Normally done in descent during winter/spring on skis. Exit the Midi tunnel and get down the arête. Tip: If there are crowds, put on crampons and walk on the outside of the fixed line trench, passing all the tourists and guided groups who do not have crampons. If no crowds, slide down the trench with just ski boots using the fixed line. If no fixed lines (May-January) and good snow and you are feeling brave, you can sideslip or ski down, slightly below the ridgeline on the North Face. It is not recommended to ever rope on on the Midi arête, except when taking unskilled partners, because it is not protectable. There have been many deaths here. Be careful.

Halfway down the arête you can put on skis and descend the South face shoulder (35-40 degrees, sustained) or continue on foot to a large plateau, then ski a brief steep slope (35-40 degrees, often icy and bumpy). Ski across the nearly flat plateau near the Col du Midi making a large left-turning arc towards the Gros Rognon. At the Rognon it gets slightly steeper - bear towards the Italian border making a wide left-turning arc.

From here the route varies depending on the state of the glacier. Generally you want to stick to the left bank of the glacier (skier's left) aiming generally for the Refuge de Requin. However this area is complex and full of nasty crevasses and the route meanders among them, sometimes precariously.

When about level with the refuge, turn right and thread through the zone just below the Seracs du Geant. This zone is likewise riddled with crevasses and the route typically zigzags wildly between them.

When nearly in the centre of the glacier, turn straight downward, negotiating a bit more remaining glacial nastiness, until you finally reach safety at the long and flat Salle a Manger. Late on a Spring day or early on a powder day, this may require a lot of effort to push through. Continue down this nearly flat and boring glacier for nearly five kilometres, picking a route among the mostly-harmless glaciated terrain. Aim for the Montenvers train station which appears on the left bank.

Towards Montenvers the glacier again becomes complex and potentially dangerous. Route finding is not helped by the countless trails of lost skiers so take some time to plan a good route instead of blindly following the path in front of you. You have three choices at this point - 1) Montenvers by the gondola - aim straight for it, negotiating some tricky final terrain. A gondola takes you to the train, which takes you back to Chamonix. NOTE: This is included in the ChamSKI pass but not in an Aiguille du Midi ticket. 2) Descent to Chamonix - continue along the centre of the glacier past Montenvers 500-1000m until you reach a place where the left bank moraine can be climbed. Climb up 100m or so to reach a path that climbs gradually to a small indistinct col where there is a nice little buvette. Then continue down a narrow switch-backing path, sometimes pisted, sometimes wild, bumpy, icy, and/or rocky. You eventually cross the train tracks and reach the Planards pistes which make for a gentle final stretch to Chamonix. CAUTION: Be careful in the zone just before the train tracks. The owner of the farm there likes to dump rocks onto the trail and put up makeshift barricades to prevent people from jumping the train tracks. Many have been injured here due. Slow down, even if it means losing speed on the flat traverse.

IMPORTANT NOTES ON SAFETY:
===========================
THIS IS NOT A PISTE! Even if the high traffic makes it look like one. The Vallee Blanche is the most sought-after ski run in Chamonix and because of this it receives a lot of traffic that it shouldn't. ** Many people die on the Vallee Blanche each year ** and many more make the descent in a way which endangers their lives. A qualified mountain guide is recommended for any parties with questionable ability.

All people in the group must have adequate crevasse and avalanche rescue skills. All people in the group must wear a climbing harness and carry on the harness the minimum equipment for crevasse rescue: 1-2 ice screws, 1-2 slings, 2 prussiks cords. In addition, there should be at least two people in the group carrying a 30-45m rope (so that is, at least two ropes per party) and additional gear for building anchors and pulley systems.

All members of the team must carry avalanche rescue gear - beacon, shovel, probe - and be trained in their usage.

All members of the team must be able to ski confidently as you often ski within a meter of death by crevass fall. You should be at least able to descend black pistes that are icy and mogully (bumpy), perhaps slowly, but confidently and without falling.

Ideally, one member of the team should have already skiied the route. If not, review guidebooks and maps before and during descent. Be aware there are dozens of variations, some quite dangerous and difficult. It is very easy to get off route.

