Ascent of Grande Rochere on 2010-06-27
|Others in Party:||Andrew Tibbetts|
|Date:||Sunday, June 27, 2010|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Car|
| Elevation:||10912 ft / 3325 m|
Ascent Trip ReportAfter the previous day's Mont Blanc ascent, we had a meal in Courmayeur, drove to the trailhead at Planaval, N45 46 50.1 E7 04 54.9, 1753m GPSr where we spent the night.
07:15, The trail starts beside (immediately N of) the hotel: a wide track which zig zags up through a yard then steadily ascends the hillside. It passes the dilapidated farm buildings of Rantin then descends a little to Bonalex, 2342m - apparently a private refuge? Here we see Red-billed Choughs (the only ones of the fortnight) as well as the ubiquitous yellow-billed Alpine variety.
From here, a sketchy track crosses boggy ground, a couple of streams, then a cairn at N45 48 29.1 E7 04 52.9, 2373m marks the start of a path which ascends L-R. The normal route apparently ascends the ridge directly above, with the option of "escaping" L and ascending the couloir. We actually ascended the ridge left of the couloir, then traversed R into the couloir at about 2600m. Being early season we encountered a lot of soft deep snow - no great technical difficulty but hard work. We continued up, skirting just below the saddle (corniced) S of the summit, then up steep snow (>45deg briefly) to reach the summit cross at about midday - no sign of any other footprints since the latest snow a week ago. The summit is straightforward but fairly scrappy with plenty of loose rock: the summit across to the west is much more impressive. The view is good although there is a fair bit of cloud around and no sign of Gran Paradiso.
After half an hour we head down. At the first saddle we pass a couple ascending - they appear to turn back before the summit. From here the soft snow makes for a quick easy descent, straight down the couloir. We complete the easy walk-out and are back at the car at 15:15, for a picnic followed by a drink at the hotel bar.
We then drive east to Champoluc, ready for Testa Grigia tomorrow.
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||5227 ft / 1593 m|
| Total Elevation Loss:||66 ft / 20 m|
| Quality:||6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow Climb|
| Gear Used:||Ice Axe, Crampons|
| Weather:||Hot, Calm, Partly Cloudy|
Summit clear but views limited by cloud
| Gain on way in:||5227 ft / 1593 m|
| Gain Breakdown:||Net: 5161 ft / 1573 m; Extra: 66 ft / 20m|
| Loss on way in:||66 ft / 20 m|
| Route:||East face|
| Start Trailhead:||Planaval 5751 ft / 1752 m|
| Time:||5 Hours |
| Route:||East face|
| End Trailhead:||Planaval |
| Time:||2 Hours 45 Minutes|
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