Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Mont Blanc conditions?

Regional discussion and conditions reports for Europe. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the Europe Climbing Partners section.
 

Mont Blanc conditions?

Postby andre hangaard » Tue May 15, 2007 1:09 pm

I plan to do Mont Blanc this summer (over the normal Goûter-route.)
After a rather mild winter in the region I guess the conditions can be different now from
what it used to be in the past years.
Does anyone have an idea already now? Would end of June be reasonable at all?

Cheers, André
User Avatar
andre hangaard

 
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2003 7:51 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Thanked: 6 times in 6 posts

Postby Nikman » Sat May 19, 2007 11:27 am

Since all relevant ice passages are over 4000meters at the normal route after Goutier hut it shouldn´t be a problem.
This winter in Europe was mild but still not mild enough to bring up longer meltingperiods at altitudes over 4000meters. The zero-degree line in Chamonix has not been over the altitude of 4000meters in longer terms.

I did some ski-mountaineering in the Wallis some weeks ago. The conditions over 3000meters were superb. All crevasses full of snow.

It should be similar in the Mont Blanc range.

The mild winter shows bigger effects in lower areas under 3000meters. Those glaciers feel the change of climatic conditions in a dramatic way.
User Avatar
Nikman

 
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2006 11:22 pm
Location: Ditzingen, Germany
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

Postby andre hangaard » Thu May 24, 2007 6:44 am

Thank you Nikman! I also found this very good webcam at
http://www.webcam-montblanc.com/webcam/ which constantly displays the Grand Colouir, major part of the Gouter-route and the mountains in the area.
cheers. André
User Avatar
andre hangaard

 
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2003 7:51 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Thanked: 6 times in 6 posts

Postby Tomás Blázquez » Thu May 24, 2007 8:42 am

I climbed Mont Blanc in summer 2006 by the Gouter route. If you don't have a reservation in Gouter shelter, a good idea is sleeping in Tête Rousse shelter (is much more easy to find a place to sleep than Gouter shelter). You will have to do a hard summit day, starting at 1:00 a.m. and climbing the Gouter ridge at night (no people, better, be careful to follow the red points in the rocks). I supose that in end june you will find some snow/ice to cross the Grand Couloir (crampons and ice-axe surely indispensable, in july 2001 we needed it here).
User Avatar
Tomás Blázquez

 
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2002 4:38 pm
Location: Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Postby andre hangaard » Sat May 26, 2007 11:31 am

Thanks Tomás! Yes, infact I have booked the Tête Rousse hut. Gouter-hut already now seems full. However I guess they will have loads of no-shows in that hut, on the otherside
also a lot of go-shows. Plan to do the couloir the day before to check it out. cheers, André
User Avatar
andre hangaard

 
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2003 7:51 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Thanked: 6 times in 6 posts

Postby Nanuls » Sat May 26, 2007 12:55 pm

Hello all

I also plan to climb Mont Blanc this summer in early July (also by the Goûter route), but I was planning to camp/bivy around the Goûter Shelter, rather than booking in any of the huts. Has anyone got any advice about this? I know people do it but is camping really that suitable at this location?

Dan
User Avatar
Nanuls

 
Posts: 718
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:20 pm
Location: Llanbedr Pont Steffan, Ceredigion, Wales
Thanked: 6 times in 4 posts

Postby Moni » Sat May 26, 2007 3:26 pm

Technically, it is illegal to camp on Mont Blanc, but it doesn't seem to be enforced.

At that elevation and in that high use area, camping is not a good idea. There's not that much room and sanitation is an issue. If the hut is very full (the majority sleep on the floor every night, as we did when we climbed it,) it is also too full to accommodate campers looking for a toilet and water. The environmental impact of camping, especially in that place, flies in the face of mountain ethics.
User Avatar
Moni

 
Posts: 2242
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2002 11:15 am
Location: Spokane, Washington, United States
Thanked: 4 times in 3 posts

Postby Nanuls » Sat May 26, 2007 3:36 pm

The main reason I was considering camping was the business of the Gouter hut, I heard it can get very noisy with people arriving and leaving throughout the night, making sleep almost impossible. Is this true? How did you find sleeping on the floor? Did you have to book much in advance or could you just turn up on the day if you didn't want a bed?

thanks
Dan
User Avatar
Nanuls

 
Posts: 718
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:20 pm
Location: Llanbedr Pont Steffan, Ceredigion, Wales
Thanked: 6 times in 4 posts

Postby Moni » Sat May 26, 2007 5:32 pm

Yes the hut is noisy, although the hut warden was pretty good about getting everyone to lay down and be as quiet as possible at 9pm. However, when we were there, there was an absolutely horrendous thunderstorm (a regular event up there) so sleep wasn't possible anyway. I would not have wanted to be in a tent that night. So go without any great expectations of a comfortable night or much sleep. That's the consequence of picking one of the most popular climbs in Europe, if not the world. It won't kill you.

We arrived in Chamonix by train and went to the tourist office. They called the hut, which told us that no beds were available but there would be floor space and to come on up. My guess the beds are pretty much completely reserved during the high season for guides and their guests. So we reserved for dinner and breakfast and went the next day.

