5 hours 50 minutes to the top (hut to summit) in tough conditions. Strong winds all the way but almost no wind on top! The steep ice at the top of Maudit was the most challenging bit.
After the the unsuccesful attempt of 1997 (bad weather), this year we ignored the us of cablecar, and started for Les Houches. We spent the first night in the filthy hut at appr. 2750m, and the next in the Gouter Hut.
On the summit day we got up early and reached the peak in the morning hours.
Went to the top of Mont Blanc for the second time but this time I started frmo from Aiguille du Midi, via Tacul, and Mont Maudit.
Went together with Thomas Nederman who unfortunately never made it to the top due to altitude sickness.
The walk / climb took 26h which is far to long but hey... The top was reached!
We started 1am on Saturday morning and I was at the summit 17.15pm. When we were back to the tent the time was 3.10am on Sunday morning. People were wondering what we were doing walking downwards in that hour instead of upwards.
PS. More pictures can be seen here:
Having been stuck on the Gouter ridge for a couple of days in a horrendous strom two years earlier i was back to climb Mt Blanc. With a really good weather window we climbed over three days. The first day took us up to a camp point high above the Eagles Nest. The second up to the Gouter ridge with an awesome sunset high above the clouds. The third was summit day, which was a little disappointing as we thought the route would take longer. Myself and a friend were so well acclimatised, having been out in Chamonix for a month, we summited when it was still dark and that included a half and hour stop on the way up. So if you are fit and well acclimatised don't leave the Gouter ridge until 2am, we left at 12:30!
Bit dodgy as on the way down as there were many clients being hauled up by their guides not looking where they were going!
A great route to tell your friends you've done but spend any length of time in the Alps and other routes will stick more firmly in your memory.
Perfect climb in two days
Climbed with Mole, Bayntun and Christoph. Last good day of the season - motorway conditions. But given crowds on the way up, remarkably few people on the summit. Arrived at 0720; sun rose at 0726. Spectacular sight.
Starting as early as 2:00 in the morning. Summit around 9:00 o´clock. We were a party of three, Mario. Jesús and myself.
after taking a group of (non-paying) clients to the summit we saw a handful of climbers being pummeled by a huge rockfall in that nasty big gully below the gouter hut. we had just run across it with our hearts pounding and was safe under an overhang when it did its thing. worst part of that route for sure. don't linger there!!
almost killed when a moraine collapsed and obliterated the trail low down before the midi middle station. had to hurl myself under a shallow rock with the ground trembling from the slide. swallowed a pound of dust but was unharmed. third time i've had a close call from rock fall in the hot and dry summers of todays mountains.
met two american guys at snells who really wanted to bag m.b.
after shopping for some crampons etc for them, we did a super enjoyable ascent and traverse to the cable car on midi.
ski tour. great conditions. first time on m.b
Climbed with my Dad and French guide Yannich. Fantastic week climbing around Chamonix and culminating in Mont Blanc. We summitted at 6am on my Dad'd birthday, what a great present.
Climbed this in the summer of 2001 - Excellent weather, and overall a good climb, although it was awfully crowded. Check out www.geocities.com/spaceman_neil for the details
Climbed the "Three Mont Blanc" in early june 2002. Mont Blanc du Tacul through Triangle/North face. Camped below the summit and made it the next morning. After that the Mont Maudit. Camped between the summits of Maudit and Blanc and summitted Mont Blanc the next day. Descended through the normal route and walked down to Chamonix because of the missed cable car!
5 years after my first ascent I went back for the Mt Blanc traverse.
Leaving Chamonix the 28 in the morning, Marian and I reached the overcrowded Gouter hut in the afternoon.
(noticed that the 'bowling alley' was gone! No more snow in the gully, but still plenty of rocks sizzling down due to careless climbers on the ridge...)
We left at 0300 and summited around 0800. The night was beautiful, clear and cold, a half-moon, no headlights needed.
The summit was crowded and cold, but the view still amazing.
Down the NE face, great stepping down soft snow. The Mur de Cote was a bit icy, but the main obstacle was again the Mont Maudit. 5 years ago it was a 40m 40 degrees downclimn, now it was 70m 70 degrees... We downclimbed and abseiled together with a couple of nice Canadians and some other people were very happy they could use our ropes as well...
The bergschrund also was bigger and had to be downclimbed as well, then up to Tacul and in a out half an hour down the 600m face...
through the Col du Midi oven, then the hardest partr: up towards Aiguille du midi, if you are tired, this is a long way up....
I did Mont Blanc by tent together with 3 other friends. We started the 15th of August in Les Houches (+/- 800m above sea level). The first day we went by foot to Nid d'Aigle situated at 2 372m, this is where the train ends. There we placed for the first time our tents. The trip is very nice but I had to get used to my backpack (+/- 21kgs).
The second day we went to the campsite at the Goûter Hut (3 800m). During the day we passed the Tête Rousse hut and the Couloir to ascend to Goûter hut (sometimes rather dangerous).
