The best thing about great tours is that you can remember them way longer than they last. So I currently enjoy walking the Rochefort-Ridge in my mind over and over again.
This is among the best tours I ever did. Starting from Rifugio Torino, which can be reached by the cable car from La Palud, one starts out with crossing a glacier. After climbing up to the Salle á Manger and the first Clif Bar of the day, the mountain guide and I went on to the ridge. From the very beginning the ridge is exposed and every mistake can be fatal. Thanks to the trips before I was well acclimatized and able to enjoy the tour to the fullest.
actually this was the first time I took a break longer than 10 minutes. In fact we sat about 45 minutes just below Dent du Geant and watched other climbers rappeling down (after we had been to the summit of Aiguille de Rochefort). This is what happens when to friends of a good cheese sit together with some really awesome cheese. I bought it the day before in Courmayeur.
To sum up the tour I’d like to quote the mountain guide: „We have a pretty good run“ The weather was just perfect, we moved fasted and reached the summit easily. I even found the time to dip my toes into one of the crevasses on the glacier. I have to blame the cheese that I was too fat and the snow bridge did not hold.
For those thinking about doing the tour themselves here are some hints:
If you are looking for a mountain guide I highly recommend Guide Monte Rosa. Although they are not based in Courmayeur they know the Montblanc Massif very well. The prices are fair and somewhat better than those of the guides from Courmayeur. As you can see from the picture above, parts of the tour are very exposed. One should feel comfortable in such situations. To get used to it I did the Watzmann-Überschreitung (find the blog post here). Parts of the climbing in the rock are done with crampons. So you have to be comfortable with that too. The climbing is not too hard as long as you stay on the route. When leaving the route it can quickly become really intense.
Bring a helmet! Although there a some rocks were a helmet would not help you much. I touched a freezer-sized rock that then moved. Since there were other parties following us we altered the route and tried to avoid being hit by it.
Thanks again to the mountain guide accompanying me, Claudio. He is a friendly guy and made me feel comfortable on the mountain all the time.