/ Gran paradiso

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Hendofan 16 Aug 2019

Hi guys, I'm attempting gran paradiso next week and wondered if anyone knew the condition of the normal route? Also I couldn't book the hut, will it have space as I'm not taking a tent. Any advice welcome. 

what the hex 17 Aug 2019
In reply to Hendofan:

I can't help you re: conditions and the hut but I've almost done this, got within spitting distance of the summit but was overcome with a paralysing vertigo attack looking over the far side of the summit ridge and we turned around! It was one hell of a slog too

MG 17 Aug 2019
In reply to Hendofan:

The hut will take a dim view if you don't book and will probably send you down. Just give them a ring. 

phizz4 17 Aug 2019
In reply to Hendofan:

You don't need to use the hut, there are plenty of bivouac spots a few hundred metres beyond the hut, and you would probably get a better night's sleep. We did this, using a tarp and carrying a small stove for drinks. It's not an onerous walk up from the valley.

Hendofan 17 Aug 2019
In reply to phizz4:

Thanks guys. Re the scramble to the summit how long is that ledge? We're both relative novices but comfortable with roped travel, will 2 slings be enough to secure it?

jon 17 Aug 2019
In reply to Hendofan:

> Thanks guys. Re the scramble to the summit how long is that ledge? We're both relative novices but comfortable with roped travel, will 2 slings be enough to secure it?

Some years ago an alternative descent from the summit was equipped with a fixed rope in an effort to avoid the inevitable (and very long) queues building up on the narrow section that you mention, just before the summit. This meant that climbers could go up one way then descend the other way. But the weather took its toll on the rope and it didn't get replaced. However, now that alternative has been equipped with a few metal rungs and it's advised that this should be used in ascent and the 'exposed' way used in descent. In other words ascent > descent all in a clockwise direction. Of course this isn't policed and you can do what you want, but having stood in line several times on that final section, I can only really say that it's a pretty good solution to the problem. As you'll see in the link, it only involves the very last few metres to/from the summit:  https://www.planetmountain.com/en/news/interviews/gran-paradiso-new-summit-ascent-descent-route-interview-alex-chabod.html

Hendofan 17 Aug 2019
In reply to jon:

That looks a much more sensible alternative, if I see that route I'm all for it. I'll be honest I'm gonna follow the crowd.

Pero 17 Aug 2019
In reply to Hendofan:

> Thanks guys. Re the scramble to the summit how long is that ledge? We're both relative novices but comfortable with roped travel, will 2 slings be enough to secure it?

There are bolts. It's about 10m.

Pero 17 Aug 2019
In reply to Hendofan:

PS the Madonnna summit is not the highest point. The next rocky outcrop about 100m further along is slightly higher. That involves another exposed scramble but without any bolts or metal rungs.

You can always avoid the crowds by climbing to the highest point!

simc 17 Aug 2019
In reply to Hendofan:

Hi, I was up the Gran Paradiso last Tuesday.

Conditions are good. It was all dry up to the glacier, and the glacier was well enough covered to be traversed very easily. Obviously there are come crevasses, but we didnt see any that would be of any worry at all. There was actually quite a crowd on top and a one way system in place for getting to the summit: traverse along to the back end and up the back and come back down the front. 

The top is a bit airy, but there are good handholds and some nuts and ladders in place for security.

Irt camping/hut: just give the hut a call and you should be sorted. We actually bivyed as suggested above about 20-30 minutes beyond the hut. There are many excellent locations there and it was a great experience. The only thing was the continuous head-torches shining around from about 3/4 AM onwards, while we had planned a 6 AM departure.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!

Once I work out if and how to share photos on here, I will post a couple to give you an idea 

Hendofan 17 Aug 2019
In reply to simc:

Thanks for the update, was the one-way system the norm then? Heard loads of stories of jams on that ledge. How's the initial route finding out of the hut/bivy spot? 

simc 17 Aug 2019
In reply to Hendofan:

The route out of the hut is pretty clear following the cairns. Btw, we routed pasted the Emanuele hut, but there is also the Chabod hut,.

When you get up to the pass heading towards the glacier, there are several routes possible with multiple cairns to follow. It's probably best to have a good idea which one you want, but in the end they all rejoin further along. We took the one that went through the pass and connected with the glacier quite early. Quite a few groups chose to go up the ridge early and joined the glacier further along. It's six or half a dozen really. On the glacier there is only really one route and it is pretty clear.

There were quite a few groups, so even if you are unsure about the route, there are plenty of people to follow. 

I often use the View Ranger app, and all the routes are marked on the map there. It's probably the same for most other maps.

Baslow_edge 18 Aug 2019
In reply to Hendofan:

I climbed Gran Paradiso a couple of weekends ago - we ascended via V Emanuele Rifugio and descended by F Chabod Rifugio.  The huts were busy (full) and would need advance booking but definitely good value (particularly Chabod).  Breakfast is at 4:00am if you are climbing GP with most parties leaving by 4:30.

Glacier was fine - no problems if you stick to the tracks.  To confirm - there is a voluntary one way system once you get to the ridge (clockwise if ascended via the standard routes from the above huts).  Easy scramble up to the summit block then about four or five staples (easy / closely spaced) to get to the top.  The ledge (on the east face) is straight-forward with three or four pig-tails for protection before returning to the start point of the ridge.  We kept crampons on and left ice axes when we left the glacier.

Both huts were full but we did not have to queue for the summit.  Overall steady plod with fun summit and great views.  Enjoy your trip!

Tinley 25 Aug 2019
In reply to Pero:

Indeed! I wonder how many have climbed gran paridiso to the big Madonna and missed the true summit.

andyd1970 25 Aug 2019
In reply to Hendofan:

I did it 3 years ago and led the ridge part

You will need about 3 quick drawers as it’s bolted and a Belay device to bring your partner across to the summit which is bolted just below the Madonna.

it’s only a very short ledge but it’s usually busy and you have to wait to reach the summit.

The normal route was shut when I did it and u have to join the Chabod route at the glacier.

1
DaveHK 25 Aug 2019
In reply to Hendofan:

In British grade terms the top bit is maybe moderate but only for a few moves, the rest is easy scrambling. Both times I've done it there's been lots of folk around but as I was soloing I just went round them or took a slightly different route. It might hold you up a bit if you were roped.

speculoos 19 Sep 2019

Did you make it up? Just wondering if anyone is up for doing Gran Paradiso tomorrow? Planning to drive over from Cham in the morning and walk up to hut to spend Friday night there (It’s open as winter hut now, so will be free), and will set off for peak early on Saturday morning. We have space in our van..

gtza 22 Sep 2019

Hi guys,

I'm planning to do Gran Paradiso North-West Wall on Friday / Saturday. Does anyone have an idea what the conditions are?

MuckyMorris 23 Sep 2019
In reply to speculoos:

Did it Wednesday. 

lower glacier section was horrible on way up. We should have done more rock on the right. Top section good but ladders in place for crevasse near top. One way system is effectively enforced by weight of numbers.....

They asked for 5euro pppn, payable at the tabac in Valsavaranche. Toilets were locked up when we left. Never found an alternative one.

Good luck and enjoy


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