OverviewMont Blanc du Tacul is one of Mont Blanc main summits: Mont Blanc itself (4810m), Mont Blanc de Courmayeur, Mont Maudit (4465) , Dôme du Gouter (4304 m) , Mont Blanc du Tacul (4248m), Aiguille de Bionassay (4025m) ...
Of course, it's located on the 3 Monts Blanc route (Mont Blanc du Tacul, Mont Maudit and Mont Blanc).
The normal route is a 2 hours of walk away from the Refuge des Cosmiques on a glacier in the north face (600hm) with variety of snow and ice types. From the cable car of the Aiguille du Midi, you can reach the refuge by descending about 300 meters (45 mn). The route is not very long but take care of snow, seracs, and weather conditions . Serac falls, snow accumulation avalanches have still killed people here at any hour. It can become cold and windy in a very short time. In clouds it's not easy to find the path on glacier and there are some big crevasses near col du Midi. The way from col du Midi to the summit is just a steep glacier walk with difficulty PD+. That is a reasonable difficulty for crevassed route. The second part of the ascend route to the "Epaule" is exposed : long steep snow/ice slope over some big serac cliffs. The last 30 meters to the summit are of ice and rocks and partially exposed over the steep east face.
This route can be combined with the ridge '' arete des Cosmiques '' on the Aiguille du Midi. Difficulty AD with rockclimbing III+.
It is one of the most climbed peaks in Chamonix Valley because of its location on 3 Ms' route and short access from cable car. Don't forget the objective dangers of this face (Snow or Seracs avalanches, crevasses, fog), especially when coming back late from long routes (Mt Blanc Du Tacul east side, Mont Maudit routes, Mont Blanc 3M route, or Mont Blanc Traverse)
Mont Blanc du Tacul is known too for it's steep and rocky/icy E face (see routes and links for details).
Gervassutti Couloir (800hm, 3450m to 4228m, D-, 2-8h, start from Cosmiques hut or Torino hut)
Boccalate Pilar: (800hm, 3430m to 4248m,TD, 5-7h, start from Cosmiques hut or Torino hut).
Gervassutti Pilar: (800hm, 3400m to 4248m,TD, 7-10h, start from Cosmiques hut or Torino hut). G.Gervassutti died in september 16 1946, descending because of bad weather.
(Rahel wrote: Thanks to om for worthful information.)
Dedication: Thanks to Rahel Maria for this great page.
The last maintainer and nice original submiter of this page Rahel Maria Liu died 24/25 August 2004 after being caught in a freak snowstorm on the southern face of Mont Blanc. She was 34 years old.
Route OverviewThe Mont Blanc du Tacul has altogether more than 40 different routes. Some of them are:
A. North-West flank
1. Normal route
- 40°, mostly less, PD, very beautiful glacier-tour with partly big crevasses! After new snowfall, avalanches also in summer possible! 700 hm from Col du Midi, 2,5 h (Eberlein)
1. Chéré couloir:
- 80° (short passage), 70° (1 rope length), the rest 50°-60°, D+, short, interesting ice couloir, frequently climbed, 300 hm, 3-4 h (Eberlein)
- II 4. 350 hm, ice till 85° (Damilano/Perroux)
3. Goulotte Perroux : III 4+, 5b, 350 hm, ice till 70°
4. Le temps est assassin : II 4. 350 hm, mixed
5. Eperon N. : III 4. 350 hm, ice till 50°
6. Contamine Mazeaud rectifiée : III 4. 350 hm, ice till 80°
7. Contamine Mazeaud : II AD+. 350 hm, ice till 65°
8. Directissime : III 4+. 350 hm
9. Gabbarou-Marquis : III 4. 350 hm, ice till 65°
10. Contamine Grisolles : II AD. 350 hm, ice till 60°
11. Petit Frounet : II D. 350 hm
12. Contamine-Négri : IV 2. 350 hm, ice till 70°
13. Voie diagonale : III AD+. 350 hm
14. Pibarot-ci, Pibarot-1à : V 4 à 5. 500 hm
