2 pitches.

Rockfax Description
IV, 850m, 2 days. A long, serious and superb journey through some staggering terrain. A real testpiece at the grade. The route takes in tricky sections of rock climbing plus delicate mixed ground on an exposed ridge, not to mention a long and involved descent. As if all that wasn't enough, the rock is not always completely solid, and reversing the line is difficult (but possible in extremis) so commitment is quite high too. All in all, this is a meaty route!
Start by climbing the Aiguille de Rochefort (page §§§, a classic route in itself) from the Helbronner lift. This route description begins from the summit of the Aiguille de Rochefort.
1) Descend from the summit to the col at 3895m then climb back up to the Dôme de Rochefort, turning any difficulties en route on the left.
2) Descend from the Dôme just off to the left of the ridge crest then get back onto the ridge crest as the snow peters out and the ridge becomes entirely rock. Scramble up to the Calotte de Rochefort and then over three small towers right after it. From the final small tower, make 2 x 20m abseils to get to a small col. From here, continue scrambling on rock and snow along the ridge crest to a point where you can look down onto the Col des Grandes Jorasses. Make 3 x 25m abseils to reach lower angled ground and then scramble down this to reach the col and the Bivacco Ettore Canzio.
Sleep at the hut and continue the next day. Scoping out the start of the line when you arrive at the hut is well advised and will allow you to get going early without worrying about finding the initial section of the route in the dark. If the weather turns overnight when you are at the hut, it is possible to make a series of 40m abseils down the south side of the Col des Grandes Jorasses and to descend the Glacier de Planpincieux from here. However, the rock that these abseils descend is loose and dangerous, and the descent of the glacier is no pushover either so consider this descent a last resort.
3) 5a. Cross to the far side of the Col des Grandes Jorasses to the foot of a rocky couloir with a ledge at its bottom left end. Get onto the ledge and climb up for 5m before traversing left to gain a ramp. Follow this (4b) to a large ledge, perched high on the north face of Pointe Young. Go straight up a wide, rocky gully for 25m and then step right around a block (5a) and follow easier, broken mixed ground to the ridge crest. Go along the ridge, initially on the left then on the crest itself, to the summit of Pointe Young. This should take roughly 2 hours from the Bivacco Ettore Canzio.
4) Drop down from Pointe Young on the left side of the ridge to reach a shoulder on the ridge crest. It looks tempting to drop off the ridge rightwards (there are some old fixed ropes leading down) but carry on down along the ridge crest to reach a small but distinctive notch.
5) 3c. Carry on along the ridge, over a steep tower (easier than it looks, 3c) and then follow a ledge system onto the right side of the ridge. Downclimb/abseil from the end of the ledge system to the foot of a mixed couloir, coming down from Pointe Marguerite. Climb this couloir to reach Pointe Marguerite's southwest ridge. Follow this to a small notch between the two summits and climb up easily onto the east summit.
6) From here the ridge is technically quite straightforward but exposed and loose in places. Follow it as it descends gradually to the bottom of Pointe Hélène, passing a few (very welcome) pegs on the way. Climb 70m of easy but exposed ground onto the summit of Pointe Hélène.
7) Scramble eastwards down the exposed ridge and then circumnavigate two towers by passing to the right of them. Once past these, follow the ridge crest over steady but exposed terrain all the way to Pointe Croz.
8) Continue over more easy mixed ground to the summit of Pointe Whymper. Avoid anything tricky looking on this section by dropping off onto the right of the ridge then coming back onto the crest.
9) Drop off the top of Pointe Whymper and cross the snowy saddle that separates this from Pointe Walker.
Descent - Down the South Face. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
Can start from either the Bocolatte Hut on the south face or the Torino Hut east of the Dent du Geant. Most parties begin from the Torino Hut.

Climb up under the Dent du Geant onto the Rochefort Ridge and to the Aig. du Rochefort. Continue to the Col des Jorasses via the Dome de Rochefort and the Calotte de Rochefort along snowy ridges, two, diagonal (towards the Col), abseils down to the Col des Jorasses (50 meter ropes were ok). Bivy at the Canzio Hut (blankets, not much else, room for 8).

