North Face Climbing

Climbing one of the ‘Big North Faces of the Alps’ is always a big deal to any climber. The Alps is covered in major climbs of historical significance. North Face of The Eiger, Matterhorn, Grand Jorrass and Doites. Its every Alpinists dream to ice climb up a big 1000m of ice and summit on one of these peaks. For every climber there is a North Face to match their experince and fitness. When considering to climb a North Face first think of:

  • Your experience. Climbing North faces is for climbers with plenty of winter climbing experience already. Its not for novice ice climbers. Generally all climbers have climbed first during the Summer season.
  • Your Fitness. Doing North faces can take an average of a 12-20 hr day. The approach, climb and descent. Sometimes requiring a bivaouc and carrying bivi kit. The heavier rucksac can slow you down. You need to be fit.
  • Your acclimatisation. Its not possible to climb a stenuous climb to 4000m or above without first getting acclimatised.
  • Get a period of time to catch the best weather. Many North faces need a minimum of 3 days. One day to approach, one to climb and one to descend from a hut.

Not all North Faces are multi day. Their are plenty of smaller North Face climbs and many great long Coulior climbs that are not so committing.

Suggested 5 day programme

  • Meet t Twid’s place to make a plan for the week
  • Climb a day on an ice climb mid height 3000-3500m around Chamonix.
  • Climb a long gully on the Aiguille du Tacul above Chamonix. Spend a night out at 3600 to acclimatise.
  • Descend the following morning down the Midi lift. Approach the Argentere hut on skis or snowshoes.
  • Climb a North Face in the Argentere Basin. eg Doites, Verte, Courtes, Pre de Bar
  • Descend to valley


Guiding Fee

Twid works on a Guiding fee plus expenses. North Face guiding ratio 1to 1, some couliors 1 to 2. Rate £350 a day unless a Grand Course major route includung overnight.


Client to cover Twids expenses. Fuel, Food and accommodation away from home, lifts.

Personal Expenses

Clients need to cover own accommodation, travel costs to venue, food, insurance, lifts.



The Courtes is a perfect first big North Face. Its situated above the Argentere glacier near Chamonix. Its accessed via the Argentere hut. Its 800m North face has two popular routes. Austrian and Swiss Routes both being D-TD. normally climbed in a day from the hut. 3 days

North Face of Doites

The ultimate ice face of the Alps. Generally the Ginat is in good nic most of the winter. Its a straight ckassic line. A long day from the hut reaches the brech de Doites. Descent to the Covercle hut on the other side. 3 days

Mont Blanc de Tacul Gullies

The East face of the Tacul is easily reached from the Midi lift in Chamonix. There are masses of gullies of all grade. Easy approach on ski or snowshoe from the Midi or Simond Hut. Popular routes Cherie, Gabarou, Super Coulior, Lafille etc


Coulior Climbing

General gear used in Scotland with an extra belay jacket. Warm gear but light in weight. Climbing crampons required not basic Mounatineering types. Twid provides free of charge.

One day Routes

Generally not carrying bivi kit. As for Coulior climbing. Standard winter gear. Skis or snow shoes

Multi day Routes

Light but warm sleeping bag. 700gram fill nomal. Bivi bag, stove, light sac.