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Routes in Aiguilles de Chamonix (Plan de l'Aiguille)

Frendo Spur - Aiguille du Midi AI3 M4 Steep Snow
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Type: Mixed, Ice, Snow, Alpine, 3950 ft, Grade III
FA: Edouard Frendo and Rene Rionda, July 11, 1941
Page Views: 2,327 total · 59/month
Shared By: Rui Ferreira on Jul 31, 2015
Admins: Euan Cameron, Luc-514

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The route meanders up the spine of the spur looking for the line of least resistance until the upper rock section is exited left on a slanting dihedral that goes around 5.8. The upper third of the route starts off on a steep aesthetic snow ridge followed by steep ice slopes, up to 80-degrees for two to three pitches either exiting left or right around the rock buttress at the top. The ice is steeper if going left. It is also possible to go directly up the upper rock buttress as done on the first ascent, but rarely done now given the development in ice climbing techniques and equipment. Do not underestimate the commitment level of this route, despite its proximity to civilization as the route finding can be difficult and the climbing tedious.


From the Plan d'Aiguille station or the refuge nearby head up and right to the base of the spur aiming for a left to right snow ramp about 200 ft above and right of the bergschrund. Takes about 45 minutes to approach. From the top it takes about 20 minutes to reach the Aiguille du Midi telepherique station for the way down.


Depending on season and conditions bring mostly a standard rock rack with 4 or 5 medium screws. Double ropes recommended.
Bogdan P
Boulder, CO
  AI3-4 M4
Bogdan P   Boulder, CO
  AI3-4 M4
Grade III? Perhaps, but set aside a full day for it anyway and get an early start.

I don't agree on the double ropes suggestion. No long rappels are needed (or rappels of any kind), the route is mostly simulclimbed, and the more difficult pitches don't meander much at all, so the double ropes don't help. Perhaps the author was thinking that they'd be helpful to retreat? But certainly not necessary.

We had doubles and a single. We took the single and in retrospect I wouldn't do it differently. Aug 22, 2016
Rui Ferreira
Boulder, CO
  AI3 M4 Steep Snow
Rui Ferreira   Boulder, CO
  AI3 M4 Steep Snow
to each his own, but the route is typically done in 10 - 12 hours in dry summer conditions. Aug 23, 2016
Rui Ferreira
Boulder, CO
  AI3 M4 Steep Snow
Rui Ferreira   Boulder, CO
  AI3 M4 Steep Snow
August ascent in dry conditions, with exit left at the upper part. Somewhat a long video but it captures the essence of the climb and the crowds that meet you at the top… Sep 17, 2016
Andy Hansen
Longmont, CO
  AI3 M4 Steep Snow
Andy Hansen   Longmont, CO
  AI3 M4 Steep Snow
I climbed this recently in "winter" conditions and would consider this to be at least IV AI3 M5. We carried a single 60m rope, single rack of cams with doubles in the .4-#2 Camalot sizes, single rack of nuts, 6 ice screws and two tools per person. We also carried a stove and bivvy kit and bivvied on just below the snow arete. A good freeze overnight allowed us to climb firm neve on the snow arete and just above the snow arete we could dig a bit and find reliable screw placements. The cruxes for us were the lower slot (5.8/M4) and the upper corner (5.9/M5). In winter, this is a real alpine route and is a superb tick. May 18, 2018

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