Rockfax Description
III, 22km there and back, 1 day. A wonderful journey through some huge mountain scenery. There is minimal technical difficulty but you need to be confident front pointing when tackling the short crux section below the Col du Mont Maudit. The main challenge is keeping going at altitude and moving fast enough to have plenty of time for the descent.
Approach - From the Aiguille du Midi, descend the famous snow arête that makes up the east ridge, before turning back west to reach the Refuge des Cosmiques in 30 to 40 minutes, having passed under the beautiful South Face of the Midi.
1) From the Refuge des Cosmiques, cross the Col du Midi plateau and climb the Mont Blanc du Tacul North Face (page §§§). The route varies from year to year, often from month to month, but the line usually goes roughly from the bottom left of the face to the top right, reaching the northwest shoulder of Mont Blanc du Tacul in roughly 2 to 3 hours from the hut.
2) From the shoulder, continue towards the north face of Mont Maudit, descending slightly before beginning to move up again beneath some seracs on the left of the face. The line taken varies depending on conditions, but the route is usually bottom left to top right once again. Just below the Col du Mont Maudit is the crux step, which is roughly 40m of 45 degree snow. There is often a fixed line attached to an anchor at the top of the step, and an intermediate anchor half way up the slope; both can be used as belays.
3) Having negotiated the crux step, traverse southwards to the Col de la Brenva. The climb from here to the top of Mont Blanc is longer than it looks, and not as enjoyable as the Bosses Ridge on the Goûter Route. However, the scenery makes up for any tedium in the climbing and the route finding is non-existent (in good weather). Pass to the left of the Mur de la Côte rock step and then climb the snow slope above. Generally the terrain is low-angled (roughly 20 to 30 degrees) and straightforward.
4) The summit arrives suddenly and, after the long snow slope below, it is very welcome. The average ascent time is 5 to 7 hours from hut to summit.
Descent - Either reverse the route (the crux step below the Col du Mont Maudit can be abseiled in 2 x 20m abseils) or descend the Goûter Route. One thing to bear in mind is that many climbers don't wear a helmet on the Trois Monts Route but you will want one when descending from the Refuge du Goûter down to the Nid d'Aigle. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
Gaining in popularity over the Gouter Ridge route for ascending Mont Blanc.

From the Cosmiques Hut up the normal route to the shoulder of Mont Blanc du Tacul, cross the Col Maudit and up the steep snow slope to the Col du Mt. Maudit (helmet!). Go up the NW Ridge towards the summit of Mont Maudit and descend the SW Ridge. Up the slopes of Mur de la Cote and to the summit. 5-7 hours to the summit. Descend via same route or traverse Mont Blanc via the Gouter Route.

R.Head and J Grange, A Orset and J Perrod 13/Aug/1863

Ticklists: Batoux's 100 finest routes in the Mont Blanc massif, ROCKFAX Chamonix: Top 50.

Hidden 05/Aug/17 Solo O/S
JoeCoxson 30/Jul/17 AltLd dnf

1:30am start, conditions on the N face of the Tacul were good, and we marched up in under 2hrs. After that, the high overnight winds had blown out any impresstion of a path, so in darkness and poor vis we broke a trail up through the towering seracs of the Maudit. At about 80m below the col in 10m visibility, we decided the clear skies we'd been forecast by morning weren't coming, so we threw the towel in; a shame because an hour later the clouds parted, but we weren't to know. Next time.

lukegorman 30/Jul/17 AltLd dnf

made a good decision to turn back as there was only a short good weather window before a storm that claimed the life of a climber we passed on the way down.

Christine 16/Jul/17 -
with Rich
rpinto 16/Jul/17 -

Summited in just under 5hrs in strong winds and whiteout. Descended via the gouter route.

Camric 14/Jul/17 AltLd O/S

More technically difficult than the route description here and rockfax would suggest. Very lean winter and warm spring / summer means some exposed sections of ice. The fixed ropes were in place at the crux but was happy to have an extra few screws for an exposed traverse. Got the first cable car up to the midi and then just out and back again in about 10 hour to the Cosmique for the next where I enjoyed the most expensive night of not sleeping of my life. Glad we roped up for the return as Dad fell into a crevasse just below Cosmiques, managed to pull him out as only 2-3 m in. Very windy and cold on top.

with Toby Floyer
BenCollis 14/Jul/17 Solo

Left cosmiques very late at 4:30am, summited at 9am. Really strong winds 40kmh and -10 degrees, so I was alone on the top. The crux pitch was very hard and icy, but I secured myself with a Prussik. Moved very fast without having to worry about ropes and crevasses were not a problem due to strong snow bridges.

