Testa del Rutor
Difficulties:F - Easy
July - September
Departure:La Joux (1650 m) - La Thuile
Arrival:Testa del Rutor (3486 m)
Difference in level:845 m. + 995 m.
How to get there
Morgex motorway toll booth, carry on along the SS 26 as far as Pré-Saint-Didier where you should turn left towards La Thuile. Once you have reached the town of the same name, continue along a narrow tarmaced road that leads to La Joux square.
The Rutor stands just a little away from the southern edge of the glacier of the same name and is located on the watershed that divides Valgrisenche from the La Thuile Valley. The origins of the name are unclear. The British mountain climber Coolidge maintains that it comes from the two Valle d’Aosta patois terms “ru” (stream) and “tort” (winding). The local expert Berton, on the other hand, claims that the name comes from patois “roese” (glacier) and Celtic “tor” (rocky summit). Without favouring either of the hypothesis, the aspect of the Rutor is that of a modest rocky elevation sticking out from the rock of a vast icy blanket.
Description of the route
Once you leave the village of La Joux, take the easy pathway that - after a flat start - soon starts to head upwards winding through the forest. The pathway runs alongside the river nurtured by the Rutor glacier and by other glacier rocks in the area; it is worth remembering that the water flow forms three famous waterfalls that can be admired by following the short forks branching off from the main pathway. You will walk near the remains of the Montagne du Glacier in order to climb the last ramp that allows you to gain height and will lead you to the Deffeyes refuge.
From the refuge, follow the pathway that, passing through an area of small lakes, will lead to the Planaval Pass on ground that is rocky and stony in places: the route, where the pathway is less visible, is helped by the presence of stone figures. Once round a rocky ridge, you will walk at the foot of the rocks that support the Pointe des Invergneures and come to the entrance of the valley that descends from the Planaval Pass. Once on level ground, you will come to the summit that has to be climbed in order to reach the Rutor glacier. Head back up southwards, moving round the base of the ridge made up of the Flambeau, the Doravidi and the Château Blanc, and coming to the Rutor Pass (3373 m). From the pass, follow the southern ridge, in some places rocky, in others snowy, until you touch the end rocks that are easy to climb. The peak spike is just a few metres away.
Descent: down the upward itinerary.
This itinerary requires experience of high mountains and it is recommended that you get a mountain guide to accompany you.