Excellent 3-day climb via Tete Rousse & Gouter huts.
...and a perfect partner!
Partner had to bail at Tete Ruesse due to illness. Hence solo ascent. Fantastic early push left me with the summit to myself for a spell. Awesome views followed by a long and laborious descent for beers.
Stayed in the basecamp tents at Tete. Froze my ass off because I only had my sleeping bag liner. The climb from Tete up the Aguile de Gouter was fun but a bit treacherous. Snow and mixed conditions so I wore crampons the whole way. Got lectured by some punk ass guide showing out in front of his clients who said I needed to "Go down and learn about the mountain" before I got myself killed and killed a bunch of people by falling to the base of the climb. With a smile I thought of John Krakauer's story about climbing in Chamonix then topped out on the shoulder. Rested at the Gouter Hut but didn't sleep. Woke up at 1 a.m. Screw breakfast. Hit the snow at 2 a.m. to beat the pack. Soloed in four hours and made the summit in perfect weather as the sun came up. It was an amazing sight and I had the summit all to myself for about 15 minutes. People started showing up so I bailed and made my way back down and off the mountain. Great fun in prefect conditions.
A traverse of Mont Blanc. The Gonella route up (from the Italian side) and down along the normal route (French side)
I can understand why the Gonella route (or pope's route) is so quiet, the approach is looong, but very rewarding and beautiful. The Gonella refuge is cosy and has fine views. Breakfast at midnight though, so only 3 hours of sleep (after a long approach this is not too long ;-) We left at 00.30 AM and ascended rapidly, in just under 6 hours on the summit, sadly foggy/cloudy , so no views from the summit. Great feeling to finally stand on top of the Alps!
Day 1: 13:15 Val Veny (1570m) - Cabane du Combal (1972m) - Miage Gletsjer - 18.30 Rifugio Gonella (3071m)
Day 2: 00.30 Rifugio - Piton des Italiens (4002m) - Dome du Gouter - Col du Dôme (4236m) - Vallot Hut (4362m) - Bossesgraat - 06.25 Mont Blanc (4808m) - Col du Dome - Aiguille du Goûter (3863m) - Refuge de Tête Rousse (3167m) - 11.45 Nid d'Aigle (2372m) "
Very unstable weather. On top of the dome it broke open. Unfortunately many clouds and snow came up from Val Veny at the petit Bosse, so we had to turn around.
The only advntage of the bad weather was that our group was the only one at the mountain this day.
We started off from the Tete Rousse Hut at about 5:30am. The initial scramble was easy. The Grand Couloir was exceptionally stable and quiet and consequently, we crossed it with relative ease. Stopped at the Gouter Hut for a quick drink, stashed some of our gear, and then kitted up for the rest of the climb. The weather was brilliant and we reached the summit at about 12 in the afternoon. I was actually just wearing a base layer and a thin fleece- no wind and bright sunshine! Got back down to the Gouter Hut and stayed the night there before continuing our descent- I found this plan the most comfortable one out of all the variations one can undertake on the Gouter Route.
Ascent via Gouter ridge and Bosses; descent via Grand Plateau and Mulets
With only 30 minutes of sleep we were able to make it to the top
Beautiful, challenging, cold, awesome....
Got the train with my climbing partner and got to Goutier. Got out at 3.30 am the following day and after a small stop at the Vallot, did experience the beauty of sunrise at the Bosses. Cannot remember the exact time when we did submit but around 11ish.... Then aaaalllllll the way down to the train station and 3 hours drive...
Climbed from the Tete Rousse Hut, summited and then stayed at the Gouter Hut overnight on the way down. Basically ran through the Grand Couloir just at daybreak! At the summit the winds were purported to be 50 - 80 kph. Most likely the 80 kph was an exaggeration but it was probably the windiest I have ever climbed in so I am thinking that there may have been some gusts close to that. I wanted to bail about 1 1/2 hours from the summit but was convinced otherwise - glad I stuck it out. Several other groups turned around. My husband didn't climb but was across the valley in Chamonix and took a great photo of a huge lenticular over the summit as we approached.
Climbed it solo in 1 day from la Visaille (1700m) in Italy, via the Gonella route, summit (4810m) to Chamonix in France. #nonstopsolo
Date approximate. In 1973 I finished my PhD in chemistry at UC Berkeley and went to Germany to post doc at the Max Planck Institut fur Stromungsforschung. In the summer of 1974 my climbing partner, Louis Reichardt, flew from his postdoc at Harvard to join me, and we spend three weeks climbing in the Chamonix Alps. We first attempted the route from Cormayeur, Italy, after driving through the Mont Blanc tunnel, but abandoned that long approach in favor of taking the teleferique from Chamonix up to the glacier north of the summit. We climbed to a hut on the ridge where we rested before starting the climb before sunrise the next day. We descended to the glacier East of the summit to do the route. After crossing the summit we descended to the Grands Mulets hut, on the Bossons Glacier, post holing to our hips in the warm afternoon sun. At the hut we treated ourselves to worst wine I have ever tasted (plastic bottled). Later Lou, the strongest climber I have ever climbed with, became the first American to climb K2 with Jim Wickwire (without oxygen).
Relatively easy climb after night in Gouter. Perfect weather conditions.
Solo climb via Gouter Route after spending a night at Gouter hut. Perfect conditions, nice weather, great views!
Great weather via the Italian route (Rif. Gonella). We made it from the hut to the summit in 6.5 hours thanks to Gunnar pushing the pace and not wasting time on things like food or rest breaks. Exhausting but good.
Climbed Mont Blanc as part of a three summits tour.
Summit reached 4 times. my first climb was the july 15 2005
Stayed at Gouter hut. Waited at the Vaillot for about half an hour to time our arrival on the summit at sunrise. Train station to train station in just over 24 hours.
Top of the Alps