Grande Aiguille Rousse

Grande Aiguille Rousse

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 45.43290°N / 7.10940°E
Additional Information Elevation: 11423 ft / 3482 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Grande Aiguille Rousse is a nice pyramidal mountain situated entirely in French territory, however it is in the vicinity of the borderline between France and Italy and for this reason its summit is often reached by Italian besides French alpinists and ski tourers.

From the top the panorama is great: starting from South direction, the alpinist can see the highest elevations of Maritime, Cotian and Southern Graian Alps, then from East to North is well evident the Gran Paradiso group, northern Graian Alps and Pennine Alps with the Monte Bianco range; from NE to S all the French Graian Alps, the Vanoise Massif and Dauphiné Massif

It is included into the Vanoise Nat. Park and is close to the borderline of the Gran Paradiso National Park; thanks to that, many animals populate its sides: pack of Ibex and Chamois, eagles, marmots and, with a bit of luck, the bigger European bird, the Bearded Vulture.


Historical notes

First known ascent: Edouard Rochat and Blanc le Greffier, 31 July 1878.

Getting there

Italian side:

1) From Torino road SS460 to Cuorgnè, Ceresole Reale, then continue on the road up to Lago Serrù (2275m).

2) From Milan Motorway A5, exit in Ivrea, road SS460 to Cuorgnè, Ceresole Reale, then continue on the road up to Lago Serrù.

French side:

From Lyon, motorway to Chambery, then: 1) drive to Albertville, Bourg St. Maurice and turn right then continue direction Col de l’Iseran and stop at Pont St. Charles (2.094m); 2) Drive to St. Jean de Maurienne, Modane, Lanslebourg, then Bonneval sur Arc (1800 m)


Nearest railway stations:


Pont Canavese (local train from Torino)


Bourg St. Maurice and Modane


Nearest airports:


Torino-Caselle airport


Lyon-St.Exupery airport

Chambéry airport

Geneva International airport (165 km)



From Italy:

From the Serrù lake (2275m) follow the trail to Rifugio Ballotta (2470m), then get to Pian Ballotta, Colle della Vacca, walk across the Glacier de source de l’Isere (danger of crevasses in the same direction of march) direction SW to the point where the ridge NNO of Grande Aiguille Rousse ends, halfway down the mountainside then, arrived to the base of a steep slope (35°) of snow (iced in late summer), climb it to reach the Col de l'Aiguille Rousse and finally get to the top by an easy but vertiginous ridge.

Height difference: 1250m

Difficulty: easy alpinism (glacier with crevasses).

Equipment recommended: axe, crampons and rope.

From France:

a) From the parking of Pont St. Charles (2.094m) take the trail to Refuge Prariond, then continue to the trail (direction NE) to Col de la Vache (Colle della Vacca) then walk on the Glacier de source de l’Isere and follow the previous itinerary.

Height difference: 1388m

b) From Refuge Carro - I haven’t any information about this route.


Rifugio Ballotta 2470m (Orco valley)

Situated on the Italian normal route.

Refuge Prariond 2323m m (Isere valley)

Situated on the French normal route.

Refuge Carro 2.759m (Arc valley)

Rif Ballotta and Colouir of ColluretRif. Ballotta and Colouir of Colluret

Red Tape

National Parks of Vanoise and Gran Paradiso are open year round and admission is free


Rules :
-No picking, no collecting the animals, plants, rocks and fossils all belong to the environment.
-No loud noise, no disturbance, for the tranquility of all.
-No dogs, not even on a lead, so as not to disturb wild and domestic animals alike.
-Leave no rubbish, no trace of your passage.
-No camping, no bivouacking. Bivouacking is allowed near certain refuges, under the control of the warden.
-No fires. To reduce the risk of wild-fires and to avoid damaging the soil.
-No paragliders or other means of air-transport. Overflying at less than 1000m is also forbidden for the tranquility of the animals.
-No mountain biking. For the safety of walkers and to avoid erosion of the paths. However, certain trails in the Park have been designated for biking (Gran Paradiso Nat. Park allows mountain biking).

When to climb

Alpinism: late June until October.

Ski-routing: April to June

Further information at Gulliver (It) and CamptoCamp (Fr)

Books and maps


Guida dei monti d'Italia "Alpi Graie Meridionali" by C.A.I. and T.C.I. (It)

Nuova guida Scialpinistica del Canavese by Dario Amateis and Davide Caresio (It)

GRAN PARADISO VANOISE DELFINATO by Lorenzo Bersezio Piero Tirone – CDA (It)


Italian map: IGC n.3 – 1:50000 - “Gran Paradiso”

French map: IGN 3633 ET Tignes - Val d'Isère

Weather and mountain conditions