OverviewThe Dôme de Rochefort, with its 4015 meters is the highest and also the most goodlooking peak of the whole "Rochefort ridge".
However, this it is less frequented than the more famous Aiguille de Rochefort 4001 m, which is located about halfway between the Dent du Geant and the "Col des Grandes Jorasses" and closer to the refuge Torino.
In fact it's well known that 90% of the climbers that attempt the famous ridge route, use to stop it on the summit of the Aiguille de Rochefort.
On its southern side a rocky spur falls almost for 1000 meters, ending (3053 m) on the glacier "Plampincieux" and delimiting two high walls: east and west.
The upper part of the peak is composed of excellent and very compact rock.
On the French side it overhangs the "Glacier du Mont Mallet” with steep ice slopes.
Dôme de Rochefort is generally reached during the crossing of the Rochefort Ridge, rarely from other routes.
There are certainly more beautiful and highest peaks in the Mont Blanc group, but the Rochefort Ridge is unique in its kind (toghether with Midi-Plan and Biancograt).
Aiguille and Dôme are in the list of the 4000s of the Alps.
From SW: Karl Blodig and Max Horten 9 august 1903
From NE: Jean/Reymond Leininger and Pierre Madeuf 4 august 1937
There are also two more elevation in the nearby of the Dôme:
Doigt de Rochefort 3928m and
Calotte de Rochefort 3976m
NE ridge: - From Col des Grandes Jorasse - PD
SW ridge: - From Aiguille de Rochefort - PD+
SSE ridge: - refuge Boccalatte and Glacier de Planpincieux - III°
Ski route: - From refuge de Leschaux-Glacier du Mont Mallet-SW ridge - OSA/PD+
Calotte de Rochefort 3976mIt is situated on the main ridge between the Dôme de Rochefort and the Col des Grandes Jorasses.
Third component of the "Rochefort Trio", it's the lowest and the less showy of them.
On the northern side presents a rock wall streaked with ice, 400 meters above the Glacier du Mont Mallet.
It extends towards north-north-west with a ridge that becomes clear in its lower half and ends with a triangular rocky crag.
Its southern side, totally rocky, overhangs the Plampincieux glacier for about 500 meters, with a great rampart, slanting gullies carved by two couloirs and as many rocky outcrops.
The east one of them is the most obvious, and will be referred as "First tower".
The top of the Calotte is covered by a thick ice cap, but almost invisible from the south, looming large when viewed from the north.
By a strange coincidence the routes of the northwest ridge and the southern side were opened on the same day by two different rope partys.
SW ridge: - From Dôme de Rochefort - PD
NW ridge: - From Glacier du Mont Mallet - D
North wall: - From Glacier du Mont Mallet - TD
S side/E ridge: - From refuge Boccalatte-Glacier de Planpincieux-Col des Grandes Jorasses - AD+
Doigt de Rochefort 3928mElegant square tower that rises about 25 meters off the main ridge between the Aiguille de Rochefort and the Dôme de Rochefort, but closer to the second.
It is placed few meters away from the edge of the ridge, on the Italian side.
On this side (south), it originates a very sharp ridge at first, then larger, down to the glacier Plampincieux.
It is usually avoided during the crossing of the Rochefort Ridge.
North wall: - From the Rochefort ridge - 25m III°
S ridge: - From Glacier du Planpincieux - III°/IV°
The famous ridge...The structure of the Rochefort Ridge is just as remarkable as the famous ridge of Piz Bernina’s “Biancograt”.
First, it must be determinated, based on objective conditions, if climbers want to continue the climb over the Aiguille up to the Dôme de Rochefort. In this case they have to program for 7 hours the round trip return, which should be made as soon as possible because the soft snow greatly increases the risks.
The decision, however, can also take from the Aiguille de Rochefort when climbers arrive, if weather conditions are stable.
Other chance in case of bad wheather is continue to the Col des Grandes Jorasses escaping rappeling down to the Planpincieux glacier and the Boccalatte hut (not very confortable route).
Or otherwise carry on over de Col de Grandes Jorasses to the bivouac Canzio and the summits of Grandes Jorasses group.
Although the crest of Rochefort has not particularly difficult techniques, his path requires technical skill of the rope, ice axe and crampons, and the good experience of the western Alps.
"Absolut absence of dizziness!!"
Refuges and BivouacsFrom Italy:
Refuge Torino 3375m:
From the village of La Palud (Courmayeur), take the cable car that in 3 tracks takes easily to the refuge. Also by path but long and not recommended.
Refuge Torino is a big refuge with 180 places open from the begin of june to the end of september. Tel +39-0165/844034
Refuge Gabriele Boccalatte 2803m:
From the hamlet of Plapincieux 1579m(Courmayeur) take the path n.21 that take in 4 hours to the hut. The building was a proper hut untill 1 year ago, open only during summertime. Now it's used as bivouac and open permanently. 25 places - no stove.
Bivouac Ettore Canzio 3810m:
The bivouac is placed in the nearby of the "Punta Young" and above the "Col des Grandes Jorasses".
It can be reached from France or from Italy along tough routes.
For the aproach check the pages of Grandes Jorasses routes.
8 places - open permanently.
Refuge de Leschaux 2431m:
From Montenvers get down to the glacier using the iron ladders 5 minutes over the rail station.
When the glacier divides in two, follow the left branch (glacier de Leschaux) pointing the foot of the Grandes Jorasses north wall.
Before the glacier increase in steep the small hut should be visible on a rocky wall more or less 80m above the glacier (your left).
Same ladders and ropes helps to approach. (3.30/4.00 hours from Montenvers).
Open from mid june to mid September-24 places-tel. +33/686123149
Wheather informations and mountain linksWheather forecast sites:
Snowinfo: 0033/836 681 020 (only in France).
In French and English lenguage.
Regione Valle d'Aosta meteo
Office de Haute Montagnes (OHM)/
Phone: 0033450 532 208
Bureau des Guides in Chamonix
Guide alpine Courmayeur
Tel. +390165842064 Fax. +390165842357