/ Voie Normale for Grandes Jorasses?

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Chris Ellyatt - on 07 May 2013
Hi there

Been hearing a lot over the last few years about the Whympher Couloir becoming too crevassed etc to be objectively 'safe' during the summer months.

Which route would people now recommend as the easiest route for ascending this set of summits? And if the grade is around D/D+, how does this compare to route on other mountains of the same grade?

Thanks very much!

Chris
MG - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Chris Ellyatt: Are you getting your mountains confused? The Whymper Couloir leads to the Aiguille Verte. I've not climbed it but have had a good look, it should be OK early season in cold weather. The GJ nomral route is I think much as it has always been - long and serious. Both get AD (which is not necessarily a helpful piece on information)
Doug on 07 May 2013
In reply to MG: there's also a Whymper couloir on the Grandes Jorrasses - see http://www.summitpost.org/normal-route/160084
here's an extract

"these days the Grandes Jorasses normal route is more often used going down than up. Remember - it's relatively long, complex, and can be difficult to negotiate in bad weather or if you're very tired. The safest hours for a daytime cross of the Whymper couloir are a) before 10 AM or b) after sunset. Any other daytime hour is a gamble"
OwenM - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Chris Ellyatt: I did it by the Hirondelles ridge which I'd really recommend (D+ some pitches of IV and maybe one or two of V). We traversed the mountain and descended via the Rochefort Arete a fantastic if very long day.
MG - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Doug:
> (In reply to MG) there's also a Whymper couloir on the Grandes Jorrasses - see http://www.summitpost.org/normal-route/160084
> here's an extract


Thanks - I stand corrected.
cariva - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Chris Ellyatt:

Don't want to hijack the thread but I also have a question for someone out there: How long does it take to cross the couloir?

Thanks
Frank4short - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Chris Ellyatt: For those of you GJ questions, if you aren't given the answers you need in a bit. Then try mailing Lucca Signorelli (sp?) of this parish as he's the resident GJ expert round here (and actually pretty much everywhere, I believe he's responsible for the summitpost GJ page).
Luca Signorelli - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Chris Ellyatt:

Hi Chris, at the moment by far and large the most frequented route of the GJ is the West Ridge via the Rochefort Ridge, in two days from the Torino hut via the Canzio hut (that may be replaced this year or next year with yet another hi-tech dj console like the Gervasutti!).

Descent is still through the old normal route. However, because of the shameful state of abandon of the Boccalatte hut, and because of the the dry conditions often found in late season, it's becoming more and more common to attempt the descent from the Hirondelles. This is NOT an easy or a normal route, and requires a very careful planning. If I was in you, I'll check in Courmayeur, and I'll probably stick to the normal route in descent. "Normal route" means descent via the Rochers Whymper, not the Pt. Walker variation passing below the Big Serac.
Luca Signorelli - on 07 May 2013
In reply to cariva:
> (In reply to Chris Ellyatt)
>
> Don't want to hijack the thread but I also have a question for someone out there: How long does it take to cross the couloir?
>
> Thanks

The crossing itself it's 30 minutes more or less in normal conditons. The most difficult bit is the transition from the top of the Reposoir to the Couloir itself, normally there's a fixed rope. Movements of the glacier may change this
jon on 07 May 2013
In reply to Luca Signorelli:
> (In reply to Chris Ellyatt)
> via the Canzio hut (that may be replaced this year or next year with yet another hi-tech dj console like the Gervasutti!).

Aaaaarrrgghhh no! Please say you're joking Luca.
walts4 - on 08 May 2013
In reply to cariva:
> (In reply to Chris Ellyatt)
>
> Don't want to hijack the thread but I also have a question for someone out there: How long does it take to cross the couloir?

We descended the route late last year. Coming off the Rochers Whymper are a series of new bolts with short 25mtr abs that suddenly finish before the schrund, however a very tatty old fixed rope starts whose anchor points you can use to ab & overcome the schrund.
You then cross the couiloir to a ice fall which you descend in order to reach the top of the Roche de Reposoir. We managed all of this in about 1 hour just as it was going dark, hopefully there will be a track in to assist in showing you the way.
Good luck
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adnix - on 08 May 2013
In reply to Chris Ellyatt:

The traverse graded D was longer than Frendo Spur but about the same difficulty. If you can do other big D routes in guidebook times Jorasses is no exception. I think it's quite similar to traverse of the Meije but longer.

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