The Breche Puiseux is a classic of high mountain Chamonix ski-touring. This ski-mountaineering route passes through some stunning scenery, with a descent directly in front of the Grands Jorasses.
The terrain is largely glacial, with crevasses, and a steep bootpack ascent towards the col.
Take the Aiguille du midi cable car to the top station, and descend halfway down the Vallee Blanche normal route. Once you get level with the Refuge du Requin, the route starts the ascent over the Periades glacier, towards the right.
The route climbs the glacier towards the access couloir, which heads up the cliff 300m at 40-45 degrees to the col.
The Descent of the Breche Puiseux, in the Glacier of the Mont Mallet
From the col there is normally a rappel of about 40-50 metres, then you can strap in and enjoy one of Chamonix's wildest glacial descents. The route keeps to the left side of the glacier to avoid the most complex crevasses, and ends up on the shallower Leschaux glacier, where you head North and rejoin the Vallee Blanche route towards the Montenvers.
Due to the remote and glacial nature of this ski-touring route, we recommend hiring a guide, and always be equipped with Transceiver, shovel and probe. Be aware of avalanche potential, snowpack conditions, and crevasses!
Time of Year: Feb to May
Time: 3-5 hours up, 2-3 hours down
Altitude gain: 1040m up, 3000m down (depending on snow conditions)