Grand Combin is a huge massif with a real alpine character and four 4000 meter peaks :
- Combin de Grafeneire 4314 m, the highest point
- Combin de Valsorey 4184 m
- Aiguille du Croissant 4320 m
- Combin de la Tsessette 4141 m
After a long walk to the huts, the way to the summit remains long. No easy route leads to the summit. The easiest, the route of the first summitters through the "Corridor" became too dangerous in the last years and is absolutely not advisable. The normal route today is the NW face. Technically a little more difficult, this route is less exposed to icefall.
You can access the Grand Combin massif
- from Val de Bagnes (Fionnay)
- from Val d'Entremont (Bourg Saint Pierre)
Next airport : Geneva
Next station :Sembrancher
Bourg Saint Pierre is on the road Martigny - Aosta at the north entrance of the Grand Saint Bernard tunnel
To Fionnay : from the road Martigny - Aosta, turn left at Sembrancher to Val de Bagnes and Fionnay.
There are no permits required.
The only fees one would have to pay are Cabane fees if one chooses to use them.
If camping in the wild than a minimum respect for your surroundings goes without saying.
Be careful of hunters during hunting season either sit still or duck when you hear gunshots. Any movement deserves to be shot at.
When To Climb
March-June for the ski touring season.
July-September for summer alpine routes.
A)The 4 principal routes :
1) W ridge of Combin de Valsorey : Meitlin crest
AD III 7 h
7 h from Panossière Hut
5 h from Valsorey hut
The most sure route and the normal route from Valsorey hut. Equipped with 40 insurance points.
The route leads to Meitin collar over NW face from Panossière or over S face from Valsorey. The route follows the W ridge to the summit.
2) NW face of Combin de Grafeneire
7 h from Panossière
The normal route from Panossière leads over the Plateau des Maisons Blanches, a steep slope of snow or ice and finally over easy snowfields to the summit.
3) NW face of Combin de Valsorey
8 h from Panossière
Nice and sure ice climb (45° to 60°)
4) SW face of Combin de Valsorey
5 h from Valsorey hut over Biwak Biagio Musso.
B) W- E traverse of all the summits
This (very) long route neads excellent conditions and good weather.
C) Corridor route of the first summitters : I don't describe here this route become too dangerous (icefall).
D) Tour des Combins : for hikers
Marcel Brunet Hut
François-Xavier Bagnoud (Panossière) Hut
From Bourg-Saint-Pierre, take the road of the vallon de val Sorey to the alpine pasture of Cordonnaz (park). From here 3 to 4 h to the hut.
Biwak Biagio Musso 3664 m
Camping is allowed in the area as long as one does not set up a massive basecamp, and the best part is there is no fee for it.
Camping du Grand-Saint-Bernard
Phone +41-(0)27-787-1411 (079-370-9822)
Contact person Vincent Formaz
On the NE side of the Grand Combin massif, the huge Corbassière glacier has a surface of 5 km2, is 5 km long. The ice stream spreads from 3370 m to 2380 m.
- First ascent through the "corridor" : Benjamin and Maurice Felley + Jouvence Bruchez (1857)
- SW face : J.H. Isler + Joseph Gillioz (16 sept 1872)
- Meitin ridge : Charles Boisviel + Daniel Balleys + Séraphin Henry (1884)
- NNE face : E.R. Blanchet + K. Mooser (1933)
- NW face (Combin de Grafeneire) : Henry Bruchez + Hilaire Dumoulin + Louis Maret + René Michaud (8 sept 1958)
- NW face of Combin de Valsorey : Egbert Eigher + Erich Vanis (21 may 1958)
- A descent route was equipped in 1983 by Marco Bruchez and Vincent May.