From Refuge d'Argentière via the Glacier du Milieu (WSW-Flank) (Normal route) Aiguille d'Argentière 3898 m
- 4–5 h, 1143 m
- 26 m
Though not a four-thousander, the Aiguille d'Argentière is a large and impressive peak. The north side of the mountain has lost so much of its firn/glacier covering that the classic north face route has unfortunately lost its beauty and will not be described. On its south side however, you will find many good classic tours, one of which, the Arête du Jardin, will be described here. Scattered along the southern flanks of the Arête du Jardin, in the vicinity of the Refuge d'Argentière, there are also a high number of modern sport climbing routes in excellent rock. The normal route, shown here, is an enjoyable glacier and ice tour. From the Refuge you basically follow the narrow Glacier du Milieu all the way to the summit.
From Refuge d'Argentière (2771 m) follow the path heading NNW, which leads under the SW ridge to Glacier du Milieu.
Climb up through the ablation zone onto main body of the Glacier du Milieu. Follow the glacier uphill, bearing leftwards (north) initially to pass close by a distinctive gendarme (La Vierge, P. 3306), 2 hours. Near the foot of the gendarme, you must navigate a kind of bergschrund, before climbing up over the initially flat, then ever steepening firn flank to the col. From here a snow ridge leads southwards to the highest point (3897 m), 4 hrs total.
Follow the route of ascent.
- Departure point
Lionel Dècle and Y.A. Hutchinson with Mountain Guides Abraham Imseng and Laurent Lanier, 14. August 1880 (in descent).