Cosmiques Arete – AD , 400m , 2-4 hrs
One of the best and most famous routes in the range, the Cosmiques Arete has a bit of everything – rock, ice, snow and mixed. Great quality climbing, technical interest throughout and it finishes right at the cable car station.
The Climb – A technical mixed ridge climb that can be done in most conditions. The climbing is very varied with lots of interest and some short, harder pitches, plus a couple of abseils.
Experience – Some previous Uk climbing or alpine experience required. Continuous scrambling and short rock, ice, or mixed pitches – depending on conditions the route may be climbed with crampons or without.
The route takes half an hour to approach, dropping down the snow arete from the Aiguille du Midi, then around under the South Face of the Midi and up a short slope to the start of the climb.
From here, a series of steps and gullies are climbed up the arete, either by short pitches or moving together, until the top of the first tower is reached. It’s now necessary to do 2 abseils in order to get past the steep pinnacle ahead.
Turning this first pinnacle on the right, then the second one on the same side, you eventually arrive at a good picnic spot just before a short steep wall, which is the crux of the route.
Above the wall, the route swings left onto the icy northern side of the mountain, where a series of chimneys leads up to the final crest. It’s now time to look cool – and try not to fall off – as you’re being photographed by dozens of tourists on the viewing platform ahead!