One of the best ridge lines climbs in the Alps: A long and serious climb, with greatly exposed sections. This ridge connects the Dent du Géant with the Pointe Walker of the Grandes Jorasses summiting as many as seven 4000m peaks along the way.

Seven summits above 4000m
Wild & exposed environment
Fantastic scenery

ROCHEFORT – GRANDES JORASSES TRAVERSE

Majestic ridge line, alternating exposed sections of rock and ice

   

Expert tech level

 

Fitness level 5/5

 

3-4 days itinerary

 

2 nights in huts and a bivouac

 

Available April - June, depending on conditions

 

Guiding ratio 1:1

Rochefort – Grandes Jorasses Traverse is an extraordinarily long and superb climb – one of the major Chamonix classic mixed climbs. First climbed in 1935, it remains to be one of the most committing and testing itineraries for its grade. 

It is a 3 day long journey through some fantastic terrain including tricky rock sections, fine mixed climbing and exposed ridges. You will collect no less than seven 4000m summits on the way. 

Starting from the Torino Hut you will climb in the following order: 

  • Aiguille de Rochefort (4001m)
  • Dôme de Rochefort (4015m) 
  • Bivouac Canzio (3825m) 
  • Pointe Young (3996m) 
  • Pointe Hélèna (4045m)
  • Pointe Marguerita (4065m) 
  • Pointe Whymper  (4184m) 
  • Pointe Walker (4208m)

The descent is also long and engaging.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Night in the Torino hut

Quick transfer to Courmayeur from where we’ll reach the Torino Hut by the Skyway cablecar. Night in the hut.

Day 2 – Rochefort ridge traverse

Very early start (3am). First we will reach Rochefort ridge by the Geant glacier. We follow the ridge to the Aiguille de Rochefort (4001m), continue to the Dome du Rochefort (4015m) and to the Canzio Hut (8-10 hours).

Day 3 – Jorasses Traverse

From the Col des Grandes Jorasses climb to the poine Traverse of Jorasses from Pointe Young to Pointe Young (3996m) then up to Pointe Marguerita (4065m), Pointe Hélèna (4045m), Pointe Whymper  (4184m) , and finally on to reach the last summit, Pointe Walker (4208m). The traverse is complete and we can start the descent by the normal route on the south face of the Grandes Jorasses. We descent until the Boccalatte hut where we stay for the night (10 - 12h).

Day 4 – Descent (optional)

Descent to the valley floor along the hiking path that will take us down to the Planpincieux village from where a transfer will take us back to Chamonix (2h).

Level Requirements

Technical level

You must be able to climb grade 5 (UIAA V) comfortably, confidently and fast, in mountain boots, wearing a quite heavy pack. You have to be fast and confident down climbing steep and exposed terrain, sometimes wearing crampons.

Physical fitness

You need to be in excellent physical shape in order to be able to move quickly and efficiently on technical terrain, without getting exhausted. The high altitude will take some of your strength away. The descent is long and difficult and requires a lot of focus and care.

You have to be well acclimatised beforehand for this climb.

Equipment

Clothing

Mountaineering boots

Mountaineering boots

Warm hat

Warm hat

Thermal underwear

Thermal underwear

Fleece or woollen layers

Fleece or woollen layers

Light puffer jacket

Light puffer jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Warm gloves

Warm gloves

Thin gloves

Thin gloves

Gaiters

Gaiters

Technical gear

Ice Axe

Ice Axe

Climbing harness

Climbing harness

3 x Screwgate carabiner

3 x Screwgate carabiner

Belay device

Belay device

Climbing helmet

Climbing helmet

Crampons

Crampons

Lanyard

Lanyard

60 cm tape sling or cordelette for prusik

60 cm tape sling or cordelette for prusik

30l backpack

30l backpack

Other essentials

Sunglasses

Sunglasses

Water bottle - Ideally two 1L bottles

Water bottle - Ideally two 1L bottles

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Headlamp with fresh batteries

Headlamp with fresh batteries

Earplugs

Earplugs

Sleeping bag comfort rating 0°C

Sleeping bag comfort rating 0°C

Fork & spoon

Fork & spoon

Camping mat

Camping mat

Camping mug

Camping mug

Included or not

Included

Not Included

FAQs

Do i need bivy gear?

Yes sometimes there’s no room at Canzio Hut, then it’s possible to keep going along the ridge until a suitable bivy spot is found. This have the benefit of shortening the summit day and allow to embark on the tricky descent before the hottest hours of the day.

Is it possible to complete this outing spending only two nights sleeping on the mountain?

Yes it’s possible depending on conditions and physical shape.

I don’t like traverses, are there a lot of them on this climb?

Yes and it’s not always possible to use the rope to pull on to aid yourself while climbing some of these sections.