III, 700m, 5 - 7 hours. This is a great route for any mid-grade alpinist. The technical difficulties are low but the exposure is breathtaking and confidence in your cramponing is essential.
1) From the hut, follow the ridge crest, turning two small towers on the right, until it steepens at a buttress.
2) Climb this to the left of the crest via a snow/mixed gully to regain the ridge and follow it on the snowy crest.
3) Although technically straightforward, the section on the crest is incredibly exposed and features the legendary and often photographed traverse across the 'demi-lune' just before Pointe de l'Androsace.
4) 4c. Turn the Pointe de L'Androsace on the left (Brenva) side and return to the ridge at a small notch. Carry on for 10m along broken rocky ground and descend slightly on the Brenva side to reach a short, awkward crack (4c) which leads to a mixed ramp (or bare rock in late season), which gradually leads you back onto the ridge crest.
5) Follow the ridge crest without any significant obstacles until just below the point where the ridge meets the northwest shoulder of Mont Maudit.
6) Traverse onto the Chamonix side and climb a snowy gully to reach the shoulder and summit ridge.
7) Follow this via an exposed, snowy traverse to the summit of Mont Maudit. The final ridge is spectacular and a fitting end to one of the finest routes in the Alps. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
Classic ridge traverse. Also called 'Frontier Ridge'.
The approach to the Col de la Fourche Hut can be in very bad nick and as an alternative, from the Torino Hut pass the snow/ice slope that leads up to the Col de la Fourche Hut and climb the snow/ice slope a bit further along (closer to the summit) that leads to the ridge.
From the Col de la Fourche Hut, follow the ridge and snowy snow slope to the snowy ridge that leads under Pt. de l'Androsace. 50 meter descending ice traverse to the left then contour around to snow gully that leads up towards skyline. Up through a bit of mixed climbing, right then back to the left on to the snowy cornice leading up the NE Ridge to the summit tower.
M. von Kuffner with A. Burgener, J Furrer and porter 02/Jul/1887.
Rebuffat's 100 Finest Routes in the Mont Blanc Massif , Batoux's 100 finest routes in the Mont Blanc massif , ROCKFAX Chamonix: Top 50 , Big Routes , Alpine Dreamz , Big Alpine Routes , Alpine Progression , A mix of routes to the summits of great Peaks in the Alps via standard'ish routes , Alps 22 , Chamonix 2023 , BMC - Easier Classics in the Mont Blanc Range
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