Despite a tiring detour at the begin of the ridge, it was a great and very rewarding climb
We climbed and ski down Gervasutti Couloir. It was wonderful ski descent with good snow conditions.
Went from Rif. Torino to the summit in about 2:45 hours. Despite lots of fresh snow and extremely hot weather, which made some sections a litte tricky, it was a great climb. Fantastic view from the summit!!
Started from Torino Hut and soloed the North Face on Tour Ronde on June 17th 2007. Very good conditions!
A very enjoyable and recommendable climb!
Photos at www.samulimansikka.com
North face climbed, good conditions, but very steep (up to 55/60 in a short section)
Cheers to Valtho for breaking trail for us then! Your tracks were nicely compacted and made the ascent very easy indeed.
How did the conditions on the north face look?
The days before we planned our trip some 70 cm fresh snow fell in the Mont Blanc area and the temperatures were still very cold so we decided to go on skies instead of crampons which is quite exceptional for the time of the year. But the skiing conditions in the Vallee Blanche and the surrounding mountains were still excellent! Although all the fresh snow made it quite hard to get up the first steep section of the Tour Ronde because we were often until our waist into the snow, the reward was great to ski down in very good snow conditions and under a clear blue sky! Further more we were glad that there were only a few more people around at the time we climbed the Tour Ronde because you do not want to be there in July/August and have to wait a long time before all the people have passed the narrow ridge after the first steep section.
We approached the Tour Ronde via the Torino hut which was nice hut with quite decent food but very cold to stay. Only the "dry room", where you can dry your gear, was nice and warm but the rest of the hut was very cold to stay, I think it was still freezing in our bedroom and that in June!
Wanted to go ver to Mont Blanc the next day but the weather broke, oh well..
SE Ridge -- June 1, 2005 -- Climbed with Philippe Gerschel as our first route of the 2005 season. Temperatures were extremely hot, so a very early start was necessary (3AM). We climbed the entire ridge, starting from the Col des Entreves and reached the summit at 7AM. We took the snow slope in descent and already found soft snow towards the bottom. Back to the Torino Hut by 9:30AM. Very nice route, fairly exposed and more challenging than expected.
North Face -- June 8, 2005 -- Climbed with Philippe Gerschel a week after our ascent of the normal route. Despite relatively warm temperatures for two weeks, the face appeared to be in pretty good shape. We left the Torino Hut at 4AM and reached the bergschrund at around 5:30AM. Crossing the bergschrund was no problem and after this, the face was almost entirely ice, very good on the lower section and through the couloir at mid-height. The exit from the couloir was a bit tricky, being mostly unconsolidated snow and quite steep. The upper face appeared easy, but we found very brittle ice, worsening towards the top. Very tiring to climb, since several swings were necessary to get good placements. We reached the top of the face at around 9:30AM and traversed to join the normal route. The snow in the descent couloir was already very soft, so we made two 50m rappels and then downclimbed past the bergschrund. Tiring walk back to the Torino Hut, where we found that the cable car to Aig du Midi was closed, making necessary a trip to Courmayeur and then back to Chamonix via the Mont Blanc Tunnel. Very rewarding climb - I had my eye on this one for a long time.
very cloudy day, didn't really see any of the great views people talk about.
To get to the start of the Gervasutti Couloir this morning took us 1 hr exactly. An hour and a half later we were at the top of the couloir, and we traversed around the summit to the north before joining the "normal" route to the top. In total the route took 2hrs 50 mins from the Torino hut. The view from the top is one of the best in the Alps. In the distance we could see Monte Rosa, The Matterhorn and the Grand Combin. In the middle distance one gets a very impressive view of the Whymper couloir on the Aiguille Verte, and closer still, the Brenva face of Mt Blanc and the steep sides of Mt Maudit and Mt Blanc de Tacul stir the imagination for future climbs.
A very fine and steep snow route, harder if you come across ice sections. Not to long of a climb if you are in shape and have good front point technique. Excellent for training. If you go down via the South East Ridge route climb the Aiguille d' Entreves!
dal rifugio Torino
Very nice conditions of the route with fantastic views on Mont Blanc Massif
Climbed with my wife Annica Carlsson. Very long and nice climb. The first parts of the ridge are about a UAII III (some 35 meters) and then it turns to be a scramble with some moves of II. The climb goes, as I understood from our route finding and from other climbers, initially on the right of the ridge or even on the snow, and then to a liitle on the ridge itself, then on the left (Italian) side of the mountain, finally gainning the ridge on the upper snow slope.
We descended the route on the gully on the north side of the SE ridge, almost 1/3 of the way down. We reinforced 4 rappel anchors (rock and slings) and after rappeling downclimbed inside the rimaye for a couple of meters, since it had a snow bridge still strong to hold. If you use this option bring 2X50mts ropes to rapel or similar system to have long rappels, then reducing them to 2 instead of 4, save time and avoid manuvering inside the rimaye. The rimaye may not be solid to walk on it, so you better inspect it BEFORE climbing the ridge, from the bottom. It takes 15 minutes to go and see it.
We caught the morning cable car up from Chamonix and skied across the glacier (1 hour) to the base of the route. This was a far more pleasant approach than the first time I climbed it from the Italian side on foot.
Climbing the ridge is also much more interesting than the face, which anyways can be climbed on the descent.
a little bit overwhelming at first whan you gaze at its flanks, entering the Vallée Blanche from the Midi.
but when you actually begin climbing its north face the next day, it's less difficult than it seems, if the conditions are ok. excellent view over the massif !!!
and great climbing! very impressive!