Gouter routeAh, Mt. Blanc, it looks so great from Chamonix. I remember looking at this mountain about 20 years ago, and thinking that only crazy people would want to go up. Time passed, and I became one of those crazies...
I arrived to Chamonix in June, and the weather was pretty bad - new snow, strong wind. So, I got stuck there for over a week - doing canyoneering, via ferrata's, rock climbing, and hiking. I hired a guide since I had no partners to climb with, and did not feel comfortable going solo.
My french guide
We decided to climb Gouter route because of the fresh snow and a high avalanche risk. And since I wanted to avoid crowds, we had a lazy start with a big breakfast, then took the tram up to 1800 m, and hiked up all the way to the top with an early evening summit. We met so many people descending, and the top of Europe was just ours. We did not spend much time on the top since the weather deteriorated pretty quickly and descended town to Tete Rousse hut where we got the whole room for us (climbers already left for their summit). It was a great day!
Why the Gouter route?Well, it is the easiest way up, We had pretty bad weather, and there was a high avalanche risk. I was also tired of waiting for the perfect time. Hopefully, the next time I will do some more difficult route.
It is scenic, but very crowded. I really enjoyed the Bosses ridge part.
You can do it in one day unless you develop high altitude problems. (I live at 2,000 meters most of the year so do not have to worry much about acclimatization).
And if you get lucky enough and get a bed in Gouter Hut - it is only 990 meters up from that point!
The biggest disadvantage would be too much human traffic.