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Logged Ascents

User Date Style Notes & Partners
Hidden 22 Aug AltLd
acrkirby 22 Jul Lead O/S
Hidden 7 May -
Hidden 5 May -
John Nuttall 12 Apr - Ski
with Sharon
Ski
with Sharon
deandarvill 12 Mar - Skied from the Hellbronner side after a night in the Torino Hut. Very flat light difficut skiing. Had to ski the James bond path as the lift at the stairs not running. Jim fell and badly tisted knee in the last couple of Km.
with Jim Denby, Darryl? , Ian Wilson
Skied from the Hellbronner side after a night in the Torino Hut. Very flat light difficut skiing. Had to ski the James bond path as the lift at the stairs not running. Jim fell and badly tisted knee in the last couple of Km.
with Jim Denby, Darryl? , Ian Wilson
bogpetre 12 Jan Solo O/S
ChristyCole 7 Aug, 2018 Lead O/S
with dkilner
with dkilner
dkilner 7 Aug, 2018 Solo
Michael Bonallie 12 Jul, 2018 Lead
Michael Bonallie 12 Jul, 2018 Lead
MaccMark 11 Jul, 2018 AltLd
with Steve Graham, Stuart Hurworth
with Steve Graham, Stuart Hurworth
George.D 5 May, 2018 AltLd Perfect late season spring snow
Perfect late season spring snow
SteveJCox 5 Apr, 2018 - Ski descent
with Tom Cox
Ski descent
with Tom Cox
Tom Cox 5 Apr, 2018 - Descent in knee deep powder
Descent in knee deep powder
deandarvill 25 Mar, 2018 - Skied from the Torino hut on the right side of the glacier. Passed the Geant ice fiels on the right hand side of the valley and skied back all the way to chamonix via the 'James Bond ' track
with Barry Goode, Ian Wilson
Skied from the Torino hut on the right side of the glacier. Passed the Geant ice fiels on the right hand side of the valley and skied back all the way to chamonix via the 'James Bond ' track
with Barry Goode, Ian Wilson
Binder 11 Jan, 2018 - Beautiful powder and sunshine.
with Rob P
Beautiful powder and sunshine.
with Rob P
maxsmith 25 Aug, 2017 - Walked up to the glacier junction from Montenvers, great scenery and practised rescue techniques.
Walked up to the glacier junction from Montenvers, great scenery and practised rescue techniques.
WillRich 20 Jul, 2017 Lead rpt
devious wally 10 Jul, 2017 AltLd
mrphilipoldham 10 Jul, 2017 AltLd O/S
Freemantm 4 Jul, 2017 -
SteveJCox ?Apr, 2017 Solo O/S Ski descent. Verry choppy
Ski descent. Verry choppy
Andrew Holden ?Apr, 2017 Solo
HelenB 10 Mar, 2017 Solo O/S Ski descent
Ski descent
Climbingspike ??, 2017 -
Wizzy ?Aug, 2016 -
rpinto 1 Jul, 2016 -
Megan37 ?Jul, 2016 AltLd
Michael Bonallie 28 Jun, 2016 AltLd
with Joe Daly
with Joe Daly
JennyBroomby 23 Jun, 2016 AltLd
SWhite10 23 Jun, 2016 AltLd O/S
CameronH 5 Jun, 2016 - Pretty much had it all to ourselves for a late season ski descent
with ford23
Pretty much had it all to ourselves for a late season ski descent
with ford23
Hidden ?Jun, 2016 -
slw86 12 Apr, 2016 Solo
Hidden ?Apr, 2016 Solo
Elsier 1 Mar, 2016 Solo Ski descent
with AdrianC
Ski descent
with AdrianC
Hidden 5 Feb, 2016 -
Widda 5 Feb, 2016 Lead O/S The altitude made me feel sick and dizzy near the start but loved the rest of the run - beautiful sunny day with a dump of fresh snow the night before - perfect.
The altitude made me feel sick and dizzy near the start but loved the rest of the run - beautiful sunny day with a dump of fresh snow the night before - perfect.
chris_woodsy 5 Feb, 2016 Lead O/S Perfect days skiing. Recommend getting a guide for the first time.
with Widda
Perfect days skiing. Recommend getting a guide for the first time.
with Widda
Hidden ??, 2016 -
Hidden ?Sep, 2015 -
mila.and 23 Aug, 2015 Lead rpt
with Thibault Lieux
with Thibault Lieux
RuthW 7 Aug, 2015 -
Kinge 14 Jul, 2015 Lead O/S
with Owen Williams
with Owen Williams
JonWoolacott 16 Jun, 2015 -
Hidden 11 Feb, 2015 TR
Hidden ?Feb, 2015 -
Fiona_H ?Jan, 2015 -
with Owen
with Owen
Hidden ?Jan, 2015 -
