High Mountain Guides / Gallery / Chamonix Mountaineering / Mont Tondu (3196m), Contamines Valley


Mont Tondu (3196m), Contamines Valley

Approaching the Refuge Conscrits

With the hills of the Contamines Valley beyond

The Refuge 'Conscrtis' (2602m) (CAF)

The Aiguille des Glaciers across the Glacier de Tre La Tete. We stayed in the Conscrits 'winter room' which is small, pleasant and clean. There were 12 beds, blankets, gas, cutlery, crockery and a couple of manky old pans. We had the hut and whole magnificent valley to ourselves on this mid-November visit.

The 'Mauvais Pas' On the Approach to the Conscrits Hut

With the impressive gorge below, this rocky path has some easy scrambling sections with chains and some exposure

The Conscrits Ladders & Chains Approach in Autumn Conditions

This approach was chosen as a preferable alternative to the direct ascent from glacier to refuge. The direct route was taken next morning to access the glacier by which time snow was crisp and the going good.

Dawn Traverse of the Glacier de Tre la Tete En Route to Mont Tondu

The snow ramps and runnels that form the direct ascent to the Conscrits Hut (visible centre top) are behind.

Trailbreaking Through Pristine Snow on the Rising Ramp of the Glacier du Mont Tondu

Dome de Miage on the left of the main 'Col Infanchissable'. Aiguille de Tre la Tete on the right

Fox Tracks on the Glacier Mont Tondu at 2800m

Note that the tracks go only one way - in to the crevasse, obviously a good snow cave / den

Final Steps on the Scrambling North Ridge of Mont Tondu

The track leading across to the summit of the Pain de Sucre is visible to the right of Martin

The West Face of Mont Tondu Above the Frozen 'Jovet' Lakes

Our descent route followed the N. Ridge of the Pain de Sucre briefly before taking a linking series of snow couloirs that would have provided a superb ski descent. A more delicate and exposed passage was then taken in a descending traverse between the two triangular rock buttresses and more easily down to the Jovet Lakes (marked as a dotted ski tour on the French IGN 1:25K map). All that remains from here is a pleasant 1000m descent down the Roman Road to N.D. de la Gorge.