesen
HP9 13/Jul/15 2nd
with Tomo cesen
Hidden 05/Jul/15 2nd O/S
ianstevens 04/Jul/15 Lead O/S

Awesome route, appalling snow conditions which made for an "interesting" time. Bivi'd at the bottom of the first snow slope, which was in good nick, lulling us into a false sense of security. By the time we got up on the ridge proper the sun had begun to work its magic, and we battled slush to the summit as this seemed easier than reversing. Confronted with a couple of big cornices on the descent and the poor snow, we opted to abseil down a line of tat in no man's land. What felt like a million abseils later, including some rope jamming, prussicking and rope slicing, we found ourselves in the lower reaches of the Mignot Spur, which we descended, reaching the bergschrund around 8pm. By this point the snow had begun to solidify, as we teetered across a tiny (1m thick) snow bridge above the gaping crevasse which thankfully held. Made it to the bivi by 10pm, the Albert Prem by 11.45 and the lift by 2am. 18 hours en route, 22 on the go.

Mr Spoons 25/Jun/15 AltLd


with Vangelis Stavroulakis
MightyStew 11/May/15 AltLd dnf
with Ruslan Aizatulin
Dougbart 29/Oct/14 -

17hrs on the go, a lot of snow on the ridge.

with Iain
Hidden 29/Oct/14 AltLd
pow22 09/Sep/14 -
Hidden 08/Sep/14 -
Tim Rodgers 06/Sep/14 -
matty123 03/Sep/14 AltLd
Hidden 03/Sep/14 AltLd
ollyroberts 23/Aug/14 AltLd

Moved together. Couple of pitches near snowy saddles and last gendarme. Very soft snow and white out, felt like Scotland.

Roberttaylor 17/Aug/14 AltLd O/S

With James Holland, in descent, no abseils.

JHolland 17/Aug/14 -
Hidden 14/Aug/14 AltLd
Paul ablitt 14/Aug/14 Lead

fresh snow - ridge corniced - climbed ridge in sun then descended into cloud then snow and finally whiteout. Only two other climbers out doing migot spur that day meet on ridge . Very slow due to conditions 18hrs hut to hut !!

with Sarah
davkeo ?/Aug/14 Lead O/S

Midnight start. Big day moving fast.

chapmand 17/Jul/14 AltLd O/S

2hrs 40mins from hut to ridge. 1hr 45 mins to the summit. Good snow conditions.

Hidden ??/2014 -
Hidden ??/2014 -
Hidden ??/2014 -
Hidden 23/Sep/13 AltLd O/S
oliverk 15/Sep/13 -
with Marty
tskelhon ?/Sep/13 AltLd

on the simul

clmacdonald ?/Sep/13 AltLd
Hidden 06/Aug/13 -
Hidden 06/Aug/13 AltLd O/S
Hidden 05/Aug/13 AltLd
nickwhimster 22/Jul/13 AltLd O/S

moved together, felt sick on the top as first route of trip.

monsteratt 22/Jul/13 Lead O/S

First route of the trip so found it hard work. Great route though. Snow was in good nick. One tricky section on the arête where snow step had disappeared requiring belay. Otherwise all moving together.

with Nick Whimster
Michael 21/Jul/13 -
Harry Ellis 13/Jul/13 -

Lovely route, great nick

with Chris Cox
Hidden ?/Jul/13 -
jcw ??/2013 -
walts4 ??/2013 -
Cham32 ??/2013 -
bencole 11/Aug/12 Lead O/S


with Dad
Hidden 11/Aug/12 2nd
Hidden 03/Aug/12 Lead O/S
Hidden 03/Aug/12 Lead O/S
Rockley 27/Jul/12 AltLd O/S
Ewan Russell 27/Jul/12 AltLd O/S
with steve(friend of james wilson), james wilson
Hidden 25/Jul/12 AltLd O/S
abtibbs 09/Jul/12 AltLd O/S

Beautiful climb, quite grueling. Took the wrong descent, which required about 10m of tat.

HarryB 09/Jul/12 AltLd O/S

15 hours hut to hut, accidentally abbed the charlet-bettembourg with only 1 rope

Hidden 07/Jul/12 2nd
steveprice.exmouth 05/Jul/12 AltLd

Helicopter assisted descent!

