climbing circuits in the alps : LUSENET : Mountaineering : One Thread

I have lots of books (Lindsay Griffin etc) on various routes and ridges but nothing which connects these routes into a circuit (as you have done on Mt Blanc) - where is it possible to get hold of actual circuits in the Alps rather than having to try and judge yourself what is 'do-able' in a day or two? by 'actual circuits' i mean a two or three day route which includes in it the descent as well as the ascent. For example - the Gouter route up Mt. Blanc followed by a descent via the Grandes Mulets Hut. Most books simply tell you how to ascend, not how to complete your route safely. So if I decided to do the Rocheforts Ridge from the Torino Hut, the obvious desecnt seems to be straight down the glacier to Chamonix but how do I know whether this is possible or over-ambitious. Are their any guide books which give this sort of infomation?

-- Richard Bennett (, May 18, 1999


A book like the Rebuffat (100 finest climbs series) will give you circuits. However, all the information is contained in a guidebook such as the Vallot. At the beginning of the book they list the huts and how to access them, as well as the time it takes to do so. For each summit, they list first the easiest route, which is the same as the route of descent, and the time it takes to complete it from the hut. Depending on the terrain, you can evaluate how much faster it is to go down than up. With a map it is easy to find which hut serves which route, and plan your circuit.

The Rochefort ridge can be done in two ways. Either you do it as a roundtrip, completed in the day up to the dome or the aiguille, or you combine it with a traverse of the Grande Jorasses and go down the normal route of the GJ. The fastest descent (and ascent) to Torino is using the cable car :-)

-- Quang-Tuan Luong (, May 18, 1999.

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