Plateau Haute Route day to day description, map and photos

Day 2 - The Grands Montets to the Cabane du Trient

With an early start on the Grands Montets cablecar, we ski down to the Argentière Glacier, up over the Col du Chardonnet, the Fenêtre de Saleina and on to the Trient Hut in Switzerland. The section up to the Col du Chardonnet is steep and a long series of kick turns is usually required for the ascent. The descent down the opposite side of the Col is one of the steepest on the Haute Route and is normally done with a rope belay.

This is a diverse day of skiing, some fine descents, especially from the Aiguille des Grands Montets to the Argentière some 2200 fee below. We traverse from one side of the range to the other and cross into Switzerland on our route to the Trient hut.

Day 2 - Grands Montets to the Cabane du Trient
1054 meters
3457 feet
1124 meters
3687 feet


Taking a high line to the Argentière hut from the Grands Montets. The day we took this photo we were heading to that hut. Normally we prefer to go straight to the Trient hut, taking a more direct downward line to the Argentière Glacier below.
Skiing up to the Argentière Glacier to the hut of the same name. The hut can be seen on a rock outcrop to the left.


In this photo we are climbing up the Chardonnet Glacier toward the Col du Chardonnet. Here, we are looking across the Argentière Glacier which lies in the large valley below. The impressive north faces of the Aiguille Verte (right) and Les Droites (left) form the background. The Couturier Couloir, the steep ice gully directly above the left hand skier, was the sight of one of the earliest extreme ski descents, done first in 1973.
Again, we are skiing up toward the Glacier du Chardonnet. The rock towers on the SW side of the Aiguille du Chardonnet are seen behind.


Descending the steep east side of the Col du Chardonnet. We use the rope here, to protect the 90 meters of side-slip. The upper part of this short gully is about 60° or more.
Looking across the Plateau du Trient from the Trient hut. Two skiers can be seen on the lower slope coming toward the hut. The Aiguilles Dorées are the peaks seen here.


The Cabane du Trient. This is one of the nicest huts on the Haute Route. The food is great, the guardian friendly and the views superb.


Inside the Trient hut.

Continue on to Day 3.....

All images, layout and text © 2002 Cosley & Houston Alpine Guides, All Rights Reserved