750m, 25 pitches.

Rockfax Description
III, 650m. A classic route taking an amazing line - just look up from Chamonix town centre at sunset and you will instantly want to climb this. The west face of the Charmoz catches the evening sun and the Cordier Pillar is THE line.
Approach - From the Plan de l'Aiguille, take the path to Lac Bleu then follow a vague track climbing eastwards, directly towards the Petits Charmoz. Cross the moraine beneath the Glacier de Blaitière following the line of least resistance (occasional cairn) to reach the ridge coming down from the Aiguille de Blaitière Northwest Ridge. Cross the next bowl (more boulders but easier than the Blaitière moraine) in the direction of the Charmoz to reach the ridge overlooking the foot of the Nantillons Glacier. If you are going straight to the routes from the lift or the Plan de l'Aiguille hut, continue across the glacier, but if you are planning to bivi, walk up a good path along the ridge which leads to some superb bivi spots at the foot of the northwest ridge of the Blaitiére. The glacier is extremely prone to rockfall and, although it can be crossed high up, it is usually worth the extra effort of descending slightly and crossing level with the southwest ridge of the Aiguille de l'M - whichever way you cross, don't dawdle. Having crossed the glacier snout, head directly towards the Grands Charmoz and the foot of the route.
1) 4c. Follow a ramp up and left to a ledge.
2) 6a+. Step right and climb the steep finger-crack.
3) 5c. Drift right and then come back left to easier ground.
4) 3b. Go straight up the easier ground to reach a corner.
5) 6a. Climb the corner, which is marked by several pegs.
6) 4c. Step right and climb a short, easier corner.
7) 4a. Go up and right across easy, broken ground.
8) 5c. Climb the tricky corner-crack to an exposed belay.
9) 5a. Continue straight up the wide corner-crack system.
10) 6a+. Go straight up the left-facing corner and then traverse out left under a roof. A stunning pitch.
11) 5c. Move left and climb the corner above.
12) 6a+. Climb the steep corner/groove.
13) 5a. Go diagonally up and right then come back left to belay.
14) 5c. Go straight up the corner then traverse diagonally left.
15) 5b. Take the right-leaning groove to easier ground.
16) 3b. Go diagonally left for 10m then back right for 10m.
17) 3b. Continue straight up easy terrain to steeper ground.
18) 4c. Step right and climb a corner system.
19) 5a. Move left and continue up corners.
20) 6b. Go straight up the steep finger-crack.
21) 5c. Climb slightly easier ground to the foot of a wide crack.
22) 6b. Climb the crack, for which a large cam is vital!
23) 5a. Continue straight up then move right into a corner.
24) 3c. Climb the broken corner to the Charmoz summit ridge.
It is possible to follow the summit ridge to the top of the Charmoz via a 50m pitch of 5a. If you do this, reverse the pitch and then abseil back down the route.
Descent - The Cordier Pillar is nearly always abseiled since it allows the route to be climbed with minimal kit. The belays are fixed (and there are also numerous pegs and the odd bolt on the route too.) © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
An awesome climb, following a series of interesting cracks to a two-thrid height ledge. From here you have some of the best climbing of your life to the top, from finger-locking to off-widthing, every kind of perfect jamming can be experience.


Addison, Cordier, Fagard and Jouty 06/Jul/1970

Ticklists: ROCKFAX Chamonix: Top 50, Alpine Grande Courses, Euro Alpine Rock.

Rharrison 29/Aug/17 AltLd

Simuled most of the route.

with Tyler
Hidden 20/Aug/17 AltLd
davkeo 16/Aug/17 AltLd dnf

We decided to turn around at 3pm after 20 pitches (another 5 to the top) due to a combo of it being Misha's last day (and needing to check out of the campsite at a reasonable hour), the clag dropping fast and my dodgy constitution. We did manage to make the last lift down with a sprint finish so we were pretty happy all the same. Climbing was good until we bailed but I wouldn't say it was amazing. May have to come back for the top pitches.

with Misha
Misha 16/Aug/17 AltLd dnf

Destined not to finish this route! First bin up, though it got delayed so only started the route at 9.30am. With only one light sack between us, we were fairly quick and smooth on the way up, bar a detour rightwards at the top of RF P12 due to confusing description - you only step R from the belay and continue straight up to easier ground in the corner groove. Dave and I ended up doing a pitch each of lichenous rarely travelled ground before getting back on route. 5.5 hours to the easy ground below the headwall. It was our last day and I needed to pay for the camping before an early start in the morning; Dave wasn't feeling great; and the weather wasn't looking great, with the headwall mostly shrouded by clouds. So we sensibly bailed just after 3pm. The abs were pretty smooth and only took about an hour. A fast walk back meant we got the last lift - bonus!

