Really no better way to start a mountaineering week in Chamonix than with the Cosqmiques Arete.  Normally when you think of mountaineering you would think of a long walk from the valley, climbing the mountain then finally and long knee bashing decent back home.  Not the Cosmiques Arete.  Maybe the most civilized alpine route in the world.  First you talk the Aiguille du Midi cable car up to 3800m,  Then decent a somewhere scary snow ridge and across a flat glacier to the base of the route.   The climb is beautiful granite and run snow and ice pitches all below 5.7 with great exposure.   When you reach the top you actually top out on the gondola platform and are descending within 5 minutes via the cable car.   Very fun. [gallery ids="5627,5621,5622,5623,5625,5624,5620,5626"]