Arête des Cosmiques

Acclimatization is essential for climbing Mont Blanc. For this we reached the Aiguille du Midi (3842 m). This is the second highest cable car station in Europe.

In the morning we met Marcel at the valley station of the cable car. Over the forecourt of the station in Chamonix there was already a long queue of people, who obviously also intended to take the cable car to the airy heights. Marcel laughed at our surprised faces: “That’s nothing yet! What do you think is going on here in midsummer? People are lining up for the pedestrian zone of Chamonix.” In the train we were the only mountaineers. Around us were only tourists in partly airy clothes and looked at us. At the top we made our way through the crowds. Directly in the cable car station there is a tunnel. At its end an abyss waits. Behind a barrier it goes down a steep ridge to the Col du Midi (3.532 m).

Exposed climbing on the Cosmique Arete

The tourists crowded at the barrier in front of the ridge and looked into the depth. In a few minutes we should be out there on the exposed ridge. I took all my courage together. We fastened our crampons. On the short rope we went down the ridge. Left and right the snow flanks went steeply into the abyss. Freedom from vertigo is an absolute must here. The view was amazing. The sky was steel blue. In the distance, the peaks of the Mont-Blanc group towered. I have a lot of fun unexpectedly. Arrived in the plain, we looked for our way between the crevasses until we stood just under the Cosmique hut. We planned to spend the next two nights at the hut and climb Mont Blanc in the last night. Over the glacier the access to the hut leads to the main entrance. However, we took the way about the beginning of the Cosmique Arete about the rocks and reached the hut so about the terrace access.

Last steps from the Cosmique Arete to the terrace of Aiguille du Midi

We spent the rest of the day at the hut to get used to the altitude. At regular intervals mountaineers from all over the world arrived at the hut. It was very interesting to listen to their stories while sitting in the guest room or on the terrace. The next day the Cosmique ridge was on the program. From the hut one climbs over rocks to the railway station of the Aiguille du Midi. I had quite a jitters. The climbing is very exposed, whereby one moves quasi constantly at the abyss. The view was priceless. At the end it goes over a steel ladder on the terrace of the mountain station. For the visitors of the station, we were like extraterrestrials. Everyone looked at us from top to bottom. We enjoyed with them the panorama and got ourselves a hot coffee in one of the restaurants. At this point it should be mentioned that the Aiguille du Midi is a huge complex. Besides restaurant, cafeteria, souvenir shops there are numerous exhibitions and other attractions for the visitors of the mountain station. Afterwards, we went back over the ridge to the Col du Midi and to the Cosmique hut.

Graduation photo at the end of Cosmique Arete. In the background Mont Blanc du Tacul, Mont Maudit and Mont Blanc.
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