Ridge line between Col du Geant and Col du Hirondelles often catches your eyes and imagination. You have heard stories about the dizzying exposure, loose rock and challenging conditions on the ridge. Altogether Rochefort – Grandes Jorasses traverse is one of the classic ridge climbs in the massif. It’s basicly a border line walk at high altitude between France and Italy.
The most relaxed way to do it is to take the first lift of the morning to Helbronner either from Chamonix or Courmayeur. Then climb the Rochefort part of the traverse to the Canzio bivouac hut which is located at Col des Jorasses. No sleeping bags needed due to amount of blankets.
On the second day start early to climb the Jorasses part of the traverse. You should be able to summit Walker in 8 hours if conditions are good. It took us 6,5h.
Descent via the normal route to the Boccalatte refugio can be a nightmare. Last time I did it in the dark in 7 hours. Now in a daylight 3 hours was close. There’s a guardian at the refuge, so make sure to book beds for the night. He’s probably the friendliest guardian ever, though.
I’ll tell the story with pictures this time, but as a gear-wise, 50m single rope is enough. Belays on the hardest pitches on Pointe Young are bolted and also the Rochefort traverse is fully equiped. Light weight rack will do.