Mont Blanc

 

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Mont Blanc

4808 metres, 15,782 feet.
First ascended in 1786 by J. Balmat & M. Paccard.
The highest peak in Western Europe

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Routes to the Summit            


There are a number of 'normal routes' to the summit, offering a wide variety of climbing for more than 2000 people who reach the top every year.

The Gouter Ridge  - the most frequented ascent route, the route that we usually take, & the one that gives
the
greatest chance of success.
From the end of the Mont Blanc tramway at the Nid d'Aigle 2372m, the route goes up to the Tete Rousse hut
at 3167m. We stay here for an early evening meal, & 1am breakfast; or continue up to the -
Gouter Hut 3817m after crossing the Great Couloir & an easy scramble up a long rocky rib running down
from the hut. Staying at this hut allows a later breakfast & a 2am start.
From the Gouter Hut, the route traverses the Dome du Gouter, descending slightly to the Col du Dome,
before ascending to the Vallot Hut at 4362m. Another 2 hours or so takes the climber over the Bosses Ridge, to reach the final snow arete leading to the summit.
The ascent from the Tete Rousse hut usually takes from seven to eight hours, arriving at the summit just
after dawn. The views are panoramic from the Pennine peaks in the east, to the Gran Paradiso in the south. 'There is nothing to look up to; all is below....'

Henry & Richard on the summit of Mont Blanc, 6am, July 2013



From the Cosmiques hut  
3613m, this fine ascent is slightly longer than the Gouter route.
From the top of the Aiguille du Midi telepherique station 3795m, the Cosmiques hut is reached easily in an
hour or so.
From the hut, the route first ascends the side of Mt. Blanc du Tacul, before climbing the steep snow slope to the Col du Mt. Maudit 4345m. after the slopes of the Mur de la Cote, a broad ridge leads onto the summit of Mont Blanc. Descent is either by the same way, by the Gouter route, or down the Grands Mulets route to Chamonix.

Another summit photo! August 2012

Our Courses                  

The highest peak in western Europe is attainable for all levels of mountaineers, provided they have good fitness & stamina. We offer courses which are designed to give maximum chance of success over either
one or two weeks. Whatever length of course, the most important ingredients for a comfortable &
successful ascent of Mont Blanc - good acclimatisation to altitude, training & practice in crevasse rescue & movement on snow using ice-axe & crampons - they are covered.

One week programme   Six days. Designed to provide a basic acclimatisation to at least 4000m, with at least one night spent in a high mountain hut. Three days are reserved for the ascent of Mont Blanc, to allow flexibility in choosing the best weather window. If the weather forecast is good, the extra day allowed for
Mont Blanc is taken up by staying up at a high hut & climbing another summit.

A sample one-week programme, based from Saas Grund  
The Mont Blanc range can get very busy during July &
August, so we work from Switzerland for people who might appreciate the quieter mountains & huts over in the Swiss Valais region.
# Day one - lift to the Hohsass hut 3098m, from Saas Grund. 'Ecole du Glace' on the Triftgletscher.
# Day two - ascent of the Weissmies 4023m, descent to the Hohsass hut.
# Day three - ascent of the Allalinhorn 4027m from the Mittelallalin lift.
# Day four/five/six - ascent of Mont Blanc.

Two week courses  Last for twelve days, with 10 days of guiding and two rest days included, includes
the ascent of at least three peaks over 3800m for the best acclimatisation. The mountain area we prefer for
two week courses is the Swiss Valais, based in the Saastal & Matter valleys. From here it is possible to
access a range of magnificent peaks including some famous names such as the Weissmies, Lagginhorn,
Dom, Alphubel, Allalinhorn & Strahlhorn - all above 4000m for maximum acclimatisation. The huts are
generally quieter, Chamonix & Mont Blanc is no more than 2 hours drive down the Rhone valley.

A sample two week programme
# Day 1 - Mon. lift to the Hohsass hut 3098m, from Saas Grund. 'Ecole du Glace' on the Triftgletscher.
# Day 2 - Tues. ascent of the Weissmies 4023m, descent to the Hohsass hut.
# Day 3 - Wed. ascent of Lagginhorn 4010m, descent to valley.
# Day 4 - Thurs. rest day.
# Day 5 - Fri. lift to Felskin from Saas Fee, walk to Britannia hut 3030m.  descend to valley.
# Day 6 - Sat. ascent of Allalinhorn 4027m, by Hohlaubgrat, (grade AD)
# Day 7 - Sun. walk to Tasch hut 2701m.
# Day 8 - Mon. ascend the Alphubel 4206m, descend to valley.
# Day 9 - Tues. rest day.
# Day 10/11/12 - Wed/Thur/Fri. ascent of Mont Blanc.

Looking across to the Aiguilles des Grand Charmoz, Grepon, Blaitiere, Plan, and Midi. The Mer de Glace with the Aiguille ou Dent du Geant to the east. Mont Blanc du Tacul, Mont Maudit, and Mont Blanc to the west, with the Dome du Gouter and Les Bosses ridge leading to the summit.

Cost                                                                                                                                                              

For our one week course, with six days of guiding, and seven nights B&B accommodation at the Hotel Schoenblick in Saas Grund, the cost per person is 1250

For our two week course, with ten days of guiding and 13 nights accommodation in Saas Grund, the cost
per person is 1950

The cost covers all Guiding fees, hut fees, all valley transport to & from your accommodation & to/from
uplift stations or start points. Crampons & ice-axes, helmets & harness' are provided for the duration of the course if you need any of these items. It also includes B&B accommodation at the Hotel Schoenblick, Saas Grund.

  All of guides hut & lift costs are paid for.

You would only need to budget extra for Alpine mountaineering Insurance (about 45 for a 6 day course), your meals when you are down in the valley (mountain huts, included in the price, provide B&B & an
evening meal), and any mountain lifts we use to get up from the valley - although lifts are free in the Saas valley. Getting to Saas Grund (or Visp, the nearest railway station & on a direct line from Geneva airport) is by train from Geneva airport, cost about
65 return.

Accommodation                                                                                                                                       

You have a single room at the Hotel Schoenblick, Saas Grund, on a B&B basis. You keep the room for the duration, even when you are away up in huts.

The cost of hut nights are included, with hut evening meals as well.

There are three campsites in Saas Grund, from within 15 to 25 minutes walking distance of the village.
Cost around 8 per person.

Dates                                                                                                                                                    

We run Mont Blanc courses from early May up to the end of September.

For the week long itinerary courses run from the Saturday evening introduction, to Friday. Six days of guiding.

For the two week course  Sunday night is spent on introductions, running to Friday afternoon. Ten days of guiding.

Call us with your preferred dates, we offer anything from a 'long weekend' - starting on the Friday,
finishing on the Monday - to as long as you want.