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Normal route from south ridge

Normal route from south ridge

Normal route from south ridge

Page Type: Route

Location: Aosta Valley, Italy, Europe

Lat/Lon: 45.65600°N / 6.97130°E

Object Title: Normal route from south ridge

Route Type: Basic snow and 2nd deg rock

Time Required: One to two days

Difficulty: 2nd

Route Quality: 
 - 4 Votes


Page By: ronfo

Created/Edited: Mar 6, 2005 / May 18, 2005

Object ID: 164200

Hits: 1376 

Page Score: 74.92%  - 5 Votes 

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Access: La Thuile on the road from Aosta to the Colle del Piccolo San Bernardo for France.
In La Thuile-La Joux a big free parking and a bar is available.
From here a panoramic path, along the Rutor torrent and his spectacular falls, goes up to the Rifugio Deffeyes of the Italian Alpine Club
(tel. 0165.884.239 or mobile tel. 373.202.760 349.49.05.603)
  • First day: from La Thuile-La Joux to the Rifugio Deffeyes
    • Time: 2 h and 30'
    • Diff. in height: 844 m.
    • Difficulty: easy trekking
  • Second day from the Rifugio Deffeyes to the top of Grande Assaly
    • Time: 3h and 30'
    • Diff. in height: 680 m
    • Difficulty : easy alpinism glacier and climb 2nd+ in the last part

WGS84 UTM Zone 32T:
La Joux 5.061.777 N 341.330 E
Rifugio Deffeyes 5.060.162 N 343.211 E
Grande Assaly 5.057.625 N 341.825 E

Route Description

Starting from the rifugio Deffeyes follow the route for Rutor (south-east) for about fifteen minutes up to the top of the first hill, over the lake in front of the refuge.
Leave this route when it turns on the left and keep the right path in direction of the Grande Assaly.
At this moment is to face the problem to cross the big Rutor Glacier stream very strong in July.
No bridges are available to cross it excepting two steel cables (one for the hands and the other for the feets) hold in between two rock walls over an impetuous fall.
Considering the weight of the sac, the strongly suggested way to approach the Grande Assaly is to go down, on the left to the Rutor Glacier front and to cross the stream over the ice (see the map).
This way is a little longer but more sure.
Anyway if some brave will decide for the cable bridge, it is strictly necessary to use the harness, a short rope longe and a safety carabiner.
When the marshy area is passed crossing on the Rutor Glacier a long approach on rocky ground is necessary to achieve the Grande Assaly Glacier.
When near to the first rock wall of the Tête de l’Assaly it’s better to put on the helmett.
The followin Glacier of Assaly is easy and the crevaces are not big but anyway it’s better to put some attention crossing them.
At the top end of the glacier a rocky ridge joining the Tête de Loidon to the Grande Assaly is to follow on the right.
The ridge becomes more and more steep but never difficult and the way goes progressively on the left (French) side where a 2nd degree step and a short ledge needs more attention.
The rock in this point is solid with a lot of god supports for feet and hands and some prominence makes easy to set some safety rope ring if necessary.
The last part of the ridge is composed by big slabs and blocks, easy to climb.
From the top the view is very good and wide, from the nearest lakes to the Rutor and the Mont Blanc.

Essential Gear

Rope 30 m, axe, harness, helmet, crampons, 2 carabiners, 1 rope ring 2m.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.


The Grande Assaly mirrored in...Crossing the "bridge" on the waterfall The Rutor Glacier seen from...The Lake of Bellecombe seen...The Rutor Lake and the...The crevaces are not big but...The last part of the ridge...
The short ledge going to the...A long approach on rocky...The Grande Assaly Glacier...Some minute of relax on the...The route to Grande Assaly...