Aiguille Verte

The Aiguille Verte (French pronunciation: [eɡɥij vɛʁt]; 4,122 m (13,524 ft)), which is French for "Green Needle", is a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif in the French Alps.

Aiguille Verte
The Aiguille Verte (centre) and the Aiguille d'Argentière (far left)
Highest point
Elevation4,122 m (13,524 ft)
Prominence689 m (2,260 ft)
Isolation7.2 kilometres (4.5 mi)
Coordinates45°56′05″N 6°58′12″E
English translationGreen needle
Language of nameFrench
Aiguille Verte
LocationHaute-Savoie, France
Parent rangeMont Blanc Massif, Graian Alps
First ascent29 June 1865 by Edward Whymper, Christian Almer and Franz Biner

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.[1]

The second ascent was by Charles Hudson, T. S. Kennedy and Michel Croz via the Moine ridge. The first ascent of the Arête Sans was accomplished by Nicolas Jaeger in 1972.


There have been a number of incidents where climbers have been killed or gone missing during climbing Aiguille Verte. The body of Patrice Hyvert, a French climber who went missing on 1 March 1982, was found on 9 July 2014.[2]

See also


  1. E. Whymper, Scrambles amongst the Alps, 6th edition, London: John Murray, 1936, p. 284

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