Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Chamonix, Mont-Blanc - The Cosmiques Ridge

The Cosmiques Ridge is a supurb varied route which is justifiably popular. It is the perfect introduction to Alpine mixed climbing has enough variety to keep experienced climbers happy. The route is also known as the Cosmiques Arête and South-South-West Ridge. It's graded at AD but the crux is hard for its grade and suitable mixed climbing and abseiling skills are required. Much of the ridge can be climbed moving together, however the crux section will likely require a belay to be established. The rock is excellent quality throughout and there are plenty of locations to place protection.
It is possible to climb the ridge year round however poor snow conditions will make the route more difficult and dangerous. In poor conditions, descending from the cable station down to the Col du Midi can also be a nervous affair. Most people climb the route between June and September. The ridge was first climbed by George and Maxwell Finched on 2nd August 1911.

The route starts from the Abri Simond bivouac hut which is adjacent to the Cosmiques hut. The obvious way to reach the starting point is via the Aiguille du Midi-Vallee Blanche Cable car from Chamonix. From the cable car station, descend to the Col du Midi and then head for the Cosmiques Hut, bearing towards to Abri Simond as it comes into view. It's possible to climb the Cosmiques Ridge the same morning as having taken the cable car however there will be climbing traffic on the route which will likely slow you down.

The video of Mont Blanc climbing is here : youtu.be/3xAeVLIcFKw

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