This is the normal route for spring skiers and the most reliable descent route in bad weather. The ascent to the Col du Dôme is long, tedious and, in the one section, exposed to seracfall, though in descent this is quickly passed.
The first ever complete ascent was by E Headland, George Christopher Hodgkinson, Charles Hudson and G C Joad with Melchior Anderegg, François Couttet and two other guides on 29th, July 1859.
The base of the climb is Refuge des Grands Mulets (3.051 m), see the MAIN PAGE/Huts for getting there.
From the hut go up the glacier towards the rocks (3.330 m) of the N ridge of Dôme du Goûter, then work back to the left up a steepish snow slope to gain the Petit Plateau. Cross this shelf on the left, away from the seracs of the Dôme and go up another slope to the Grand Plateau (3h). ATTENTION: The ascent to there from the hut is badly crevassed and needs constant attention. The glacier steps are called les Petites Montées, le Petit Plateau and les Grandes Montées, succesively. Then, cross the Le Grand Plateau to SW and go up the long slope to the Col du Dôme (4h 30 min). Turn to the left (SE) and reach Refuge-Bivouac Vallot (4.362 m). Finally follow as in the Dôme du Goûter (Bosses Ridge). 7h from Refuge des Grands Mulets (3.051 m).
Rope for a team, crampons, ice axe, poles and winter clothes. Don't forget map, compass and perhaps altimeter.
Our old mate in SP, Rahel Maria Liu, said these words about the route:
"I can really recommend this route because it is very quiet till the Col du Dôme. Even if the weather is perfect, there are not many people on this route. I have been there 2 times (one time with perfect weather), and I have never met more than about 10 or 12 people overthere".