Hugh Irving 04/Aug/17 AltLd O/S
with Paul
Paul Collins 04/Aug/17 AltLd

Waited till 6am for first light to cross the glacier, mainly so we could see the rocks coming! Climbing by 8am, topped out at 5.30pm, abseiled to the glacier just as it was getting dark. Great climbing, especially the top pitches. The descent down the glacier was pretty scary, lots and lots of rockfall and rocks sliding, not a place I want to spend more time when its in that state! Super comfortable bivvi on the moraine ridge before and after.

Ali D 16/Jul/17 AltLd

Great route! First bin, 10 hours for the route. Got the rope stuck 3 times on the way down. Had to re-climb (aid) the 6b finger crack pitch. Hit the glacier at 11.30pm got back to cham at 1.40am. What a day!

with Chucky
LJC 13/Jul/17 AltLd O/S

From first lift. 6 hours on route. 3:30 to rappel. Then a long walk down to the valley.

with Tim
Timothy Miller 12/Jul/17 AltLd O/S

From first lift, 6 hours for the climb, then had to walk back to Chamonix

with Luca
jameslomax 04/Jul/17 AltLd dnf

Bivvy'd besides the glacier on Monday night, set off at 6am to make a sketchy traverse of the very icy glacier in approach shoes with a single ice axes between us. Started the climb about 7, had some absolutely amazing pitches, in particular a couple of pitches with some spectacular moves, easily the best climbing I've done in my life so far. Unfortunately we had little experience with granite and little experience with long multipitch. Made it a little under 20 pitches before we realised (at 18:00) it was time to bail, massive shame but with all the faffing about with abseils we only just reached the glacier by sunset, and arrived at the valley at 2am! In hindsight what we did wrong: it was probably at the top of our grad for what we'd normally climb single pitch, and as such we were climbing it like a peak District gritstone route - i.e. slowly and with lots of meticulously placed gear. To do this in a day we'll have to run it out, and be much more efficient with our pitches. All abseils/belays were equipped (usually with some pitons, a number of old slings/tat and a piton or two) some worth skipping for speed, some are hard to find but most follow obvious lines upwards. Occasional pitons where the climbing got hard although many of them did not feel bomber.

with Omar Shah
Adam Coles 13/Jun/17 AltLd O/S
with seanhendo123, Clare
seanhendo123 13/Jun/17 AltLd O/S

Big route! Some stunning pitches especially on the upper buttress, loose rock on easy pitches, one big rockfall damaged ropes, one through to core. Classic proper alpine route

Hidden 02/Sep/16 AltLd O/S
Hidden 27/Aug/16 AltLd dnf
Hidden 23/Aug/14 AltLd O/S
Misha 23/Aug/14 AltLd dnf


with Nic
Hidden 12/Aug/14 Lead dnf
Hidden 10/Jul/14 AltLd
nickwhimster 25/Jul/13 AltLd O/S

Mont led out the top three pitches. v cool but very unnerved by listening to the rockfall all night at the bivi!

monsteratt 25/Jul/13 AltLd O/S

Bit spooked by stonefall on the approach. Some great pitches some nice slabs and flake cracks in lower half then amazing cracks and great rock on the final buttress. Worth all the effort and stress of getting there. 10 hours to the top and too many abbing down. Ropes stuck abbing into nothing resulted in late/dark/epic finish :-(

with Nick Whimster
Hidden 16/Jul/13 AltLd dnf
Hidden 22/Jun/12 AltLd O/S
Hidden 27/Sep/11 AltLd dnf
Hidden ?/Aug/11 AltLd
Hidden ?/Aug/11 Lead
guy757 17/Jul/11 AltLd
Jack Loftus 12/Jul/11 AltLd
with Nick
Petarghh 12/Jul/11 AltLd
Cardi 12/Jul/11 AltLd dnf

As Pete said. Did a lot of climbing, got beyond ledge. Great climbing. Thought best to abseil off, rather than continue to top.

