Traverse of the Grandes Jorasses, Day 1

Aiguille du Midi

Chamonix

Skyway Monte Bianco

A long and very committing route of the highest calibre

Also in Haute-Savoie, France

Alpine Climbing Severe

Distance
4.8 km
Ascent
902 m
Descent
430 m
Low Point
3.3 km
High Point
4 km
Gradient
31˚
VIEW ON MAP
Traverse of the Grandes Jorasses, Day 1 Map

Description

To alpinists the Grandes Jorasses has every bit as much history and challenge as the Eiger but it is that bit higher and much broader, with better rock. Any ascent is a challenge, due to the remoteness and difficulty, but the traverse of the entire mountain from Torino Hut to Point Walker, is particularly fine and committing. Do not be lulled into a false sense of security by the relatively modest alpine grade of D, due to none of the individual moves being that hard. This is a Grande Course which all but the slickest and fittest will need to carry overnight gear on. Fortunately there is a well placed hut to serve this purpose, the Canzio bivouac, in a sensational position at the lowest point of the ridge, at the Col des Grandes Jorasses. It is possible to make an abseil descent on the S side here in extremis, but it is not recommended. It may be possible to do this day with some time to spare, to enable a recce of the next section of the route, which is one of the hardest, towards Point Young.

It is beyond the scope of this description to give a blow by account of the route. In general terms from the Torino Hut you are following the standard Rochefort Arête route. Most parties would not take in the Dent du Géant but bypass it to save time. Traverse both the Aiguille and the Dôme de Rochefort, then from the Calotte de Rochefort 6 short or 3 long abseils take you to the Col des Grandes Jorasses and the hut.

Difficulty

Severe

Steep, sustained and serious terrain on rock/ice. Routes will be long, exposed and possibly committing. D, D+

Extreme Exposure

4 out of 4

The majority of the route is "no fall" terrain.

Remoteness

4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

July, August

Equipment required

  • Ice axe
  • Bivy Kit
  • Crampons
  • Quickdraws
  • Glacier kit
  • Wires and Friends

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area