15. La main dans le sac : V 5 à 6. 500 hm
16. La tête dans les Etoiles : V 5 à 6. 500 hm
17. Arête E : IV 2. 600 hm, ice till 70°
C. East Face (order of the routes from N to S according to Damilano/Perroux
1. Scotch on the Rocks: IV 7, M. 450 hm
2. Pinochio: IV 6+. 450 hm
3. Modica-Noury: III 5+. 500 hm
- III 4+, 500 hm, ice till 85 ° (Damilano/Perroux)
- IV, TD-, 600 hm, ice till 80°, mixed, very beautiful small ice couloir with some very extreme steep passages, 4-6 h (Eberlein)
5 Hidden Couloir: III 4, 4c, 600 hm, ice till 80°, mixed
6. Direct climbing of the Hidden Couloir: IV 5. 200 m
7. Couloir Jaeger: II D. 600 m, ice till 60°, beautiful couloir
8. Couloir Gervasutti (classic climbing out to the right side/Terray-Lachenal) :
- D-, ice till 55°, average: 50°, famous ice tour, objectively dangerous because of rock and ice fall and avalanches, 700 hm, 2-6 h, also as "ski extreme" by people gone down (Eberlein)
- V D, 600 hm, till 55° (Damilano/Perroux)
8. Couloir Gervasutti (climbing out to the left side/Chabod-Gervasutti): V 1, 800 hm, ice till 60° (Damilano/Perroux)
9. Couloir Macho: IV 2, 800 hm, ice till 70°
- 85°, V+, maybe A1, ED-, famous tour with constant difficulty, best time in spring, 800 hm, 8-10 h (Eberlein)
- IV 5+, 5c/A1, 800 hm (Damilano/Perroux)
All information concerning the valuation of the routes' difficulty (except explicit reference to other books) according to Damilano/Perroux, Neige, Glace Et Mixte: Mont Blanc. Chamonix: Editions Ice, 1996. ISBN 2950986803. PP. 263-285.
More Classic east face routes :
20. Pilier Boccalatte (Boccalatte-Pietrasanta 1936) D/TD - 800m
21. Pilier Gervasutti (Fornelli-Mauro 1951) TD/TD sup - 800m
22. Couloir du Diable and SE ridge (Boccalatte-Chabod 1930) D - 800m
D. South Face
Some almost forgotten routes starting from the Cirque Maudit, first climbed at the beginning of the last century (1902-1914)
further info are missing, should be "classic" high mountain routes.
First AscentsIt was probablely done by members of Hudson-Kennedy expedition August 8 1855.
Gervassutti Couloir: R Chabod and Giusto Gervasutti: august 13 1934
Pilier Boccalatte: Mies N. Pietrasanta and Gabriele Boccalatte: august 28 1936.
Pilier Gervassutti: P. Fornelli and G Mauro july 29-30 1951
(Thanks to om for worthful information.)
Glaciers: La Vallée Blanche and la Mer de GlaceThe second longuest Glacier in the Alps after Aletsch Glacier is descending from Mont Blanc du Tacul to Chamonix Valley.
The highest part of it is named Glacier du Géant and Vallée Blanche (White Valley) and the part from ice fall to the end is named Mer de Glace (Ice sea)
(Thanks to om for worthful information.)
Getting There1. To the Mont Blanc du Tacul:
- a. You can come from the Ref. Cosmiques/Biv. Abri Simond. (Compare the route discription of the NE-ridge and the N-flank.)
- b. You can come from the Rif. Torino
- In order to reach the hut, you need about 1/2 h from the Aig. du Midi. If you leave the cable car station via the bridge, you go to the Southsummit. On the firn ridge, you go down with SE-direction to an even ridgeplatform; then turn right to the S and SW-direction below the S-face of the Aig. du Midi. Pay attention to crevasses!
- You reach the Aig. du Midi with cable car from Chamonix.
- You reach the hut directly with the cable car from Entrèves/Courmayeur (Italy).
- You can reach the hut directly also with the Helbronner cable car from the Aiguille du Midi (to Aiguille du Midi with the cable car from Chamonix). Pay attention: The Helbronner cable car, traversing the Géant glacier, is mostly closed.
