Aiguille d’Argentière via Glacier du Milieu

4.2, E2, D

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I’ve always wanted to ski this line so when Magnus suggested we stay at the refuge d’Argentière and head up the route it was a no brainer for me. Only problem was that I was sat at my desk knee deep in writing newsletters for my beloved Adventure Base. (You can sign up for them by clicking here by the way, bottom right of the page)

Two hours later we were taking the Grands Montets lift, fully equipped for our hut stay and mission to the summit of the Arg the following day. Magnus is somewhat an expert when it comes to trips like this, so he looked after the food sitch. Tasty pasta with all kinds of meaty extras was to be our dinner in the hut, cooked on the fantastic JetBoil (http://www.jetboil.com/). We shared the cold un-staffed hut with two groups of French Alpinists and the dinner chat revolved around which routes we were going for the following morning. Suggestions were exchanged and once the wine was finished we were all soon fast asleep. It was the earliest night I’ve had for a while, I was fast asleep by 8:30 pm already dreaming of tomorrow’s adventure.

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We reached the refuge d’Argentière just as the light was disappearing over the Aiguille Verte and Les Droites
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An old motorbike sits on the roof of the refuge d’Argentière – not quite sure why.
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Magnus preparing dinner
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Cracking sunrise over Mont Dolent
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Sunrise, looking down the glacier d’Argentière
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Setting off up towards Glacier du Milieu
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Looking back at Aiguille Verte (4122m)
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Big scenery as we approached Glacier du Milieu. Can you spot Magnus?
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summit in view
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After gaining around 750 metres skinning it was time to boot pack the last 380 metres.
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Boot packing up a sustained slope of around 40 degrees for 380 metres was something new for me. One step at a time.. Not much room for error here.
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Selfie. Long way down.
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The final plateau as seen from the summit. Our skis and bags are the small blob on the right.
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The view down towards the Chamonix valley with Aiguille Verte in the foreground. Mont Blanc pops her head up in the distance.
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The final traverse to the summit
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Up to 60km winds made this a little tricky.
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Summit stoke.

The snow was windblown for the first 50m but then became fairly soft and forgiving as we entered the narrow couloir 100 meters below the summit (45°). the snow became crusty as we approached the Glacier du Millieu and wasn’t the most fun but all in all it was another great day in the mountains.

Thanks to Magnus for sharing the adventure and to Surface Skis for my reliable planks (www.surfaceskis.com)


5 thoughts on “Aiguille d’Argentière via Glacier du Milieu

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