from 01/07 to 30/09
Esposizione:North - North/West
Departure:Usellières (1785 m)
Arrival:Grande Rousse (3607 m)
Difference in level:1075 m + 750 m
How to get there
Aosta Ovest highway exit. Follow the directions for Courmayeur. In Arvier, turn left for Valgrisenche that leads to the village of Usellières, where you can park.
Grande Rousse is the highest peak on the divide between Valgrisenche and Val di Rhêmes. It has two peaks, the North peak, 3,607 m, and the South peak, 3,577m, divided by the Grande Rousse Col, 3,516 m. The North North-West slope is covered by the large Invergan glacier that lowers to touch the Upper Mont Forciaz pass.
Grande Rousse has a majestic aspect in Valgrisenche, cloaked in ice, true to its name, “large glacier”. The Val di Rhêmes side is a high rock wall where the north peak rises in a thin and sharp tooth, covered by the Torrent glacier.
Description of the route
From Usellières, follow the farm road, closed to unauthorised traffic, that enters the valley. After a couple hundred meters you’ll find a road on you left that rises to Mont Forciaz. The road soon enters a wood, winding in wide curves. Taking the left fork for Alp l’Epée, continue on your right to Mont Forciaz where the road ends.
Continue on the path to the right that winds through the pastures on the right bank of the stream. Continue on the moraine to the valley scattered with sediment. The path is concealed at times. After you leave the valley, turn slightly to the right to the moraine ridge and follow it – lastly on easy rocks – to the Ravelli camp.
From the camp, continue up the moraine that ends on the right branch of the Invergnan glacier. Continue south-east on the steep glacier, careful of the crevasses. Hug the rocks on the north-west spur to the steep slope that leads to Colle della Grande Rousse. From the pass, turn to your left and climb the rocky south ridge which has two cliffs (a III level climb), and the difficult climb to the northern peak.
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.