DomTe 08/Jul/17 AltLd
R0BJ0N 02/Jul/17 Lead O/S
with Kellie Grice, Dominic Teichmann
BarneyLoosemore 26/Jun/17 AltLd dnf

Tried to do it in a day from the midi, unfortunately the window was too small. Made the decision to go back at Maudit. The right one as we almost missed the last cable car anyway.

with WGEvans
WGEvans 26/Jun/17 AltLd
alex.serban 26/Jun/17 AltLd rpt

A nice traverse of MB. The crux on both Maudit and Tacul weren't in very good condition. rotten ice and fresh snow. Got caught in a storm just below the summit and were forced to spend the night at Vallot before continuing to Gouter the next day in high wind and wideout.

Hidden 22/Jun/17 Solo
Hidden 17/Jun/17 Lead O/S
Hidden ??/2017 -
Mark Brand 25/Sep/16 AltLd dnf

Late season, no trail. Left at 2am from Cosmiques, got benighted after taking the wrong face of Maudit...

with Soeren
rfleal 25/Aug/16 -
alan1234 23/Aug/16 -
Stickle Tarn 12/Aug/16 -
Scott Quinn 20/Jul/16 AltLd O/S

about 8 hours from the midi to summit and back at least 1 hour of this on the final snow arête (wasn't in a happy place sufferfest!)

RuthW 11/Jul/16 -

Left hut at 1am and arrived on summit just before 7am. Good conditions but pretty windy. Descent via gouter route

Hidden 07/Jul/16 AltLd
jhobbs 07/Jul/16 -

In ascent, bivied at old cosmiques hut and set off at 1.15, arrived at summit at 9.15. Bit of a que at the crux below maudit. Conditions underfoot were perfect. Quite windy in final approach to summit. Awesome day

with Mark Haward
anthonylewis 07/Jul/16 -

In ascent. 6.5hrs to summit from cosmiques hut, great condition

Hidden 04/Jul/16 Solo O/S
Mike Roger ??/2016 -
Zoe Cockburn 28/Aug/15 -

A long and brilliant day, with the summit to ourselves! Weather definitely felt a bit Scottish, perhaps it worked in our favour ;)

Tim_C7 27/Aug/15 -
with Toby D
Oo 27/Aug/15 -

Deviated to top of Mont Maudit on the ascent.

FelixPeterken 12/Jul/15 2nd

Camped overnight on the glacier. Going over Mont modit was quite scary in the dark, not for the inexperienced without a guide.

with AndrewP
AndrewP 12/Jul/15 Lead O/S

Heatwave conditions so some quite serious sections up and around back of Mont Maudit. Exhausting but beautiful.

with Sam Peterken, FelixPeterken
Jamie Johnston 10/Jul/15 AltLd
with Hugo Scrimgeour
olekemi 04/Jul/15 AltLd O/S

Soloed most of it before roping up towards the end. Enjoyed the whole thing, and perhaps especially the views and landscape around us. ~9 hours from/to Cosmiques Hut.

with Ken B, Martin F
tunnah 29/Jun/15 -
CMoore 29/Jun/15 -
joelevanschamonix 10/Apr/15 -
with Tim Oliver
SkiMonkey2012 ??/2015 Lead
marr.simon 16/Sep/14 AltLd

0145 departure from Cosmiques, 0745 summit... A long descent...

Jordangask 16/Sep/14 -
hp8g12 16/Sep/14 AltLd
leeoftroy ?/Sep/14 AltLd O/S

one axe and moved together a lot. More difficult/exposed than expected. Snow bridges collapsed, spinidrift on slopes. left hut 1.30 summit 7.30. With Ed.

Hidden 08/Aug/14 AltLd
ndraper1 08/Aug/14 -

In descent after kuffner and mont blanc

Grant Fulton ?/Aug/14 Solo

3hours 35minutes from Midi gate to summit, couple of hours on the way back.

