Rockfax Description
III, 300m, 4 - 6 hours. A wonderful alpine ridge finishing on a very scenic summit - this route really should see more traffic. That it doesn't is probably due to the long approach and the remoteness of the route; the technical difficulties are low but retreat is difficult and the descent from the top is no pushover even in ideal conditions.
Approach - From the Refuge d'Argentière, head northeast, past the Aiguille du Génépi, to reach the Glacier des Améthystes. Follow the left-hand side of this to reach the foot of the initial snow ramp, 400m west of the Col du Tour Noir.
Start at the foot of a wide, snowy couloir, below and left of a distinctive rock pinnacle.
1) Climb the snowy couloir and follow it to the ridgeline via a short mixed pitch at the end.
2) Pass right around the first tower via straightforward but exposed scrambling.
3) Continue on the ridge crest and then descend a 20m chimney (can be abseiled).
4) Traverse snow and broken rock on the Argentière side of the ridge, taking the line of least resistance but staying 20 - 50m below the crest, to reach the snow couloir leading up to the Flèche Rousse itself.
5) Follow the couloir until just before it crests the ridge, then turn left and follow snowy mixed ground to the foot of the Flèche Rousse summit tower.
6) 5a, Depending on your crack climbing ability, this can be climbed in a number of places but is best tackled by the wide (body width) crack (5a, 30m) which splits two sections of grey rock, below and left of an imposing orange overhang.
7) Move left above the crack and scramble easily to the Flèche Rousse summit. The route from here is only visible once you get there.
8) Head in the direction of the Aiguille d'Argentière and make a 20m abseil onto the north side of the ridge.
9) Downclimb, or abseil, another 5m to reach a col at 3827m, then follow easy and extremely well-positioned ground to the summit of the Aiguille d'Argentière.
Descent - Descend either the Whymper Route or the Glacier du Milieu, depending on what the Refuge d'Argentière guardian recommends. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
From Argentiere hut up Amethystes Glacier and then turn left up a snow slope to the arete - follow this with long sections of II/III rock, including a tight post box, 15 metre abseil off the Fleche Rousse (avoidable as don't need to go to Fleche Rousse), from there to the summit and down one of the glaciers as per one of the Normal Routes.

G.H.Masse, J.H.Wicks, M.C.Wilson 03/Aug/1893

Ticklists: Batoux's 100 finest routes in the Mont Blanc massif.

walts4 29/Dec/16 -

Mid winter ascent, soft sugary snow on the Swiss side, but perfect on the South, French side. The top part of the Mileau was ice, very unpleasant, the lack of snow this winter was so evident on the descent.

with pat
Rob Pitt 07/Oct/16 -
with Guy
guy757 07/Oct/16 -
Jgresh 14/Aug/16 AltLd

Challenging route finding. Approx 18hrs activity

masa-alpin 08/Aug/16 2nd β

Rob lead all the way except the last stretch, where Simon took over. 2 abseils. 3am start and 13.5 hrs activity, including packing up the tent and a tedious descent all the way to the mid-station of Grands Montets.

perrys 08/Aug/16 -
with Rob Goodman, Masa Sakano
robgixer 08/Aug/16 AltLd
Hoyes 07/Aug/16 Lead O/S

Following Alex, David and Matt. Great route but hard for AD. Difficult route finding at times and tricky chimney near top.

David Kay 07/Aug/16 AltLd O/S
with Matt Box, Alex Shipp
Lumbering Oaf 07/Aug/16 AltLd O/S

Great route but took quite a while to do it due to route finding. Made the summit of the Aig. D'Argentiere by late afternoon. Descended the Millieu Glacier on a hot afternoon to return to bivy site.

with Alex Shipp, David Kay
Hidden 25/Jul/16 Lead
liamando 29/Jun/16 AltLd

Overly long day out with poor route finding and mushy snow due to overnight cloud cover

with Alex Stevenson
steve_gibbs 08/Sep/14 AltLd O/S
with Pete Leeming
Hidden 05/Sep/14 AltLd O/S
Clay C 03/Sep/14 AltLd
with Hannah, George
67hours 03/Sep/14 -
with Hannah, Clay
jonskippy 08/Aug/14 AltLd O/S
with Ben Cooling, Edgars, cashley
benclimbing 08/Aug/14 AltLd O/S

Patience paid off as we waited for good weather so the snow was in perfect condition for the approach and the descent down the Mileu Glacier. Fun scrambling on the ridge with one or two quite dangerous sections of weetabix! A fantastic day but a shame to miss the last telefrique by 10 mins! Took an extra hour to walk down to Argentiere

with cashley, Edgars, jonskippy
alastairbegley 31/Jul/14 AltLd

Snow was in appalling condition, took us ages due to wading in knee deep snow with a hard crust. Great ridge and fun rock climbing though!

Slick 31/Jul/14 AltLd

Route finding fun and snow not great but wow! What a day!

Hidden 21/Apr/14 AltLd O/S
joelevanschamonix 20/Apr/14 AltLd β

DaveThexton ??/2014 Lead
with Tim
Hidden 14/Aug/13 -
prwalker 14/Aug/13 -
with wupert
walts4 ??/2013 -
Hidden 09/Sep/11 AltLd O/S
Hidden 01/Aug/11 -
Patrik ?/Aug/11 -
Adi Hooper 16/Jul/11 AltLd

Traversed the mountain from the Argentiere hut.

with Roger Ward
Hidden 21/Aug/10 AltLd O/S
Hidden ?/Aug/10 -
stephenmckenzie 14/Jul/10 AltLd dnf

Out of conidition despite reports to the contrary. Snow gave way underfoot on several occassions. Serious falls narrowly avoided. Choppered. Nothing hurt except pride. Dissapointing and embarrassing way to end first trip to the alps.

with John Brannock, Greg Martin
ffdalton 06/Jul/10 -
with Dean Dalton
Em66 21/Jul/09 -
with Mat
Misha ?/Aug/07 AltLd O/S
RobScotland ?/May/07 AltLd O/S

Care required on glacier during descent - crevasses.

with jonnyb
bandersnatch ?/Jul/06 Lead
with Mairi B
1202alarm ?/Jun/04 -

Cool ridge route

Tim W ??/2001 -

long long day!

bandersnatch ?/Jul/99 Lead
agagsgrot ?/Aug/92 -
Michael ?/Aug/92 -
Hidden ?/Aug/91 -
Laramadness 20/Jul/91 -
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