Kuffner Ridge - Frontier Ridge
One of the most beautiful and classic ridge traverses in the Mont Blanc massif, set in the magnificent high altitude ambient. Varied, up mixed terrain and with snowy sections that are deciedly knife-edge and airy (Gino Buscaini).
Were we to define a list of the most beautiful high altitude climbs in the Alps, the Kuffner Ridge on Mont Maudit would certainly feature in the top 10. This climb is an integral part of mountaineering history. Logical, beautiful and highly exposed, this is a route all alpinists dream of. Never straightforward but, at the same time, never extreme.
From Courmayeur take the cable car to Rifugio Torino.
From Rifugio Torino head towards Mont Maudit by crossing the glacier Ghiacciaio del Gigante. Climb past the Bergschrund and then ascend the steep starting gully to reach the ridge (3740m).
From the col follow the ridge to where this rises steeply. Climb this step on the right, first up a rocky ramp, then via a mixed gully. Continue quickly past a series of small ledges to reach the famous snowy crest which is breached on the left (take care, large snow cornices). At the end of the photogenic ridge traverse down leftwards to reach the foot of Pointe de l'Androsace (4107m). Climb past this Pointe by ascending a steep snow slope and climbing a difficult crack (4c) to reach the ridge once again. Follow this to a small col, then climb past a series of ledges and then the arete. Climb left past another series of ledges and snow slope. Return to the ridge and exit onto the shoulder of Mont Maudit. Climb along the shoulder (snow, then mixed terrain) to reach the large ridge that drops down from the summit. Continue up right (beware cornices), climbing past a steep snow slope that leads to the summit (7.30-10.00 hours from Rifugio Torino).
From Mont Maudit you can continue on to the summit of Mont Blanc, alternatively descend down the Normal Route to the Cosmiques hut.
Booking in advance at Rifugio Torino is highly recommended, otherwise you might risk having to spend the night outdoors!