Nikolay C.K. Tjøstheim ?/Jun/14 Lead O/S
Ly-Cilph 27/Sep/13 AltLd dnf

Had to turn back due to bad weather :-/

with Till N
John Procter 18/Aug/13 AltLd O/S
Hidden 12/Aug/13 Solo O/S
Hidden 11/Aug/13 -
prwalker 11/Aug/13 -
with wupert
Hidden 03/Aug/13 -
Hidden ?/Aug/13 AltLd O/S
bigredsquirrel 12/Jul/13 AltLd O/S
with Steve Hutton
K Mckay 12/Jul/13 AltLd O/S
with Richard Mckay
joedoherty 08/Jul/13 Lead O/S
with Dave Holmes-Evans
Adam Coles ?/Jul/13 Lead

And return

with Clare
Dave Searle ??/2013 -
James Thacker ??/2013 -
walts4 ??/2013 -
Hidden 09/Sep/12 2nd O/S
Hidden 11/Aug/12 AltLd
Rockley 09/Aug/12 AltLd O/S

5 1/2hrs from hut to summit Quite icy at top of maudit

Katherine Ross 09/Jul/12 2nd dnf

Started the ascent of Mont Maudit but backed off due to bad snow conditions (avalanched 3 days later). Settled for summitting the Tacul.

Nigel Bond 04/Jul/12 Solo
with Bern Hardman
Hidden ?/Jul/12 Lead O/S
Mike Hood 23/Jun/12 AltLd
Theo Moore - UKC and UKH ?/Jun/12 -
Hidden 10/Sep/11 -
guernseydan ?/Sep/11 -
with Duncan R
Kris ?/Sep/11 -
AlasdairM 31/Aug/11 -

Perfect conditions, 8 hrs from the Aiguille du Midi back to the Cosmiques Hut

Hidden 31/Aug/11 -
Hidden 30/Aug/11 AltLd O/S
Hidden 13/Aug/11 -
tompilgrem 02/Aug/11 AltLd O/S

2am start. 9 am summit. 4 30 midi. Long day but well worth it, dawn light on blanc from col du maudit was impressive.

with Dad
bobpilgrem 02/Aug/11 AltLd

2 AM start from cosmiques hut- summit at 9 AM.Back at Midi by 4:30- the final climb back to midi was hard !!Great route on a clear day- procession of head torches moving up at start was impressive. Maudit Col pitch a bottleneck if you leave to late-climbed on RHS next to fixed (snowed in) rope - felt secure using two tools and taking your time.

with Bob/Tom
sam duckworth ?/Aug/11 2nd
cmars89 ?/Aug/11 -
Hidden ?/Aug/11 -
Jack Loftus 16/Jul/11 -
with Nick
Cardi 16/Jul/11 -
with Ryan
Hidden 16/Jul/11 -
knicos 12/Jul/11 AltLd
Hidden 01/Jul/11 Lead
Hidden ?/Jul/11 AltLd
Hidden ?/Jun/11 Lead
darcan ??/2011 AltLd
Hidden ??/2011 -
Hidden ??/2011 -
Hidden 15/Sep/10 Lead
Hidden 15/Sep/10 -
Hidden 02/Sep/10 AltLd
norb 02/Sep/10 AltLd O/S
kelly_426 ?/Sep/10 -
with Sasha Doyle
CWMulcahy 04/Aug/10 AltLd dnf

Reached Cote de Mur, approx 300m vertical from summit. Had to turn back due to partner's chest pains. In future would take the rightmost route on the climbing section of Maudit, to avoid the biffs, and bring two axes!

QuentinSu ?/Aug/10 Solo O/S
IanC ?/Aug/10 -
robinsi197 19/Jul/10 -

My 50th birthday!

with Nick
thetradlad 19/Jul/10 Lead O/S
with Lew Fraser, Brendan Edwards
Hidden 19/Jul/10 -
GiveHerHelen 12/Jul/10 Lead O/S
Jonny M 12/Jul/10 2nd O/S
DigitalSteak 01/Jul/10 -
liamo333 ?/Jul/10 Sent O/S

4 days after arriving in Chamonix, totally unacclimatized.

with Rob Noone
dannyboy83 ?/Jul/10 -
with Emily
tskelhon 29/Jun/10 Lead O/S
with Max
Hidden 29/Jun/10 -
ig248 ??/2010 -
mickd ??/2010 -
Hidden 13/Sep/09 AltLd O/S
vincentvega 10/Sep/09 Lead

found this much easier than the Gouter route starting from the Tete Rouse last year. 4 hours cosmiques - summmit. 8h 50m comiques - Nid a'igle.