apollo18 ??, 2015 - Skied and boarded many times. Brilliant scenery.
Skied and boarded many times. Brilliant scenery.
Hidden ??, 2015 -
batterj2 16 Aug, 2014 AltLd O/S Followed a group along upper route at crevasse section near Hellebroner. Route wasn't clear and middle route was too crevassed so took lower route. Just under 4 hours for our first independent route! Scared myself silly descending the soft ridge at the start!
Followed a group along upper route at crevasse section near Hellebroner. Route wasn't clear and middle route was too crevassed so took lower route. Just under 4 hours for our first independent route! Scared myself silly descending the soft ridge at the start!
Chrissy202 25 Jun, 2014 2nd O/S
with Charlotte Nelson, Bart, Jack
with Charlotte Nelson, Bart, Jack
Charlotte Nelson 25 Jun, 2014 Lead
John Procter 17 May, 2014 Solo O/S
Hidden 31 Jan, 2014 -
Hidden 28 Jan, 2014 Solo
Hidden 28 Jan, 2014 Solo
Hidden ??, 2014 -
Hidden 20 Sep, 2013 Solo
joe.91 20 Sep, 2013 Solo O/S
j.buckley87 8 Sep, 2013 Lead O/S
dremelmaster 2 Aug, 2013 2nd
BoulderyDave 8 Jul, 2013 Lead O/S
Hidden 8 Jul, 2013 -
WillRich ?Jul, 2013 -
steve_gibbs 25 Jun, 2013 Solo O/S
Mr Fuller 21 Jun, 2013 AltLd O/S
with Paul Gibbison, riven
with Paul Gibbison, riven
Hidden ?Apr, 2013 -
andyinglis ?Apr, 2013 - Ski descents of normal route (3) and grande envers (2) routes
Ski descents of normal route (3) and grande envers (2) routes
williamsd79 13 Mar, 2013 -
Nigel Bond 3 Jul, 2012 Solo
with Bern Hardman
with Bern Hardman
WillRich ?Jul, 2012 -
Nigel Bond 26 Jun, 2012 Solo
with Bern Hardman
with Bern Hardman
Prez 22 Jun, 2012 -
K Mckay 16 Jun, 2012 AltLd O/S
maxsmith ?Jan, 2012 - snowboard descent with guide, lovely fresh powder and sunshine
snowboard descent with guide, lovely fresh powder and sunshine
Hidden ?Sep, 2011 AltLd
Hidden 25 Jul, 2011 AltLd O/S
Hidden 25 Jul, 2011 AltLd O/S
col3 8 Jul, 2011 2nd O/S Third and final day of Conville course. Snow ridge used to descend to the Col du Midi (it was terrifying!) then went up a rock ridge (about PD?) to the Réfuge des Cosmiques. Scary but fun! Had to ascend the snow ridge again to get back up which was better than descending - if it wasn't for the gusts of wind...
with Paul1
Third and final day of Conville course. Snow ridge used to descend to the Col du Midi (it was terrifying!) then went up a rock ridge (about PD?) to the Réfuge des Cosmiques. Scary but fun! Had to ascend the snow ridge again to get back up which was better than descending - if it wasn't for the gusts of wind...
with Paul1
Paul1 8 Jul, 2011 2nd
with Convile course, col3
with Convile course, col3
deepstar ?Apr, 2011 - Serious mountain day,I had never skii`d on snow like that before,exhausting!!
with Matt Helliker, Andy Sparrow
Serious mountain day,I had never skii`d on snow like that before,exhausting!!
with Matt Helliker, Andy Sparrow
Hidden 10 Mar, 2011 -
Si Witcher 14 Jan, 2011 - Gros Rognon to Requin hut and down Requin Couloir, and then again going left of Gros Rognon and Bray variation - perfect blue skies and fresh tracks
Gros Rognon to Requin hut and down Requin Couloir, and then again going left of Gros Rognon and Bray variation - perfect blue skies and fresh tracks
Hidden ?Sep, 2010 Solo
Hidden 1 Aug, 2010 -
Whitty2012 1 Aug, 2010 -
Ly-Cilph 18 Jul, 2010 AltLd Took quite a detour over the top of the crevasses.
Took quite a detour over the top of the crevasses.
baldie_chick 18 Jul, 2010 AltLd
with kidB
with kidB
Ly-Cilph 17 Jul, 2010 AltLd Done in reverse.
Done in reverse.
baldie_chick 17 Jul, 2010 AltLd Awesome
with kidB
Awesome
with kidB
Amy Kilpin 14 Jul, 2010 -
Hidden 11 Jan, 2010 -
Hidden 11 Jan, 2010 -
Hidden ?Jan, 2010 -
Hidden ??, 2010 -
Hidden ??, 2010 -
Hellflame ?Aug, 2009 -
KatieG 11 Jul, 2009 -
Hidden ?Jul, 2009 2nd
Hidden ?Jul, 2009 Lead
