Mont Blanc du Tacul is one of Mont Blanc Group main summits: Mont Blanc itself (4810m), Mont Blanc de Courmayeur, Mont Maudit (4465), Dôme du Gouter (4304 m), Mont Blanc du Tacul (4248m), Aiguille de Bionassay (4025m).
Of course, it's located on the 3 Monts Blanc route (Mont Blanc du Tacul, Mont Maudit and 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).
Gervassutti Couloir (800hm, 3450m to 4228m, D-, 2-8h, start from Cosmiques hut or Torino hut)
Boccalate Pilar: (800hm, 3430m to 4248m,TD, 5-7h, start from Cosmiques hut or Torino hut).
Gervassutti Pilar: (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.
(Rahel wrote: Thanks to om for worthful information.)
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.
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.
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.)
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.)
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:
There are no permits or fees required.
There is no seasonal closure. Only the Helbronner Cable Car is mostly closed because of ecological reasons.
There is a big parking place in Chamonix near the Cable Car ground station. But if there are winter sport sessions in Chamonix, it might be closed. Then it is really difficult to find a parking place.
You can climb the Mont du Tacul all the year. In winter, you can also go by ski via the NW-side, depot at the Col du Mont Maudit.
During winter, the advantage for the climbs of the couloirs is less danger of rock and ice fall. But the problem is the coldness! Be aware that it could be -30°C! The danger of getting frostbites is very high!
There is a camping place in Chamonix.
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):
1. WEATHER INFOS:
2. GENERAL INFOS:
3. TRAIN (CHAMONIX VALLEY):
4. BUS (CHAMONIX VALLEY):
5. CABLE CARS
This page has been build mostly by Rahel Maria Liu who loved this mountain. I will maintain the page in her memory with only a few updates when necessary.
Rahel, the last time i went on this mountain, I could meet your great spirit there.