High Mountain Guides / Gallery / Chamonix Mountaineering / Arête Mettrier (AD) 1000m, Miage North Face


Arête Mettrier (AD) 1000m, Miage North Face

Scenic Approach Up The Bionnassay Valley

Footpaths are followed up the Bionnassay Valley and on to the Refuge Plan Glacier via the Col du Tricot. Base Camp for the Miage North Face. If the Bionnassay traverse is completed after the Miage North Face the descent can be via the Gouter Route, visible here at the end of the valley.

The Superb Traverse Path From Col Du Tricot To Refuge Plan Glacier

Here providing fine views of the intended route on the north face of the Dome de Miage. The Mettrier forms the central ridge of the obvious buttress right of the snow / icy North Face.

Dome de Miage North Face, Mid November 2015

The Mettrier Spur forms the right bounding ridge on the face and can be accessed via the atmospheric and narrow approach couloir visible on the right of the picture. This had a couple of enjoyable easy mixed pitches to access the long snow couloir, topping out at the little col. The snowy North Face lie to the left was also being climbed to the same exit on the face.

Evening Reconnaissance Of The Mettrier Approach Couloir

With The Chaine Des Aravis Beyond. Lovely evening light leading in to the first of 3 magnificent November sunsets enjoyed on this alpine horseshoe of the Miage / Bionnassay Ridges.

The Refuge Plan Glacier (2730m) - Base Camp For The Miage North Face

The hut has a lovely sunny disposition for watching the sunset over the Aravis to the West. The mixed scrambling ground leading to the col in the centre of the picture provides the access to the Refuge Durier, which would provide camp for our second night on the mountain after climbing the north face.

Traversing The Plan Glacier

To access the Dome de Miage North Face. Good but quite dry conditions for mid November. The North Face line worked up between the exposed ice and the Mettrier Ridge on the right with the Mettier approach couloir hidden centre right.

Enjoyable Easy Mixed Climbing In The Mettrier Approach Couloir

We moved together with rock & ice runners before regrouping and moving together up the easier snow couloir above.

The Spur Is Reached & Mont Blanc & Bionnassay Seen To The East

The little col at the top of the approach couloir is at approximately 3000m. Thus 500m has been climbed already with nearly another 700m up the spur and along the ridge to the Miage summit.

Climbers On The North Face Dome De Miage

This route proved popular in November 2015 with many ascents. The face is long & sustained but not very steep or technical. Good conditions here consisted of stiff snow for axes & crampons with ice screws possible to place after just a little digging. Most teams were trending right near the top of the face to join the Mettrier. This still involved some calf pumping bare ice!

Final Slopes On The Mettrier Spur / Miage North Face

With the Plan Glacier over 1000m below.

Topping Out On The Arete De Mettrier

The Aiguille de Bionnassay & Mont Blanc Miage Face providing a magnificent backdrop to the east.

Final Moves Through The Cornice On The Mettrier Spur

With the Arve Valley & town of Sallanches visible beyond and 3000m below!

The Eastward Continuation Of The Dome De Miage Traverse

As usual in alpine climbing, the top of the face does not mark the end of the climb! The traverse of the Dome de Miage provides a fine continuation eastwards to the Durier Hut. Some teams descended back to Plan Glacier from here whilst others spent the night in preparation for the traverse of the Bionnassy (centre of picture) the next day.

Another Superb November Sunset Over The Aravis Skyline

With the Eastern Summit of the Dome de Miage and North Face visible. The Mettrier Spur forms the right hand skyline of the North Face. Taken from the Durier Hut. A cool but comfortable stop over before tackling the Traverse of the Aiguille de Bionnassay the next day.