Grande Fourche : Couloir NE

Grande Fourche : Couloir NE


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Associated waypoints

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  • Swisstopo - 46 - Val de Bagnes
  • Swisstopo - 282 - Martigny
  • Swisstopo - 1344 - Col de Balme
  • IGN - 3630OT - Chamonix - Massif du Mont Blanc



durations: 1 day(s)
configuration: corridor

quality: medium


D   3  M3+    II    P4 


elevation min/max : 2702 m / 3619 m

height_diff_up: 900 m

height_diff_difficulties: 200 m


glacier_gear: glacier_safety_gear





From the Albert Premiere hut, follow the moraine to the E to get onto the Tour glacier. Go up this passing under the Signal Reilly. Continue up to the Col du Tour. On the other side at about 3200m climb a short, steep section between the Petite Fourche and the rock island (rognon) 3238m. Go eastwards towards the col des Fourches until you get a good view of the NE couloir of the Grande Fourche.

Panorama vers la sud depuis le sommet
Panorama vers la sud depuis le sommet


Cross the bergschrund, (if there is one) then climb the couloir to within 30m of the gap where it ends. From here go to the right on mixed ground. In two pitches of 40/45m you arrive at a comfortable shoulder, (and not one pitch of 60m as in the guidebooks.) From here traverse a rock flake (4a) to reach the final couloir which you climb to the summit.


From the summit, go down the S ridge (facing the Aiguille d'Argentière,) by ledges and rock steps for about 100m to reach the top of a snow gully which descends facing the Chardonnet. Go down this gully for about 50m. Climb up onto the W ridge passing the rock pillars that are in the way. From the crest of the ridge go down a steep snow couloir. At two thirds of the way down make an abseil (10m) from a rock spike to pass a steep rock section and continue the descent to the begshrund. Get back to the hut by the approach route.


The route is much harder in dry conditions.
A short mixed gully which is a good test of your capabilities.

Sensitive areas
There are sensitive areas on this route. Please refer to the map.



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