Flachlandtiroler wrote:cb294 wrote:The Gonella hut on the Italian side is closed for the season due to renovation. If you don´t mind camping or a bivy going there in September the Italian side may be your best bet for an uncrowded MB climb on a normal route.
You're right in that the italian route ist far less frequented. On the other hand this makes it more serious. Especially late in season travelling the dome glacier may be very difficult if not impossible (crevasses).
What's more, on the website of the hut even ascending to the hut (!) during the renovation period is forbidden.
I can't compare Co-14ers to Montblanc but my impression from some hiking trips with one all-14er-summiter was that this are two very different things. Co-14ers is (difficult) hiking, Montblanc (normal route in good conditions!) is (easy) mountaineering.
The Gonella hut is being rebuilt from scratches, and the hut platform restored (there were serious concerns about its stability). The last section of the hut access (an easy but exposed short ferrata) is CLOSED, because there's some serious danger for people coming up this way to get on their head material falling down from the platform.
In theory you can still pass there, but if anything happens, it's your fault (there may be problems with your insurance). Also, the old winter hut (which is will be left there to be a sort of small mountain museum) is now used by the construction crew. They're all guides and climbers, and good people too (I know a few of them) - two years ago two risked their skins to locate a missing group of climbers. However, they don't necessarily need to look after the problems of climber "passing by"...
The Gonella hut route is a far better way to climb MB than the French routes, but as the poster above states, is a true mountaineering route, not a glorified hike... (and it's very, very long - no lift or telepherique from this side!)