One of the most popular routes in the Chamonix region is the Cosmiques Arete.

It’s easy to see why; catch the Aiguille du Midi cable car to 3840m, walk down the spectacular snow arete from the lift station and twenty minutes later your at the start of the route. And guess where it finishes – right back at the lift station amongst the camera-toting tourists desperate to have their photo taken with you. Fame at last.

The climbing is a perfect mix of short tricky steps interspersed with easier ground. If it had a trickier descent or was longer it would earn a harder alpine grade for sure. As it is, the route is a great training climb for more committing things. You’ll need a head for heights, some good crampon skills and a camera.

Cosmiques Arete

The abseil

Cosmiques Arete

Exposure on the final chimney

Cosmiques Arete

Snowy conditions on an easier section of the route

On the summit!

On the summit!

Gloves off on the crux wall

Gloves off on the crux wall