This page will be kept in honour of the SP member Rahel Maria Liu, the former owner of this page, died on 25 August 2004 on the Innominata Ridge (Monte Bianco) at the age of 34.
Mont Blanc du Tacul is one of Mont Blanc Group main summits, together with Mont Blanc 4810 m, Monte Bianco di Courmayeur 4765 m, Mont Maudit 4465 m, Dôme du Gouter 4304 m, Aiguille de Bionassay 4025 m. The mountain is entirely located on the French side of the massif, between the Aiguille du Midi and the Mont Maudit. The mountain is positioned on the long succession of peaks starting with the Aiguille du Midi and rising to the main peak of Mont Blanc. Along this ridge it is located the 3 Monts Blanc route (Mont Blanc du Tacul, Mont Maudit and Mont Blanc), the finest route among the Normal ones to summit the 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).
Couloir Gervasutti (800hm, 3450m to 4228m, D-, 2-8h, start from Cosmiques hut or Torino hut)
Pilier Boccalatte Pilar: (800hm, 3430m to 4248m,TD, 5-7h, start from Cosmiques hut or Torino hut).
Pilier Gervasutti: (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.
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.
It 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.)
1. To the Mont Blanc du Tacul:
2. To the Ref. Cosmiques and the Biv. Abri Simond:
3. To the Rif. Torino
4. You reach the Chamonix Valley by train:
5. You reach the Chamonix Valley by bus:
6 . You reach the Chamonix Valley by car:
7. You reach the Val Ferret (Italy) by bus or car:
The Mont Blanc du Tacul has altogether more than 40 different routes. Some of them are:
A. North-West flank
1. Normal route
B. Triangle and North face (the order of the following routes: from W to E (according to Damilano/Perroux)
1. Chéré couloir:
2. Goulotte du sérac : III 4. 180 m
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
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) :
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°
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.
The 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.)
There are no permits or fees required. There is no seasonal closure.
Mountaineering: from July to September
Ski-mountaineering: from March to June
1. 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):
2. Abri Simond Bivouac
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.
3. Rif. Torino (3322m/3375m)
The Rif. Torino has 2 huts, the lower and older one and the upper, new one. Both huts are connected by a tunnel.
The lower old one according to Eberlein(pp. 64-65):
the upper new one according to Eberlein (pp. 65-65):
Chamonix is a primary destination, offering various kind of accomodation (hotels, huts, gites, renting rooms). Numberless campsites are situated both in the Northern and Southern ends of the town.
- Camping la Mer de Glace - Les Praz (3 km. North to Chamonix) +33(0)450534403
- Camping les Deux Glaciers - Les Bossons (3 km. South to Chamonix) +33(0)450531584
- Camping les Arolles - close to the centre of Chamonix - +33(0)450531430
- Camping les Cimes - Les Bossons (3 km. South to Chamonix) +33(0)450535893
- Camping les Marmottes - +33(0)450536124
- Camping Glacier d'Argentière - Argentière (8 km. North to Chamonix) +33(0)450541736
- Office de la Haute Montagne de Chamonix Phone +33 0450 532208 (9:00-12:00 & 15:00-18:00 during the summer) Office de la Haute Montagne Chamonix (OHM)
- Cable-car informations Phone +33 0450 532275 Compagnie du MontBlanc
- Office du Tourisme de Chamonix Phone +33 0450 530024 Chamonix Mont-Blanc
You can get excellent information about weather, conditions and routes at the "Compagnie des Guides de Hauts Montagnes" (cieguides-chamonix.com, tel: 50 53 00 88) or the "Maison de la Montagne" at the "place de l'Église" in Chamonix. Don't be afraid to step into their building, its common practice, people are constantly walking in and out. By no means you are expected to hire a guide when you visit.
2. GENERAL INFOS:
3. TRAIN (CHAMONIX VALLEY):
4. BUS (CHAMONIX VALLEY):
5. CABLE CARS
"Monte Bianco Vol. 2" Guida Vallot by François Labande
"The Mont Blanc Massif - The 100 Finest Routes" by Gaston Rebuffat - London 1996
3630 OT (Chamonix) Institut Géographique National - 1:25000
This page has been build mostly by Rahel Maria Liu, an early SummitPost member died for hypotermia on 24-25 August 2004 after being caught in a freak snowstorm while attempting to climb the Innominata Spur on the Southern (Italian) side of Mont Blanc. She was only 34 years old.
Edward Allen, her climbing companion (a British climber known some days early), was saved by an helicopter of the Italian Rescue team. Rahel was a charter member during SP early days and her work here remains among the best of SP's collected contributions. Her knowledge and experience has made an impact on the world mountaineering community, and her warmth and friendship will be long remembered among her many friends and fellow members here at SummitPost. She will be greatly missed by us all. Continued maintenance of this page is in her memory.