Steve Woollard 05/Jul/12 AltLd
maria85 27/Jun/12 AltLd dnf

Bailed down north face shortly before summit as clouds were rolling in & was getting late. Of course, they disappeared soon after!

with Jules
Hidden 23/Jun/12 -
nking100 ??/2012 -
Hidden 17/Aug/11 -
Somerset swede basher 12/Aug/11 AltLd O/S

13 hrs hut to hut (bivi out side the hut), left about an hour after the hut based teams, stuck behind 4 parties on the ridge. Great route.

with Andy Kennedy
Alpandy 12/Aug/11 AltLd O/S
with Dom
Kris 10/Aug/11 -
Hidden 01/Aug/11 -
Uisdean hawthorn ?/Aug/11 -
brighters ?/Aug/11 AltLd O/S


kenneM 20/Jul/11 AltLd

Steve Marner

with Steve Marner
TimPerkin 10/Jul/11 AltLd O/S
with Nick King, Derek Buckle
Tommy Harris 04/Jul/11 AltLd O/S

18 hours round trip, got caught in bad storm on descent which made things tricky...

with scott swalling
Hidden 02/Jul/11 -
liamo333 ?/Jun/11 -

Horrendous conditions, 45hrs valley to valley, I forced shiver bivi on the decent, couldnt find couloir in dark. Great route.

Hidden ??/2011 -
stuart34 09/Aug/10 AltLd O/S

moved together for whole route, 8hrs hut, summit and back down

with Kim Ladiges
mark-abz 01/Aug/10 -
with Alex
Andy Graham ?/Aug/10 AltLd
with Tom Pearson
Si ?/Aug/10 AltLd
with Greg
Misha 25/Jul/10 AltLd O/S

Not hard but turned out to be very long. 2hrs to the start of the route, just under 2hrs to the arete, 6hrs on the arete to the summit, 5hrs for the descent, 15.5hrs in total including about an hour of rests. Started at 3.30am from an excellent bivvy outside the Albert 1er (woke up at 2am), got back to the bivvy at 7pm. Good neve to the ridge after a cold night but slushy snow on the descent. It had snowed two days earlier so the ridge was in mixed condition (cracks were dry but plenty of snow on ledges), so crampons on all the way. Advantage was having footsteps to follow from a couple of parties that were (well) ahead of us. Particularly useful on the descent between the end of the snow couloir and the abs. Good weather except for cloud coming in temporarily on the descent and a bitterly cold Northerly wind. Had originally planned to do the Aig du Tour the following day, then go over to the Trient and do the Aig Dorees the next day but were too tired to get up early and so were sdhappy to go back down after a slow breakfast at the bivvy followed by an omelette at the Albert 1er.

with Dave Commins
Hidden 03/Jul/10 -
Hidden ?/Jul/10 AltLd
mussonlr 26/Jun/10 -
with Alan Stapleton
Guy Wilson ??/2010 -
JonHarvey 12/Aug/09 AltLd O/S
with James Howell, Jay Jackson
DAL ?/Aug/09 AltLd O/S
Hidden ?/Aug/09 -
blouise ?/Aug/09 -
with James Gordon
Gav Parker 14/Jul/09 2nd

Fantastic route very exciting right on my limit...11hrs total

Glyn 01/Jul/09 AltLd O/S
davefount ?/Jul/09 AltLd O/S
with Glyn
Hidden 22/Jun/09 AltLd dnf
BenJacobs 22/Jun/09 AltLd dnf
with Steve and Ollie
barksmo ??/2009 AltLd
liz j 02/Sep/08 -
with Matt Dickinson/Karin Burnett
garethsteel ?/Sep/08 AltLd O/S
Hidden 17/Aug/08 AltLd O/S
Hidden 09/Aug/08 AltLd dnf
Hidden 24/Jul/08 AltLd O/S
benclimbing ?/Jul/08 AltLd O/S
with Gareth Steel
hamish2016 ?/Jul/08 AltLd

First route after arriving in Cham.

with chris burn, Richard Hirons, Lou Atkin
Hidden ?/Jun/08 2nd
Peter Metcalfe 17/Sep/07 -

Hit by a thunderstorm whilst abseiling down the W Ridge. Scariest Alpine experience - so far!

with Sophia
Hidden 19/Aug/07 Lead
spbond 19/Aug/07 2nd
with Steve, Rob Dyer
Hidden 04/Aug/07 -
chrissloan84 04/Aug/07 -
Hidden 29/Jul/07 AltLd O/S
Stuart Johnston 28/Jul/07 AltLd O/S
Wil Treasure ?/Jul/07 -
gripped01 ?/Jul/06 AltLd
with Dave Tait
NickST ?/Jul/06 -

Excellent route!! Early start from the Albert Premeier hut saw us starting the rock section by sunrise. Great views, position and exposure!

