West Ridge of Grand Combin de Valsorey

West Ridge of Grand Combin de Valsorey

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 45.95000°N / 7.30000°E
Additional Information Route Type: Rock climb/ scramble
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: AD-/AD
Sign the Climber's Log


Start from the Valsorey hut (3030m, SAC, serves food, tel: 027 787 11 22). The walk to the hut is signposted from Bourg St. Pierre and it takes four hours.

Route Description

(I refered to the Alpine Club Valias Alps West guide book, Lindsay Griffin, when writing this.)

From the hut an early start is advisable. Walk up the rocky moraine to the Meitein glacier and move right across it in the direction of the Col du Sonadon. Branch off left up the obvious couloir that leads to the col du Meitein. Alternatively continue to the morraine and scree that lies to the right of the couloir and ascend this - there is a rough path all the way to the col.

From the col there are three rock steps. It is possible to climb up on the ridge turning the difficulties on either side. There are moves of II and III, but nothing harder than this. Alternatively, one can bypass all of the difficulties on the right by traversing on the South West Face; however this is over difficult ground with loose scree slopes. Most parties do a combination of the two options.

From last step a simple ridge leads to the summit which is marked by a wooden cross. From the summit of the Grand Combin de Valsorey you can get to the obvious main summit of the Grand Combin in 40mins, allowing 20 mins for the return.

Return to the hut the same way, or via the Plateau that leads to the Col du Sonedon. To reach this head directly down the scree to the col on a route that at times resembles a path. From the col you then traverse across and down the South face to the glacier where you started. it is important to keep high on the traverse, above the snow fields, because otherwise you have to cross some icy couloirs which tend to channel stones and rocks.

Essential Gear

Normal gear for crossing glaciers + a handful of nuts and camming devices.

Miscellaneous Info

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