Tobias Granath

Les Courtes, North face


Les Courtes with its 800m high North facing ice wall, is perfect challenge for those who want to try longer Alpine winter climbs. The most beautiful line up the face is the Swiss route.

This climb is also a good step forward and preparation climb for even bigger alpine winter climbs such as the North faces of Eiger and Matterhorn.

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We suggest a three day program for climbing Les Courtes by the North face with two training climbs before the summit day.


Preparing equipment and packing. Training day on Aiguille du Midi, 3842m. We climb one of the ice/mixed classics on Triangle du Tacul or below Aiguille du Midi station, repelling down from the footbridge. We are back in Chamonix in the afternoon and spend the night there.


Climbing on Petite Aiguille Verte by one of the easy accessed alpine ice-climbs. After the climb we spend the night at the Argentière hut.

Day 3

Early in the morning with head torches we start the approach to the foot of the climb. The North face is about 800m hight from bergschrund to summit and it takes about 5-7 hours climb. We descend by the North/East face or or via Col de la Tour des Courtes down the South/West face, and are back in Chamonix the same day.

Extended Program

Together we discuss the need for extra days before or after the ascent of Les Courtes. Ad training and acclimatization days before the ascent or extra days after the summit day. The ascent of Les Courtes can also be combined with other great climbs such as:

  • Aiguille de Talèfre, 3730m
  • Aiguille du Chardonnet, 3824m
  • Aiguille Verte, 4122m
  • Les Droites, 4001m

For skilled and experienced ski-mountaineers we bring light weight skis for the approach and if conditions are good we ski down either the North/East face back to the Argentière bassin or the South face down to Talèfre bassin and Couvercle hut. From the hut we can continue traversing Aiguille de Talèfre by its North face down to Leschaux hut. The opportunities are endless for great ski-mountaineering  link-ups in the this area.

We are happy to arrange climb this kind of North faces from October to beginning of June. 

Check if we have this activity already planned in the booking calendar, if not make a request and we will get back to you soon!

Level required

Excellent fitness. Very comfortable on steep ice, grade 4. Previous experience from ice and winter climbs.

Guide/Client ratio

Max 1:1


2days for the summit itself. For experiences climbers we suggest a 3days program with two training days before the summit day.


From October to beginning of June.


The client needs a travel and accident insurance for the implementation of this activity.


Three day program: 1950CHF

For extended programs please contact us for further information.


Expenses for the guide is not included in the daily fee(lifts, travel costs, lodging etc.)

Guide fee is depending on
  • Type of activity and where
  • Course seriousness and difficulty
  • Course length (day tour or bivinights included)
  • If going alone or in a bigger group
  • If booking a single day or several days
  • High season or low season

The price is based on the recommended daily fee by the Swiss Bergführerverband, SBV.

Les Courtes equipment list

Below is a recommended checklist that may change depending on conditions. Please contact us if you need to rent anything of the list below.

Technical Equipment

Technical crampons, harness, two technical ice-axes, helmet, winter mountain boots

Other Equipment
  • Backpack 35 liters
  • Head torch & spare batteries
  • Warm hat and balaclava
  • Warm jacket
  • Underlayer, mid layer, extra socks
  • Jacket (wind and waterproof)
  • Trousers (wind and waterproof)
  • Gaiters
  • Thin and warm gloves
  • Sunglasses

  • Water bottle 1 liter
  • Thermos
  • Snacks, Bars
  • Blister kit: Including Compeed blister plasters and elastoplast or similar
  • Sunscreen
  • Earplugs: If you sleep together in the dormitory at the mountain station and there is a lot of movement.
  • Sleeping sheet for the huts