The Cosmiques Arete is what I call the “perfect office” of a Chamonix guide. It is rare to find such a beautiful, all terrain and at the same time short climbing route, with quick access and way out thanks to the Aiguille du Midi cable car. You will find all the different characters and aspects of a high mountain “grand course”. Easy terrain where you scramble up on a short rope, one section where you need to down climb, a 20 meter abseil, some short picthes where the climb gets more technical up to grade III and a crux pitch up to grade IV where you need to climb a short steep wall with a crack. No matter if it’s bone dry or full of snow, the Cosmiques Arete is always tracked, better, when it’s plastered of snow it becomes a insteresting experience as you will need to climb the whole thing with crampons on.
Once you’re almost topping out on the panoramic terrace of the Aiguille du Midi cable car station, this is gonna be your 15 minutes glory time of your life. You’re gonna be the tourists’ hero on a beautiful sunny day, they might even ask you to take a photo together with them.
At the end of August I guided the Cosmiques Arete several times as it was a plan B for those days when we should have been up the Mont Blanc but conditions were not good enough. You can also make the best of your day if you’re up to climb the first part of the arete to the Cosmiques Hut, called Arete à Laurence, pretty short but with some good climbing sections.
Here in the Gallery you will also find some photos from the normal route to Gran Paradiso, climbed back and forth from the Chabod Hut as a classic acclimatization peak for Mont Blanc. I had never seen the glacier so dry, at the same time it was the fastest and safest Gran Paradiso I ever guided. Big crevasses on the Laveciau Glacier, but the snow bridges looked very good and the track was great on the whole itinerary.