Since we got a late start because of the storm, we stayed at the Tete Rouse the second night and got the last 2 bunks. I doctored a Czech climber with snow blindness, and we, the warden and the Czechs spent quite a while enjoying the Slivovitz they broke out!
User Avatar
Moni

 
Posts: 2242
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2002 11:15 am
Location: Spokane, Washington, United States
Thanked: 4 times in 3 posts

Postby Nikman » Tue May 29, 2007 9:57 am

Nanuls wrote:Hello all

I also plan to climb Mont Blanc this summer in early July (also by the Goûter route), but I was planning to camp/bivy around the Goûter Shelter, rather than booking in any of the huts. Has anyone got any advice about this? I know people do it but is camping really that suitable at this location?

Dan


I have been to Goutier-hut last year and would give the advice to camp there rather than sleeping in that hut a second time. You can camp on the ridge just some meters above the hut. 8)

Here´s a panorama I took up there:
Panorama Ag. du Goutier
You can see the tents to the right side of the ridge next to the track that leads up to Dome du Goutier (enlarge the picture). :arrow:

Moni wrote:Technically, it is illegal to camp on Mont Blanc, but it doesn't seem to be enforced.

At that elevation and in that high use area, camping is not a good idea. There's not that much room and sanitation is an issue. If the hut is very full (the majority sleep on the floor every night, as we did when we climbed it,) it is also too full to accommodate campers looking for a toilet and water. The environmental impact of camping, especially in that place, flies in the face of mountain ethics.


Sorry Moni, but that´s nonsense:
Technically there´s absolutely no problem camping at 4000meters a. s. and it doesn´t do anything bad to a mountain when camping there, if you follow some basic rules:
1. don´t leave any litter and carry all your plastic stuff back down.
2. dig a hole (in the snow) for your excrements, so that they are not visible to others.
3. don´t pee or puh in distance of 50meters next to any rivers.
There´s absolutely no difference for the environment when you´re camping compared to staying in a hut. :shock:
If you use the toilett at any high-area alpine mountain hut, there will be no treatment to any wastewater, because it´s not possible to build sewers up there and there´s simply no necessity. :o
The same will happen with your excrements in all those huts as I described under Nr. 2 up here: your excrements will go into a small hole carved in the rocks untreated or they will just "run down" the rocks somewhere (what is actually the case at Goutier hut).
A waste water plant, that treats water collected by sewers uses the same effects in a concentrated way that nature provides. Nature itself is able to clean human excrements with oxygene and bacteria. It just takes longer than in a waste water plant.

As Tomás Blázquez told here before:
A very good idea is starting a MB-climb directly from Tete Rousse all the way up to the summit. If you have gained good acclimatization before this is a comfortable way to climb MB. You can manage it up to the Goutier ridge in 2 hours, because there´s no traffic in the night.
When you return from the summit later, just stop by for something to drink at Goutier hut and work yourself further down after that to Tete Rousse hut again.
User Avatar
Nikman

 
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2006 11:22 pm
Location: Ditzingen, Germany
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

Gouter

Postby morceaux » Tue May 29, 2007 11:23 am

Gouter route is a simple walk-up.

If you want to climb Mont Blanc, choose another route.
However, for example Grand Mulets, Three Mounts, and Gonella are also not too difficult routes, but they are much less crowded than Gouter, but a little harder. Take a look at Mont Blanc pages here on SP.
User Avatar
morceaux

 
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:19 am
Location: KamaraerdQ, Hungary
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Postby Moni » Tue May 29, 2007 2:40 pm

oops
Last edited by Moni on Tue May 29, 2007 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User Avatar
Moni

 
Posts: 2242
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2002 11:15 am
Location: Spokane, Washington, United States
Thanked: 4 times in 3 posts

Postby Moni » Tue May 29, 2007 2:40 pm

Every source I have read (including my guidebooks) expressly states that camping outside of established campgrounds is illegal in the Mont Blanc area.
User Avatar
Moni

 
Posts: 2242
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2002 11:15 am
Location: Spokane, Washington, United States
Thanked: 4 times in 3 posts

Postby Nanuls » Tue May 29, 2007 3:00 pm

Moni wrote:Every source I have read (including my guidebooks) expressly states that camping outside of established campgrounds is illegal in the Mont Blanc area.


Thats what I've heard too. I'm not too bothered about it being illegal, I was just wondering if it was a good alternative to staying in the hut. Whats the Tete Rousse hut like? How far ahead do you need to book to get a bed?
User Avatar
Nanuls

 
Posts: 718
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:20 pm
Location: Llanbedr Pont Steffan, Ceredigion, Wales
Thanked: 6 times in 4 posts

Postby andre hangaard » Tue May 29, 2007 4:10 pm

I just booked the Tete Rousse hut by e-mail ( teterousse@wanadoo.fr) last week for 29/30 June. It seemed no problem. Although one has to reconfirm it two days before arriving. I thing that also applies for the Goûter hut. Cool to be able to book via e-mail!! Check-out http://perso.orange.fr/teterousse/

However, I will arrive a day earlier to try the colouir and while up there at the Goûter hut I will of course check the situation closer.
cheers. André
User Avatar
andre hangaard

 
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2003 7:51 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Thanked: 6 times in 6 posts

Next

Return to Europe

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.