Howard J 29 Jun, 2009 - A fabulous day out. On the way back in the gondolas we saw a helicopter rescuing someone off the Cosmiques Arete.
A fabulous day out. On the way back in the gondolas we saw a helicopter rescuing someone off the Cosmiques Arete.
ebunick ?May, 2009 - ended the season with a quick play down the valley blanche. came down close to the gros rognon. was skiing like a spanner and took one tumble :( last decent day of skiing down hte usual route. one bridge half collapsed under dan and was gone by the time id crossed it. folks behind had to pick another line :P
with Dan (Skiing)
ended the season with a quick play down the valley blanche. came down close to the gros rognon. was skiing like a spanner and took one tumble :( last decent day of skiing down hte usual route. one bridge half collapsed under dan and was gone by the time id crossed it. folks behind had to pick another line :P
with Dan (Skiing)
QuentinSu ?Apr, 2009 -
Hidden ?Feb, 2009 -
Hidden 2 Jan, 2009 -
ebunick ?Jan, 2009 - first back country foray with adventure base. guy guided and the boss girls came along too.
with Dan (Skiing)
first back country foray with adventure base. guy guided and the boss girls came along too.
with Dan (Skiing)
Hidden ??, 2009 -
barksmo ??, 2009 -
Hidden 21 Dec, 2008 -
Hidden 21 Dec, 2008 -
KatieG 11 Aug, 2008 -
Hidden ?Aug, 2008 AltLd O/S
Hidden ?Jul, 2008 AltLd
GarethSL ?Jul, 2008 Lead O/S
with Chris, sophie291188
with Chris, sophie291188
roncaves 19 Apr, 2008 - Descent on ski
with Dan Friedmann
Descent on ski
with Dan Friedmann
Hidden 28 Mar, 2008 -
Chad123 ?Feb, 2008 Solo O/S Awesome long ski run, got last lift up and went down the grands envers variation and all the way to Chamonix. Well worth doing. Didn't have to work the moves or fall over but did ask for information so maybe a beta flash.....
Awesome long ski run, got last lift up and went down the grands envers variation and all the way to Chamonix. Well worth doing. Didn't have to work the moves or fall over but did ask for information so maybe a beta flash.....
AndrewJenkins ??, 2008 -
markfairbank 27 Aug, 2007 Solo
SteveMyatt 27 Aug, 2007 AltLd O/S
with Mark Fairbank
with Mark Fairbank
whispering nic ?Mar, 2007 Solo O/S
with Al Reid
with Al Reid
Sarah Bough 27 Jun, 2006 2nd
Martyn ?Sep, 2005 Solo rpt
with James Williams
with James Williams
sacdenouilles ?Aug, 2005 -
bpmclimb 14 Jul, 2005 AltLd O/S
with Cham group
with Cham group
Ly-Cilph ?Jul, 2005 2nd
with Guided
with Guided
Richard Weller ?Feb, 2005 - On ski with the Verdets
On ski with the Verdets
tjekel ??, 2005 -
johnjb 4 Apr, 2004 Solo Ski descent with guided group
Ski descent with guided group
Zoomer ?Apr, 2004 Solo Ski descent with a guide, didn't need him, it's a motorway!
with Hiedi Sparks
Ski descent with a guide, didn't need him, it's a motorway!
with Hiedi Sparks
Hidden ?Jul, 2003 -
Hidden ??, 2002 2nd
Stone Muppet ??, 2001 -
Martyn ?Sep, 1999 Solo O/S
with Rob Boylin
with Rob Boylin
Helge Øystein Maakestad ??, 1999 - I've skied "Valle Blance" many times since 1999. All different variants: The "Col du Plan", "Grand Envers" etc.
I've skied "Valle Blance" many times since 1999. All different variants: The "Col du Plan", "Grand Envers" etc.
olekemi 10 Jan, 1998 Solo O/S Ski Mountaineering.
with Jerome P
Ski Mountaineering.
with Jerome P
stokesrees ??, 1997 AltLd
with Asmus Norveslet
with Asmus Norveslet
Sime64 ?Aug, 1994 - In Descent to valley floor
with Gill
In Descent to valley floor
with Gill
Hidden ?Aug, 1992 -
Hidden 1 Mar, 1990 -
Hidden 2 Jan, 1990 Lead
Dan Uneken 12 Jul, 1988 Solo
with Monique Staal
with Monique Staal
mark-abz ?Mar, 1982 Solo Ski descent
Ski descent
Hidden ??, 1976 -
pneame 28 Dec, 1975 -
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Votes cast 7
Votes cast 8
Style of Ascent
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