- Or you go on foot from the Aiguille du Midi over the glacier du Géant (3 h): From the foot of the S-face of the Aig. du Midi you go on the almost even glacier to the Pointe Lachenal, turn left (E) to the glacier valley below the rugged E-face of the Mont Blanc du Tacul. You go along this E-face of the Tacul and the Pointe Adolphe Rey in order to loose only little height. Now you turn to the ESE to the Col des Flambeaux. From here in a few minutes to the Ref. Torino. It is a very beautiful glacier walk with 200 hm ascent. Difficulty: F.
- a. From Martigny (Switzerland) via Vallorcine.
- b. From Geneva (airport) via Anncey (TGV till here) and St. Gervais.
- From/via Annecy, Geneva, Grenoble, Courmayeur, Aoste and Turin
- a. From Geneva (from the NW) on the A40 till St. Gervais and from here on the N205.
- b. From Martigny (from the NE, Switzerland) via Vallorcine and the Col des Montets on the road no. N506.
- a. From Chamonix through the Mont Blanc Tunnel from the NW.
- b. From Torino (from the SE) on the A5 via Villeneuve.
When To Climb
Accomodation1. Ref. des Cosmiques (3613 m)
The Ref. des Cosmiques is situated on a shoulder between the Col du Midi and the SW-ridge of the Aig. du Midi (Cosmiques-ridge).
- according to Eberlein (p. 52):
- 140 beds
- guarded from February till october
- phone: ++33(0)450544016
- internet: Rif. Cosmiques
The Abri Simond Bivouac is situated just a few meters northern of the Ref. des Cosmiques, just at the beginning of the Arête des Cosmiques.
- 18 beds
- open in winter, when Ref. des Cosmiques is closed
- a few words: I can highly recommend this little bivouac hut of about 30 qm!!! I have stayed there for 1 week in winter (January/February). I promise you: Never in life, you will forget this experience ... when it is -30°C outside, and stormy with 120 km/h, without toilette of course, without heating, without light, without water of course, the hut never been cleaned, you almost poisoned with the vapours of the many gasoline stoves burning hours and hours .... well you must experience it by yourself .... one just cannot describe it!!!
The Rif. Torino has 2 huts, the lower and older one and the upper, new one. Both huts are connected by a tunnel.
- according to Eberlein (pp. 64-65):
- with 70 beds
- serviced from October to June
- Tel. 00390/165/846484
- internet: Rif.Torino.old
- according to Eberlein (pp. 65-65):
- with 170 beds
- serviced from June to September
- Tel. 00390/165/844034 (expensive)
- internet: Rif.Torino.new
You can find further information concerning possibilities to stay on the Géant Glacier on the Ref. des Cosmiques/Abri Simond Bivouac HUT-page.
Mountain Conditions and General Information1. WEATHER INFOS:
- Chamonix meteo forecast (7 days)
- Météo France in Chamonix: 0033/836680274
- Snowinfos: 0033/836 681 020 (only in France, not from abroad)
- internet: Météo France
- Office de Haute Montagnes (OHM)/Chamonix:
0033450 532 208 (9:00-12:00 & 15:00-18:00 during the summer)
- Bureau des Guides in Chamonix: 0033/450530088.
- Office de Tourisme in Chamonix: 0033/450530024
- Office de Tourisme Argentière: 0033/450540214
- 0033/450 53 1298
0033/8 36 35 35 35
0033/450530702 (train station Chamonix)
4. BUS (CHAMONIX VALLEY):
- 0033/450 53 0555
0033/450 53 0115
- 1:25000 no. 3630 OT (Chamonix)
1:25000 no. 3531 ET (St-Gervais)
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Global views taken from Aiguille du Midi or from vallée Blanche cable car
NW flank pictures
N ridge and E face pictures
Triangle du Tacul Pictures
South side pictures
Panorama from summit
Dedication to RahelThis page has been build mostly by Rahel Maria Liu who loved this mountain. I will maintain the page in her memory with only a few updates when necessary.
Rahel, the last time i went on this mountain, I could meet your great spirit there.
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Mont Blanc du Tacul Interactive routes
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6 days climbing with a guide ( mont blanc du tacul, tour ronde, ...)
111 photos of the 3 Mont Blanc Traverse including the opening of the new route Éperon Gousseault by Ivano Ghirardini and Rahel Maria Liu on July 28, 2002.
- Mont Blanc du Tacul at www.4000er.de
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