with Sean Jacobs
Hidden ?/Jun/06 AltLd O/S
Hidden ?/Sep/05 AltLd O/S
Yyonnx 12/Jul/05 -

First day out, got hypothermic crossing the glacier in clothing that was too lite. Back to hut and a long, lazy day talking about the next day. Next day, as we were leaving the hut at 12:30 a.m. a group is coming in from having left at 4:30 the previous morning! Can't remember exactly but think they were Spanish. They got way off the ridge on the south side, they did not seem that much worse for wear though... We made it to the climb and onto the ridge in about 3 hours from the hut. We lost time on the ridge using too much of a pitch approach instead of simul-climbing. Had an idiotic party overtake on the horizontal ice traverse and I went ballistic on them at the short rappel that follows. Stupid, they didn't care at all that what they had done put my life in jeopardy. Finished up and had an easy descent into the waiting sunshine of the Glacier du Tour below. 12 hours hut to hut.

with Doog
Mat J ?/Jul/05 AltLd

Wow, long route.Bivi in Signall Reilley (sp?) the night before. Very dehydrated by the top.Descent and jumping the schrund at the bottom was entertaining.

with Ali
mike.moss ??/2004 Lead O/S
with Mark
NickJH ?/Jul/03 Lead
joe king ?/Jun/03 -
with steve petit
Hidden 15/Jul/02 AltLd dnf
Laramadness 09/Jul/99 -
with JC
neal 05/Aug/98 AltLd

From tent on glacier

Lenny ?/Aug/97 AltLd O/S
with Richard
stokesrees ?/Jun/97 AltLd
with Francois Marcotte
Hidden ?/Jul/96 AltLd
andy_pemberton ?/Jul/95 -

Bivvied on the rognon. The first route we ever did in under guide book time! Take two ropes for the absail on the descent (we didn't!).

with Jon Scorer
Hidden ??/1994 Solo
Hidden 08/Aug/93 AltLd
Richard Weller ?/Aug/93 -
with Simon Currin
Hidden 24/Jul/92 Lead O/S
garywalker147 ??/1992 AltLd
Jamie Simpson ?/Aug/91 AltLd O/S
with Gavin Maclean
wbo 15/Jul/91 AltLd

1st alpine route, and excellent

with Andy Donaldson
Tim Sparrow ?/Jul/91 -

Summit at dawn. Fantastic route. First alpine route that went really well.

with Chris D
Hidden ?/Jul/91 AltLd
Dave ??/1991 AltLd
Pete_Frost ?/Jul/90 AltLd

Three star classic.

Hidden ??/1990 -
Hidden 18/Jul/89 AltLd
Hidden ?/Jul/89 -
Chris Ellis 31/Jul/88 -
with Steve Legg, Andy Daykin, Rob Gale
BigHairyIan 30/Jul/88 AltLd O/S

Took us a long time. 2hrs to the start of the route, just under 2hrs to the arête, 5hrs on the arête to the summit, 6hrs for the descent, 15:30hrs in total including about an hour of rests. Started at 3.30am from an excellent bivvy outside the Albert 1er (woke up at 2am), got back to the bivvy at 7pm. Good neve to the ridge after a cold night but slushy snow on the descent. The ridge was in mixed condition (cracks were dry but plenty of snow on ledges), so crampons on all the way. Advantage was having footsteps to follow from a couple of parties that were (well) ahead of us. Massive struggle on the descent, I stood on my hand (with crampons on) and fell down the couloir for about 100ft. Getting off the bottom of the couloir across the bergshrund and on to the glacier proved problematical, and then the traverse back to the Albert 1er was a nightmare. We lost the path and had to walk roped. We didn’t actually fall into any crevasses, but stood through the snow covered tops of a few. I was so tired that I wanted to lie down and go to sleep! Had originally planned to do the Aig du Tour the following day, but we were too tired to get up early so had a lie in and walked back to the valley in the afternoon. Great trip though!

davemhart 03/Aug/84 AltLd O/S
Hidden ?/Aug/84 -
Falko 01/Jul/80 Lead O/S

Al was suffering from the altitude higher up.

with Al W.
Andy Chubb 02/Jul/77 AltLd

Bivvied on Summit

with Pete Coghill
Steve Bell ??/1977 -
Derek Ryden 14/Aug/75 AltLd O/S
with John Kirk
barksmo ?/Jul/75 AltLd
Steve Woollard 17/Aug/74 Lead
with Andrew Huch, Malcolm Parker
Bolt Phobia 17/Aug/74 AltLd
with Steve Woollard
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