Aiguille Verte

Europe, France, Haute-Savoie

The Aiguille Verte (4,122 m) is a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif in the French Alps. It was first climbed on 29 June 1865 by Edward Whymper, Christian Almer and Franz Biner, a fortnight before the fateful first ascent of the Matterhorn. Whymper was unable to climb with his usual guide, Michel Croz, who had to wait for a client in Chamonix. As a result, Whymper hired the services of Christian Almer, who had been with Alfred Wills on the Wetterhorn in 1854. Whymper describes the push for the summit: At the top of the small gully we crossed over the intervening rocks into the large one [the eponymous Whymper couloir]. At last ice replaced snow, and we turned over to the rocks upon its left. Charming rocks they were; granitic in texture, gritty, holding the nails well. At 9.45 we parted from them, and completed the ascent by a little ridge of snow which descended in the direction of the Aiguille du Moine. At 10.15 we stood on the summit (13, 541 feet [sic]), and devoured our bread and cheese with a good appetite. The second ascent was by Charles Hudson, T. S. Kennedy and Michel Croz via the Moine ridge.