From Col, climb up Pt. Young, staying on the northern side, two, wet/frozen 5a pitches mid way up before 2 more steep mixed pitches lead to the ridge. Keep to the north side and traverse to the summit of Pt. Young. Descend into a notch with an in situ belay and climb directly above the belay and then around on the south side heading towards just above the couloir that descends from the SW ridge of Pt. Marguerite. Rappel or down climb to start of couloir and then two pitches of II/III ice/snow lead to the SW ridge. Up another pitch into the notch between the summits of Pt. Marguerite.

Very exposed ridge descent leads to Pt. Helene, climb up a few pitches to summit and then descent again towards Pt. Croz past two gendarmes. Stay on the south side on rock and snow to Pt. Whymper. From here, follow snow slope down to col and then up again to Pt. Walker.

Descend via the normal route on the south face; the Pt. Whymper rock arete on the south face; from the Canzio Bivouac Hut down the south face (not recommended!); or from between Pt. Croz and Pt. Whymper down a desperate gully to the Glacier des Grandes Jorasses (subject to rock fall and poor rock)

Ticklists: Rebuffat's 100 Finest Routes in the Mont Blanc Massif, Batoux's 100 finest routes in the Mont Blanc massif, ROCKFAX Chamonix: Top 50.

Hidden ?/Sep/16 -
masa-alpin 23/Aug/16 AltLd O/S

Finally climbed Jorasses! 2 days from Midi. 8 hrs via Rochefort Arete to Canzio bivi, where 11 people stayed for the space of 8. 8 hrs to Pt Walker (stuck behind slow parties up to Pt Young). 6.5hrs to descend back to the road in the Italian side, including 30min coffee break at the hut. Ideal weather and tremendous route. Perhaps the best alpine route for me.

Richard Kendrick 23/Aug/16 AltLd O/S
with Masa
Hidden 08/Aug/16 AltLd
Hidden 08/Aug/16 AltLd
ndraper1 08/Aug/15 AltLd

From Torino. Rochefort Arete-Canzio bivi. 11hrs. Ridge was in OK condition but lacking a lot of snow, descending dent du rochefort was terrifyingly loose. Started the traverse GJ at 6am, we were in between Pointe Young and Marguerite when a few alarm bells rang (storm approaching, climbing a little slow, Marguerite baron of any snow looking really loose), returned and rapped from end of ridge of Point Young back to Canzio, sat out the hail storm(smug), rapped down south face on a 50m many many times, fine bar two anchors that were longer than 25m for some reason requiring some VERY delicate down climbing. Glacier in a thunder and lightening storm, mushy but crossable thanks to Ueli stecks tracks. High rivers to cross on the long descent. A truly classic GJ adventure.

Hidden 22/Aug/13 -
jcw ??/2013 -
Ally Baba 23/Sep/11 AltLd

Did it after the colton mac.

with Dave Searle
feilx ?/Sep/10 AltLd dnf
with Tom
Hidden 23/Jul/08 Solo
Hidden 14/Sep/07 AltLd O/S
dannyboy83 ?/Jul/06 AltLd O/S
with Floris
Hidden 27/Jul/05 AltLd
Yyonnx 27/Jul/05 AltLd dnf

Great weather, we were too slow and had to descend from between Pt. Croz and Pt. Whymper without finishing climb. First day from Torino to Canzio was a 12 hour day; second day from Canzio to Bocolatte was 17 hours. The snow ridges on the first day were soft; on the second day the exposed descent to Pt. Helene and around the gendarmes to Pt. Croz was over Russian roulette rock. The only parts necessary to rope up for were perhaps the couple of pitches up the Pt. Young at the beginning of the second day. Will go back and finish the climb as it was the best of the summer, my idea of alpine climbing.

andyinglis 13/Aug/04 AltLd dnf

Epic fail. Helicopter trip from the Canzio Bivi hut on the 15th.

Simon4 ?/Aug/91 -

Rochefort arrette to bivy hut

with Wayne Horsfall
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