Traverse of the Grandes Jorasses, Day 2

Arve Valley

Chamonix

Committed now, you continue your sensational journey, space-walking along the historic ridge.

Alpine Climbing Severe

Distance
3.8 km
Ascent
417 m
Descent
1.5 km
Low Point
2.8 km
High Point
4.2 km
Gradient
33˚
VIEW ON MAP
Traverse of the Grandes Jorasses, Day 2 Map

Description

This is a big day and getting to the summit of the Grandes Jorasses, via all the intricate ridge climbing, may not be the hardest part. The descent to the Boccalette Hut can be very troublesome, particularly later in the season. Before embarking on this two day route you need to be confident about this descent, by seeking recent local advice. If the hut is shut that may suggest conditions are far from ideal. I remember feeling very uncertain, looking down from the summit of the Grandes Jorasses, unable to see an obvious way through the labyrinth of crevasses. It took a long time!

The start is immediately technical and the rock climbing, facing NW, may have snow on it. It is slabby but tricky with a big pack, and I remember this initial section feeling the hardest of the whole route. Pointe Young at 3996m is very exposed at the top, as you traverse along to Pointe Marguerite. There are a number of route variations on this section, traversing on the S side of the ridge and missing out some of the towers. Once you get to Pointe Croz it is more straightforward. If time is short, or weather threatening, you can descend direct down the ridge from Pointe Whymper. But carrying on to Pointe Walker is clearly the ideal, as marked, then descend as for the separately described normal route on the Grandes Jorasses, to the Boccalette Hut. I descended the same day to the valley, but regretted the extra effort. Savour the mountain environment and do it in the morning.

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