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Rockfax Description
II, 200m, 4 - 5 hours. The Belvédère makes for a worthwhile day on its own but is best combined with the Crochues Traverse.
Approach - From Lac Blanc, follow the path northwest towards the Col des Dards. 200m from the Col, traverse rightwards across scree and snow to reach the ridge. If coming from the Crochues Traverse, either descend that route as described and then traverse to the Belvédère, or (much more enjoyable) continue along the rocky ridge from the Crochues North Summit across the Col des Dards and on towards the Belvédère. Where the ridge steepens significantly and the rock becomes red, traverse for 10m on the Lac Blanc side to reach a 25m abseil from a block. Abseil off in-situ slings and walk 100m northwards to reach the route described here.
1) The ridge can be joined just about anywhere in its lower section. The rock gets increasingly solid as you get higher and it also steepens, bringing you naturally onto the crest.
2) Eventually you come to a slab on the Lac Blanc side - traverse this easily and arrive at the notch, with a steep tower and distinctive tooth above you.
3) 3a. Climb a 12m chimney just to the left of the crest which is steep but furnished with excellent, positive holds (3a).
4) Continue along the crest of the ridge, across a 30m flat section. Then onto the Lac Blanc side until just before the final summit tower.
5) Scramble up and left, onto the west side of the ridge. Follow a vague gully system on chossy black rock to reach the summit.
Descent - Reverse the route. The 12m chimney is abseiled (fixed slings) but otherwise the route can be downclimbed. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
The highest summit in the Aiguilles Rouge at 2965m. The route is in the "Sommets du Mont Blanc" book by Laroche and Lelong. Essentially a scramble with one 10m chimney pitch that is given 3b in the book. Start from the top of the Index chairlift and walk to Lac Blanc, then up the rocky path and snowslope to gain the arête just right of the Col des Dards. There are short cuts that don't involve going to Lac Blanc. Descend to the Flégère téléphérique via Lac Blanc. An excellent day.

Feedback

User Date Notes
James W 9 Aug Show βeta
βeta: absolutely agree with max, options to left look choosy, French guide told us to go left then right at summit. The French guidebook says 30m from top there is a orange ledge and path to the left. it does lead to the nne ridge but there is another minor ridge in between. This is steep but doable on shattered sloping downwards layered rock with a 4a boulder problem at top on very dusty solid rock. We did do this but it was horrible. Came down the NNE ridge which was great. Fantastic mountaineering peak, used crampons for about 200m of easy steep snowfield ascent on Aug 7th 2020. Would have been difficult without crampons. Also downclimbed chimney with 15 year old daughter.
 
Show beta
βeta: absolutely agree with max, options to left look choosy, French guide told us to go left then right at summit. The French guidebook says 30m from top there is a orange ledge and path to the left. it does lead to the nne ridge but there is another minor ridge in between. This is steep but doable on shattered sloping downwards layered rock with a 4a boulder problem at top on very dusty solid rock. We did do this but it was horrible. Came down the NNE ridge which was great. Fantastic mountaineering peak, used crampons for about 200m of easy steep snowfield ascent on Aug 7th 2020. Would have been difficult without crampons. Also downclimbed chimney with 15 year old daughter.
James W 9 Aug Show βeta
βeta: Great climb, think the left ledge option 30m from top to NNE ridge best way to summit
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: Great climb, think the left ledge option 30m from top to NNE ridge best way to summit
Webster 30 Jul, 2019 Show βeta
βeta: crux chimney is less than 12m and easier than 3a (in ascent). you will find harder ungraded scrambles on the cuillin ridge traverse (all be it on better rock)
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: crux chimney is less than 12m and easier than 3a (in ascent). you will find harder ungraded scrambles on the cuillin ridge traverse (all be it on better rock)
maxsmith 22 Aug, 2017 Show βeta
βeta: Mega walk in even after taking the cable car and Index chair lift, but great exposed ridge scrambling and the only 'pitch' of the route probably rates around Mod. Rockfax description of the summit tower is poor - the route as described is very chossy and dangerous. I would advise following the traverse path on the lac blanc side and then reaching the top via the NNE ridge. Followed by the obligatory swim in lac blanc .
 
Show beta
βeta: Mega walk in even after taking the cable car and Index chair lift, but great exposed ridge scrambling and the only 'pitch' of the route probably rates around Mod. Rockfax description of the summit tower is poor - the route as described is very chossy and dangerous. I would advise following the traverse path on the lac blanc side and then reaching the top via the NNE ridge. Followed by the obligatory swim in lac blanc .

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