Hidden 12/Jul/11 AltLd O/S
Hidden ?/Jul/11 -
Hidden 25/Jul/10 AltLd O/S
alpinist63 12/Aug/09 AltLd rpt
Bristoldave ?/Aug/09 Lead O/S
with Jon Hauser
Phil Jennings 26/Jul/09 AltLd O/S
with Tom Nichols
Hidden 26/Jul/09 AltLd O/S
Ally Baba 26/Jul/09 AltLd
with Gav Swinton
Hidden 21/Aug/08 AltLd O/S
tommytuffa 21/Aug/08 AltLd
with ollie b, Chris Fisher
Franco Cookson OLD 05/Aug/08 AltLd O/S

awesome, the best climbing you'll do. did it a couple of hours under guidebook time. nearly got hit by a uge rockfall- cutting our rope on the last rap. Luckily all five of us were unscathed- the biggest block was the size of a bus- crater picture to come. :-)

with Ian, Luke, Tom ripus and will
lukehunt ?/Aug/08 AltLd O/S

simul-climbed the top third, best climbing i've done!

with francocookson
clams ??/2008 AltLd
with Steve
featuresforfeet 18/Aug/07 -

Only got to the halfway ledges. Seconded vast majority of pitches.

Tobias at Home 18/Aug/07 Lead dnf

turned around at ledges. couldn't be arsed with a bivvy and we would have been benighted...

with featuresforfeet
Nicos 24/Jul/07 Lead dnf

reached the ledges

Tobias at Home 15/Jul/07 Lead dnf

ran out of steam just below halfway ledge.

with Bag
Pete Graham ??/2007 AltLd
Hidden ?/Jun/06 AltLd O/S
Grezza ?/Jul/05 AltLd

Amazing route

with Paul E
Hidden ?/Sep/04 -
fellgazelle 29/Jun/04 -

Brilliant continuous rock route. Abbed back down the route. Some very heavy and frequent rockfall throughout to the left of the route.

with Chris Dale
1202alarm ?/Jun/04 -
akhughes ??/2004 AltLd O/S
with Steptoe
Hidden 16/Jun/03 AltLd O/S
NeilGriffiths ?/Aug/02 AltLd
with James Hubbard
haydng ??/2000 AltLd O/S

Climbed with a random German guy from the campsite!

Climbingspike ??/1998 -
Hidden ??/1998 -
tjekel ??/1998 -
Guy ?/Aug/97 AltLd O/S

Up and down walking from the valley in a day.

with Adrian
Hidden ??/1996 AltLd
Hidden ?/Aug/95 AltLd
crossleysm ??/1995 AltLd
with Guy Maddox
craig h ?/Aug/94 AltLd
with Jim Mellor
Hidden 05/Aug/93 AltLd
michaelja ?/Aug/92 AltLd

with Frank Merkenhof

frost ?/Jul/91 AltLd
with Stone
Hidden ??/1990 AltLd O/S
Hidden 07/Aug/89 Lead
Hidden ?/Aug/89 AltLd
michael burrows 31/Jul/88 AltLd O/S
with steve williams
Hidden 31/Jul/88 AltLd O/S
Hidden 28/Jul/88 AltLd
GaryK ?/Aug/87 AltLd O/S

Excellent route, especially the top pitches on the head wall. The ledges at 2/3rd height were a bit scrappy, but the top was worth it. Bivied at a flat spot at the bottom of the glacier. Came back to find goat shit all over my Karrimat. Took 2 years to get rid of the smell.

with Simon
AlexRenshaw ?/Jul/87 -
Richard Weller 05/Jul/86 -

Stupendous route

with john sanders
John Marsland 09/Aug/85 AltLd dnf

badly iced, abbed off from below the summit buttress

with Dave Soles
Neil McA 18/Jul/84 AltLd O/S

Fast and enjoyable, less than 6 hours. a bit icy in places. Lovely route.

with Fruit
Hidden ?/Aug/83 AltLd
jcw ??/1983 -

A fantastic route, particularly the top part

with Simon Donowho
Hidden ?/Aug/82 AltLd
Hidden ?/Aug/82 AltLd
Hidden 04/Aug/81 AltLd
alpinist63 ??/1981 -
Paul Clarke ?/Aug/79 AltLd

Epic rockfall event part way up

with Neil Plant
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