with danny robb
KatieG 07/Sep/09 -
Hidden ?/Sep/09 2nd O/S
Hidden ?/Sep/09 Lead O/S
np134 21/Aug/09 -
with D. Price, C. Price
Ben HW 20/Aug/09 Lead
with James Brownhill
DAL ?/Aug/09 AltLd O/S
lukehunt ?/Aug/09 -


darren hudson 30/Jul/09 AltLd

Left Cosmiques hut late at 2.30am. Many guides and people inexperianced even in tying in and attaching crampons. Moved at steady pace but terrible back log at the final slope up to Col du Mont Maudit. As the sun rose, assessed the situation(about 40m ice climb)and decided to free climb to the side of the guided parties having difficulties with confidance and fatigue (clients not guides, obviously). Severe winds from the top all the way to summit of Mont Blanc. Reached summit around 7 hrs. Reversed route and again found difficulties descending Col du Mont Maudit due to parties ascending and descending, lots time wasted. Made steady progress to Aiguille du Midi cable car, dreading the final ascent up to the station, but found it ok when finally reached. Total time 14hrs. Very tired, some altitude affects and very happy to get back to tent and celebratory beer.

with David Ford
Neil Adams 30/Jul/09 Solo
Hidden 27/Jul/09 AltLd O/S
Hidden 16/Jul/09 -
markfairbank 04/Jul/09 Solo O/S
with SteveyM
mathquirk 04/Jul/09 -

Continued after climbing the Contamine-Grisolle on the Tacul Triangle.

with Petter Zachrisson
stuart34 01/Jul/09 AltLd O/S
with James Monypenny
mike4563 ?/Jul/09 AltLd dnf

Set off really early after bivvying because we were moving too slow the previous day. Then got stuck in a storm so had to retreat.

Hidden 13/Jun/09 AltLd O/S
Ben Briggs ?/Jun/09 Solo

Climbed 3 monts and skied n face.

with Brendan
Karl Wooffindin 28/Aug/08 -

First party on the summit. Fantastic.

with Robin
Hidden 18/Jul/08 AltLd O/S
DavidR 18/Jul/08 AltLd O/S
SamStrong 05/Jul/08 AltLd dnf

Snow to the knees with wind slabs. Windy

with Steve Windross
markfairbank 05/Jul/08 Solo dnf

Moved together to the basin underneath the slopes of Mont Maudit, but increasing winds and alot of snow meant we turned around about 4.30am.

with SteveyM
SteveMyatt 04/Jul/08 Solo dnf

Turned around in the flanks of Mont Maudit; 80cm of fresh powder and steep slopes/cornices don't mix. . . . .shame.

with Mark Fairbank
Hidden 01/Jul/08 2nd
Hidden 01/Jul/08 -
kevin k ?/Jul/08 -
HarryB ?/Jun/08 -

1st cable car up, descended via grand mulet.

AndrewJenkins ??/2008 -
Bruveris ?/Sep/07 -
Rich A-Wilkes 29/Jul/07 Lead dnf
with Monika
Hidden 29/Jul/07 -
Moniawl 29/Jul/07 2nd
with rich
Andy Clarke 29/Jul/07 Lead

Superb views but bitterly cold. Winds at 60/70kph. Lost touch with our other party in traffic jam at steep snow slope on Maudit shoulder, then spent next hours doggedly trying to catch up. Bumped into them (literally - head down gasping) a few metres from summit. Father and son Baron reunited! Not well acclimatised, had to borrow down jacket to ward off hypothermia (thanks Stewart) and suffered badly with pain from ribs broken in December during race back for last 'phrique... but a fantastic day out.

with StewartD, JoeB
Hidden 15/Jul/07 AltLd
IanJackson 15/Jul/07 Solo O/S

First on the route. Very icy (Scot III max) Got to summit for Sunrise. Descended Gouter route, which is shit..

Bristoldave 15/Jul/07 -
with douglas
Robertspd2 ?/Aug/06 -

Ascent of 3 monts route following bad weather on Gouter route

dshortt 27/Jul/06 -
with Sam Shortt
Hidden 18/Jul/06 Solo
Somerset swede basher 10/Jul/06 AltLd O/S
with Rich Siddle
djking1983 03/Jul/06 AltLd O/S
Hidden 03/Jul/06 -
Hidden 03/Jul/06 AltLd O/S
Hidden ?/Jul/06 AltLd
John HW ?/Jul/06 AltLd

Camped on Mer de Glace taught glacier skills and drills, ice axe arrests etc. set off up route after 2 days of training. Weather pants turned around on mont maudit due to conditions.

