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Tom FralichRoute Climbed: 3 Mont Blanc Date Climbed: July 3, 2001  Sucess!

Tom Fralich

Reached the summit with Francis Kelsey in absolute perfect conditions. No wind, no clouds, and not even very cold. We left the Cosmiques Hut at around 2AM and had easy climbing up Tacul, where we took our first break. The climb to the ridge on Maudit was also straightforward, although quite steep near the top. After negotiating a somewhat unstable snow bridge, we reached the ridge just in time for sunrise. With the most difficult section completed, we headed down to the col and started the long slog to the summit. I started to feel quite tired at around 4,600 m, but enjoyed great views in all directions. We reached the summit at 7AM, which we shared with about 25 others (most from the Gouter Route).



After 15 min on the summit, we started down the Gouter Ridge. Our plan was to descend the Gouter route and catch the train back to Chamonix. But since it was still quite early we elected to descend the Grandes Mullets glacier to the A. du Midi cable car mid-station. This likely shortened the descent since there was still quite a bit of snow over terrain which would usually be loose rock and boulders. The last hour was a bit frustrating, since the cable car station was clearly visible, yet we seemed to be making little progress. Eventually we made it and rode down in style to Chamonix.



I found this to be a straightforward but very strenuous climb. The ascent is quite long distance-wise and involves multiple ups and downs which is challenging psychologically. There's nothing like climbing 400 m only to lose 200 m almost immediately. The descent is 2,500 m which wreaks havoc on even the strongest knees. And its simply a long day of climbing. We took 10 hours for the traverse, which I think is probably shorter than average, given my physical conditioning at the time and nearly perfect conditions on the route. I'm guessing that some parties may take more than 12 hours. But the suffering is well worth it, since you really see a lot of the mountain.
Posted Sep 11, 2001 2:30 pm

Alan ArnetteRoute Climbed: The traverse of Mont Blanc via Mont Blanc du Tacul and Mont Maudit Date Climbed: July, Aug 1997, 98  Sucess!

Alan Arnette

Misleading climb, similar to Denali but much shorter! Weather can change quickly, can be very crowded with climbers of various skill levels. Beautiful sunrise views and strong sense of accomplishment upon the summit and return.
Posted Jul 30, 2001 1:24 pm

RomainRoute Climbed: Trois Monts (Tacul, Maudit, Mont Blanc) Date Climbed: July 25, 1999  Sucess!

Romain

Successful on the second try - perfect weather (this time). We climbed via the Mont Blanc du Tacul and Mont Maudit, down via les Grand Mulets. Grandiose views but crowded. No serious difficulties except a serac to pass under.
Posted Jun 20, 2001 10:26 pm

7summitsRoute Climbed: Traverse: gouter route up, 2 montblanc route down Date Climbed: 25 july 1997  Sucess!

7summits

Crowded but beautiful, easy but dangerous. Don't underestimate this mountain!



Many people get killed here as it is said to be so 'easy' . Take your time, be aware of the weather and be prepared for bad times. When descending the 3 montblancs route (bvery beautiful, quiet but also verytiring), know how th use your crampons and rope. The day we descended 4 people died there as they did not think it was steep enough to use a running belay...



Keep climbing,



Harry

Check out my 7 summits pages!
Posted Mar 30, 2001 2:27 am

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