Grand Combin (from Ch. Amianthe or Cab. De Valsorey)

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The Grand Combin (wanting to dot the i) has no Italian sides, we say that has an access on foot on the Italian side through Amianthe hut It m.2979 reaches the resort "Glacier" 1549 m, placed at the end of the road that runs through the valley of Ollomont, side to Valpelline.

The hut is reached first with Amianthe 3338 m, then to the glacier, crevasses even late in the season, you come to Col de Sonadon 3504 m; calculate the hut two good hours although the difference would not say. From here the South ridge, mainly rocky up well over 4100 m then snowy, pointing directly to the main summit, the Grand Combin de Grafeneire 4314 m. . It does not present any major technical difficulties, but there are still steps of III degree and upper snowy facing south, just in case it was a little 'ice, must be taken with caution: in practice is a way of high mountain of a certain commitment it must deal with the preparation of the case (as in 3 5 hours depending on the conditions and technical capabilities). Then, once you are at the top, if you want to return to Glacier where he left the car, it's not over yet, because there are two possibilities: to retrace the road made uphill (not trivial) or go down to the collar between Grafeneire and the Grand Combin de Valsorey, so easily will earn the summit of Valsorey m. 4184, easy snowy ridge, then descend directly on the south following the itinerary of Spalla Isler, first with some steep rock passage (first grade) and then, depending on conditions, may look like a snow slope or on scree 45 ° for about 500 meters. The slope has exposure due south and is visible from Aosta. In case there is snow and it is chosen as a descent route, getting the accounts timetable because, I repeat, is facing south. At the end of the big side Isler meets the B.Musso bivouac on the countertop to m. 3364, which for the glacier, crevasses too late in the season, you come to Col de Sonadon already touched uphill. The described itinerary is definitely the most isolated and wild (and therefore could also be the best); consider good chance of not finding tracks and then doverselo earn.

La Cabane de Valsorey It can be reached from Bourg Saint Pierre in Switzerland just across the Tunnel of Grand Saint Bernard. From the village take a small paved road that in a couple of kilometers brings us the mouth of the valley of Valsorey 1800m. approximately, from which you reach the Cabane a m. 3030 4 in good hours for the path.

From the Cabane de Valsorey there are several possibilities:

"Isler shoulder"(Already mentioned above): from the refuge up briefly in the direction of the col du Metin then to snowy slopes of ° 40 - 45 ° degrees (which can also be frozen) or in part detrital earn the shelf where there is the Musso m bivouac. 3364 then climb the remaining meters to 500 snowy or scree slopes (45 ° degrees) to just below the summit of the Grand Combin de Valsorey where it meets a last wall rockier, easy, with passages of first instance and then to the summit of Valsorey m . 4184 from which to snowy ridge very simple to the main summit of the Grand Combin de Grafeneire (4 - 5 hours for trained mountaineers).

"Arete Ouest du Metin": From the hut go up towards the Col du Metin then increasingly steep snowy slopes gradually from the 40 ° - 45 ° degrees, which can also be frozen, or partially detrital. In the upper part do not bet over the hill but keep gradually right (direction) to go up along a rib vague (if not snow there are also traces of trail over gravel) aiming to take the ridge at a point already higher (not much) than the col du Metin. then take the crest, at first quite obvious and simple (you walk by supporting sometimes the hands). it then enters in a middle area where the ridge becomes a kind of open very steep slope and rock into large blocks piled looking insecure; in this apart from the search for 'itinerary is already a bit' more complicated, if you always guessed the right steps are also some spit occasionally, as technical difficulties we say some (few) steps III, then passed this first part the difficulties diminish again and it becomes easier orientation in practice is called Cresta du Metin but we say that the 'route does not touch that in short points the ridge. Usually it leans on the right side (direction) south to the summit of the Grand Combin de Valsorey (4 - 5 hours to prepared climbers). Basically it's a nice way of relatively safe climb, to go in dry conditions, but not recommended under heavy snow conditions on the rock and my opinion always unwise downhill.

" Via Normal"Switzerland: Refuge earn col du Metin m. 3611 for snowy increasingly steep slopes gradually from the 40 ° - 45 ° degrees, which may also be frozen, detrital or in part, that in the upper part are transformed into vague channel. From the hill down the glacier to the north, pass through the base of the NW wall of the Combin de Valsorey past her all the way to reach a wide flat area called the Plateau de Maison Blanche where you meet the traces that go from Cabane de Panossière. Actually it does not need to stoop to this plateau, but you could, once past the wall NO cited above, continue to navigate rising, but if you are not clear how to move you are likely to make mistakes and lose much time. From the Plateau de Maison Blanche on the left we find the famous Corridor, normal easy way out, a simple snowy slope in 30 ° feasible even with skis on their feet, but now virtually abandoned for strong objective dangers arising from the fall of seracs located upstream (recommended only downhill skiing, if in perfect condition). On the right wall of the NO Combin de Valsorey already seen above, in the middle there is the one that is the normal way, at first a snowy slope up to 40 ° dying under a fairly good-natured seracs high wall fifty meters (highly variable) where more or less complicated route exceeds the range, beyond which you will reach the upper reservoir from which easily Valsorey and Grafeneire peaks (5 -6 hours). Via also advisable downhill.


In case you want to make even the Grand Combin de Tsessette things stretch a bit '. From the peak Grafeneire traverse the ridge past the Aiguille de Croissant to go down the steep slope called Mur de La Cote almost always frozen (° 45 / 50 150 ° meters) then set foot on the gentle slopes that form the upper part of the Grand Combin de Tsessette and very simply to reach the highest hump that it is the peak (1,5 hours for trained mountaineers). Downhill retrace their steps up the Mur de La Cote, so from here two options: climb the Mur down the normal route described above, or slip into the Corridor and Come down ball hoping that some piece of serac collapse of us does not involve. Let's say that at board level is to be done only in spring with skis down to the area where the risk is overcome in a matter of minutes, while walking better or worse it would take at least 25 - 30 min.


There is still another possibility: to do the most beautiful complete traverse of the three summits without retrace their steps, but it is a bit 'more complicated logistically and technically. It starts from Bourg Saint Maurice and arrive at Fionnay in Verbier valley and then you have to bring at least 90 learned meters of rope as you have to do double the 4 or 5 40 meters, possibly I describe on another occasion.