Aiguille Verte – 4122m, Whymper Couloir

Aiguille Verte – 4122m, Whymper Couloir – AD+ , 1400m , 10-12hrs

There is no easy way up the Aiguille Verte. All routes to the summit are long and serious undertakings, requiring skill, fitness and plenty of alpine experience.

The Climb – A long, serious route moving together up mixed ground and steep snow, with a narrow arete to finish. Good conditions are essential to make an ascent.

Experience – Good quality alpine climbing experience on bigger AD 4000m peaks, efficient multipitch abseiling ability for the descent. Fitness essential.

Guiding – if you are interested in climbing the Aiguille Verte with a guide, check our 1:1 Guiding Peaks week.

The Whymper Couloir is the most famous route on the mountain and one that can be climbed quickly in good conditions. However, getting the route in condition is easier said than done and speed is of the utmost importance.

After a midnight start from the Couvercle Hut, it’s a long hike across the glacier to the foot of the couloir where the climbing begins. In order to climb quickly enough, the whole route needs to be climbed moving together, mostly in the dark.

From the top of the couloir, a short but narrow snow crest leads to the summit. The views are spectacular, but there’s never much time to stop, as the descent must be started as early as possible in order to find the couloir still in safe condition.