Gervasutti Couloir

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 45.84420°N / 6.90751°E
Additional Information Route Type: Ice Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: AD
Sign the Climber's Log



The Tour Ronde 3792 m is a famous mountain belonging to the Mont Blanc massif and located on the Italy-France border, along the ridge between Colle del Gigante and Mont Maudit. Being the highest peak along this ridge it offers a truly magnificent panorama on the majestic mountains that surround it, as the Monte Bianco with the Brenva wall, Mont Maudit, Mont Blanc du Tacul, the granite peaks overlooking the Valleé Blanche, the Dent du Geant with Rochefort and the Grandes Jorasses and many others.

La Tour Ronde (3792 m), versante NE
La Tour Ronde  - Photo Antonio Giani

For this reason, the quick access from the nearby Rifugio Torino and the presence of an interesting  Normal route with low difficulties, the Tour Ronde is a popular mountain. A more difficult and advisable alternative to climb the mountain is the Couloir Gervasutti, a beautiful ice gully located on the West side of the mountain. 

Getting there

The Tour Ronde is conveniently reachable from Courmayeur on the italian side of the massif. It can even be climbed starting in the morning with the first cable car ride,  but for a correct acclimatization is advisable to stay overnight at the shelter, the Rifugio Torino. 

The Tour Rond can also be reached from the French side - much longer - starting from Chamonix with the Aiguille du Midi cable car,  then on foot from the Aiguille du Midi over the glacier du Géant. On this side you can stay overnight at the Refuge Cosmiques.

Getting to Courmayeur

- From Turin and Milan: follow the A5-E25 Motorway and exit Courmayeur, reaching the hamlet of La Palud m. 1370
- From France: through the Tunnel of Monte Bianco
- From Switzerland: through the Great St.Bernard Tunnel or the Great St.Bernard Col or via Chamonix and Tunnel of Monte Bianco  

View of Mont Blanc and Grand Capucin
View of Tour Ronde, Mont Blanc and Grand Capucin - Photo Hiltrud Liu

 From Courmayeur to Rifugio Torino

From Entrèves - La Palud take the cable-car leading directly to Rifugio Torino (exit second station, the first one is the middle Pavillion station, the third one is Punta Helbronner). Info: Funivie del Monte Bianco

Route Description

Couloir Gervasutti route report

Tour Ronde north face
Tour Ronde topo - Gervasutti is the last route on the right

Difficulty: AD, max 55°
Climbing length: 350 m
Exposure: West
First ascent: Renato Chabod and Giusto Gervasutti 1934, july 27th

The Couloir Gervasutti is a fine and interesting ice-climb,  a good alternative if the North face is too crowded or in bad condition. This route facing West is much more enclosed than the North Face and often in better condition.

The starting point to climb is the Rifugio Torino. The approach from the Rifugio Torino is the same as for the North Face but goes further. The Gervasutti couloir is situated on the West side of the mountain and it is a good alternative if the North face is too crowded.  From the Rifugio Torino (or Punta Helbronner) reach the Col des Flambeaux 3407 m, descend westward (left) to an altitude of approximately 3230 m, passing under the North side of the Aiguille des Toules. then circle the North face of the Tour Ronde and climb up below the West face, going beyond some ice gullies to reach the snow slope leading to the start of the Gervasutti Couloir,  running regularly through the West wall.

La Tour Ronde
Tour Ronde West Face - The right gully is the Gervasutti - Photo Antonio Giani

After passing the bergschrund (50°), climb up the ice gully.  The route is 300 metres high and has a steepness of 45° to 55°. It takes about 3-4 hours for the ascent.  At the end of the gully you will exit on the NW shoulder. Downclimb a few meters and traverse left (II) reaching the base of the summit rocky castle, which you can climb up along an obvious chimney (IV) of beautiful rock with the aid of a fixed rope (2 pitches to the summit). Alternatively, if you go around a few meters after the chimney, walking in a clockwise direction on the snow at the base of the summit castle you can reach the SE ridge, leading  easily to the summit (II). 

At the bottom of the...
At the bottom of the Gervasutti Couloir
Looking up the couloir at a...
Looking up the couloir 



Tour Ronde topo. Drawn by Ari... Tour Ronde topo


Descent: the descent along the Normal route on the South-East ridge is rather long. See the report on Summitpost: South-East Ridge (normal route).  Easier and faster, there are other two possibilities: the descent on the adjacent East slope or the descent on the steep but short gully that descends from the Col Freshfield (topo here on the left). Both are generally to be preferred if in good condition (only with low temperatures and good snow), otherwise it is better to follow the Normal route on the ridge.

The 'normal' route - the...
The  descent on the '"Normal Route" 

Essential Gear

Crampons, 2 ice axes, rope, icescrews and other safety equipement

Red Tape 

No fees no permits required



Rifugio Torino
Rifugio Torino
Refuge des Cosmiques
Refuge des Cosmiques

Rifugio Torino m. 3375 – C.A.I. Sez. di Torino

- Refuge des Cosmiques - 3613 


Several comfortable camping places in Val Veny and Val Ferret. 

When to climb

The best season is the Spring.


Meteo Regione Valle d'Aosta

Chamonix Meteo

Guidebooks and maps

La chaine du Mont Blanc - Guide Vallot

"La chaine du Mont Blanc" Guide Vallot n. 1 route n 125
"Neige, glace et mixte Le topo du massif du Mont-Blanc: Tome 2, De l'Envers des Aiguilles au bassin de Tré-la-Tête", François Damilano, JM Editions, 2006

- Maps - Meridiani Montagne “ Monte Bianco” map 1:30.000 - Swiss Topo 292 Courmayeur



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