with Cath, Tony and Friends
NickST ?/Jul/06 -
with Greg Grace, Sean Jacobs, Martin Dixon
dmoir ?/Jul/06 AltLd O/S
with Jon Harvey and Mike Maben
JonHarvey ?/Jul/06 AltLd O/S

great to have stood on top of this awesome mountain! however ,, was extremely busy, and steep section on Maudit was dangerously over crowded! people very impatient to wait for others to climb it before they start is probably the cause of accidents!! Anyway! ,,, bivvied in Midi station started at 1, summit 9 ish , decended via Gouter Ridge, good long slog of a day!

with Michael Maben
Hidden 16/Jun/06 2nd dnf
stevomcd 20/Apr/06 2nd O/S

(Late) winter ascent from the Cosmiques hut. Left hut 2am, reached summit 1pm. Tough icy conditions on Mont Maudit. Carried snowshoes but barely used. In crampons virtually all the way up. Descent by snowboard via Grands Mulets route.

with Neil McNab, Damo
jam_rich ??/2006 -
Hidden ??/2006 -
JiveWeasel 08/Sep/05 -
Hidden ?/Sep/05 -
kleinej ?/Aug/05 Lead O/S

Ascended Gouter, descended via Mont Maudit and Mont Blanc de Tacul.

with Matt, Patrick
Stefan ?/Aug/05 Lead O/S

Great day out in fab weather. Unfortunately missed out on Mt Maudit due to Pete suffering from the altitude.

with Pete Jenkins
paddygoodwin ?/Aug/05 2nd
with Jason
Will Gordon ?/Aug/05 Lead

Turned back 30 mins from summit due to onset of AMS, Andrew and Phil went on to summit.

with Andrew Melvin, Phil Nelson, Rob Gleeson
Hidden ?/Jul/05 -
fizzy_elephant ?/Jun/05 -

Went to the summits on the way up, descended the gouter route. Would recommend doing the summits on the way back though. We were off up first and then stuck in a line waiting for the col of Maudit trying to decide if we were going to have to catch a bloke pointy end first.

with Rob Williams
Yyonnx 10/Sep/04 -

The route was better than the normal route, felt more like climbing something. I was in poor shape, had a very cold night camped on the Col. Don't know if it was that or poorly acclimatized but I felt like I had lead weights for shoes, certainly the slowest of the three, Mike and Jeroen having to tug me along. Jeroen skied down from the summit.

MoWalker3 01/Aug/04 -
with Dave
kevburr 31/Jul/04 2nd O/S
with Sandy Allan
rich_greeny ?/Jul/04 2nd

Guided ascent.

featuresforfeet ?/Jul/04 -
with Psycho Dave
Jon Pilling ?/Sep/03 2nd O/S
with steve prescott
Taylj1 ?/Aug/03 -
with George
BigHell 18/Jul/03 -

This was never my idea,it was my mate Gary's but muggins here ended up doing it. The second day being a 14 hour slog with a decent via the Gouter standing on the summit of Mont Blanc was an experience never to be forgotten .

with Azhi Michel Bordet
edek_w ?/Jul/03 -
Stuart Johnston ?/Jun/03 Lead
andyinglis ?/Jun/03 -
with Tom Dunstan, ruth gibson
joe king ?/Jun/03 -
with steve petit
Tarquin ??/2003 -
Luke Brooks ??/2003 -
Hidden ??/2000 Lead O/S
cem ?/Jun/99 -
with Jerry Boyd
stokesrees ??/1997 AltLd
with Asmus Norveslet
Dom Goodwin 01/Aug/96 -
with Peter
Daniel Wrightson ?/Jul/96 -
with Stefano Rensi
Hidden ??/1996 -
kristian 12/Aug/93 -
chopin-smith 30/Jun/93 -
Pete_Frost ?/Jul/90 -

Climbed with Luc and Francois Ringeisen. Bizarre summit experience - someone had built an igloo and planted a plastic cactus outside it!

with Luc Percival
Hidden ??/1990 Lead
garywalker147 ??/1986 Solo
Neil McA 15/Aug/81 AltLd

First alpine route was the south face of the Midi the previous day. Then we got excited and did this. Lots of learning took place! We didn't have sun-cream (why would you need sun cream on a snowy mountain?) and the puss filled sun blisters on Steve's cheeks were the size of half eggs. Amazing day out as a start to an alpine career.

with Steve Hartland
Hidden ?/Sep/79 -
bobelvedere 07/Aug/79 AltLd
with Lene Vestergaard
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