The Grand Pilier D’Angle

The Grand Pilier d'Angle (4,243 m) is a buttress on the southern side of Mont Blanc in the Italian Valley of Aosta and can be seen from the Tour du Mont Blanc.

The first ascent of the pilier was by James Eccles with guides Michel Payot and Alphonse Payot on 30 July 1877 during an ascent of the Peuterey ridge. The north-east face was completed by Walter Bonatti and Toni Gobbi on 3 August, in 1957. Bonatti described the route as savage and dangerous. The Grand Pilier d’Angle is a notoriously tricky summit to reach, with many routes still being established.

The “Divine Providence” route was reached by climbing partners, Patrick Gabarrou and Francoise Masingny in 1984, while the first successful solo ascent of this route wasn’t completed by Jean-Christophe Lafaille until 1990. Jean said at the time, “This route is the most complicated and involving in the whole of the Mont Blanc massif.”

The mountain can be seen on Day 8 of our Tour du Mont Blanc between Courmayeur and Les Chapieux.