Tra la punta Hirondelles e Les Grandes Jorasses i primi salitori trovarono un ventina di rondini morte ai piedi del colle, da qui prese il nome la cresta. G. Winthrop Young con Josef Knubel e la guida di Courmayeur Laurent Coux l’11 agosto 1911 percorsero per la prima volta in discesa l’itinerario. Sono stati più di 36 i tentativi di salita effettati tra il 1881 e il 1927 da cordate di famosi alpinisti dell’epoca. Sono dopo la prima guerra mondiale, la guida di Courmayeur Adolph Rey riuscì a superare la famosa fessura che prende ora il suo nome. Fino agli anni 50 le ripetizioni erano una ventina ora è diventata una classica per alpinisti di alto livello.


  • Day 1
    Departure from Courmayeur in Val Ferret from La Vachey 1642 Mt. The Gervasutti bivouac 2.870 mt. it is located in a remote and little frequented place, it takes about 3 h 30 to reach it. Dinner and overnight at the bivouac.
  • Day 2
    Wake up at 0.30 am breakfast, 1.15 am departure for the climb. From the refuge, go up the usually cracked glacier in about 3 hours to reach the Colle des Hirondelles 3480 Mt. From here the climb becomes very complex with the characteristic Rey crack about twenty meters long. Passages of 4th and 5th degree and some artificial passages lead to the top part which ends with mixed passages, 6/8 hours from the Hirondelles hill. For the descent you use the normal way of ascent from the ref. Boccalatte.
  • Average return times 14h with return to the valley
  • Total height difference uphill + 2566 mt.
  • Period from June to September
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The price includes

  • Assistance of the mountain guide, commonly used material.
  • Insurance that covers the emergency intervention in the event of an accident.

The fee does not include

  • Food and accommodation also for the guide to the ref. Boccalatte, in the case of delays or fatigue in the descent and anything not specified in the item The price includes.
  • Traveling by car

Technical difficulty


Physical training


  • harness
  • Maximum ice ax 60 cm
  • Classic crampons with anti-cocoon
  • High mountain boots
  • Helmet
  • Telescopic ski pole
  • Harness, ice ax, crampons, ski pole and helmet missing will be provided by the guide.


  • High mountain / glacier sunglasses
  • Sun cream and cocoa butter
  • Cap
  • High mountain gloves
  • Breathable t-shirt
  • Sweet life
  • Windstopper or fleece jacket
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Shoeller mountain pants
  • Mountain socks
  • Leggings


  • A tights
  • Ski mask
  • Lightweight spare gloves
  • A front lamp with new batteries
  • Small personal pharmacy (compeed, aspirin, high protection sunscreen)
  • Waterproof over trousers
  • Camera
  • 1 liter bottle or Thermos
  • Energy bars, dried fruit, chocolate, sandwich
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Paper towels
  • Sun hat
  • Fleece or goose down gillet
  • Ear plugs (useful in shelter)
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