On the 17th of August we left at about 3.30 AM to go to the summit. Because it is still dark, you can see a sort of "Christmas tree" going up the mountains. When you look down, you see all the tiny lights in the valley and if you look up you see more stars than anyone can imagine, its really marvellous. We reached at about 9.00 AM the summit. This is something I will never forget. I've posted some pictures so anyone can see how nice it is. At around 9.30 AM we started our descent to the Goûter camp site the take our tents and head further to Nid d'Aigle which we reached at about 8.30 PM.
Although I haven't had big conditional problems on the way up, the way down was very hard for me, especially for my upper legs (the backpack, the bumps on your knees,…).
The last day (18th of August) we started very early with our descend to reach Les Houches at 11.00 AM.
I must say that this was may best vacation so far and I hope to do more of this mountains in the (near) future. I recommend everybody to do this mountain by tent, it is a lot harder, but more fun and adventure.
after two days of bad weather there was 50cm of fresh snow. The funny thing was that at the Cosmique refuge it seemed like nobody wanted to start first due to this situation so at the end I started first tracing the first part of the route. Then other parties came to help.
The weather was fantastic, no wind. Like last year we came back by the Guter route.
This year I was with my wife!
Busy as usual - weather window looked good and the team climbing well, so Pushed from Tete Rousse through Gouter Refuge (Reached 9.00am) Few hours rest and then set off at 12.30 pm on to summit at 4.40pm. Low threat of thunderstorms or avalanche.
Quiet on route from Gouter to summit - rare experience of the summit with only 6 people ! (All our own guided team) Excellent views all round - breathtaking. Hardwork above 4000m although aclimatised on Aiguille du Tour.
Back to Gouter by 8.00pm -
Well organised guided team from Jagged Globe (UK) - Thanks to Andy, Shaun, Richard x 2 (Guides), plus team Peter, Mark, Shaun, Kathy, Jessica, Mike, Nigel & Andrea for making this a grand experience.
9 of us came from Zagreb to Chamonix on 10th of August, after 15 hours of driving. We waited 3 hours alone to get through Mont Blanc tunnel. Miserable, rainy, weather greeted us at Chamonix. This was the weekend of heavy floods around the Europe. Here we were joined by Jordi, from Barcelona and that made us an international expedition :-)
The weather was the same today but anyway we decided to go to Tete Rousse refuge in the afternoon, forecast for tomorrow was better. We set off to Les Houches cable car and than usual ride with Mont Blanc tram to Le Nid d'Aigle. We were in between low and higher clouds so something of spectacular scenery was visible. Rain stopped fortunately. At 2700m it started to snow again and we entered clouds. After 1.45h of quick ascending I reached very crowded Tete Rousse refuge (3167m).
We didn't hurry in the morning because our goal of the day was Gouter refuge. As forecasted, weather cleared so we could enjoy great views. There was more than half meter of fresh snow and it was cold. Strong north wind was blowing of huge clouds of snow from Aiguille de Bionnassay's (4052m) ridge, Himalayan scenery. Gouter refuge was shining in the morning sun, high above us, on the edge of abyssal cliff. We started at 9.20h. At Grand Couloir there were some difficulty, lot of snow and path wasn't holding for long, wind quickly blew away steps made by preceding people. Also in the upper part of trail there was quite lot of ice, to make the ascent more amusing. My sight was almost all the time locked at mighty north face of Aiguille de Bionnassay. After 3.20h of climbing, at 12.40h, we reached the true Le Nid d'Aigle (Eagles nest), the balcony of Gouter refuge. By than, there were not to many people in the hut but the view bellow, towards Tete Rousse was amazing, lines and lines of roped people were coming up. Since we had our reservation that wasn't so worrying. Till evening refuge was packed full. I had to watch beautiful sunset from the room since there was no way to get out without stepping on someone's head. And that meant bye bye to some beautiful pics. Sun sanked in the sea of clouds, which was deep bellow us.
I didn't sleep well. We were in the beds since 8pm but I couldn't fall asleep till 11. I couldn't wait to get up and it seams no one could either. By 1.30am whole hut was up already. I was ready to go by 2am, but some members of our party could not find backpacks in the sea of other backpacks, one could not find ice ax, chaos. Than, just before leaving, we found out that someone took one of our 3 ropes. We started quite late, at 3.30am. Wind wasn't as strong as yesterday but still quite strong. Cold air was filled with particles of ice. Sight of endless row of lights, ascending the slope of Dome du Gouter will remain with me till the end of time, it is truly amazing sight. Me and Roman had great tempo, taking over party after party, but in the end very long line of people, which was to long to overtake, slowed us down. Result? It suddenly became cold. Dawn started to break at Dome du Gouter (4300m). It was very cold since wind was strong here (60-70 km/h) and temperature around -10 C. My hand fingers were numb (I have to buy most expensive gloves that exist on this planet!). After 2.30h, at 6am, we reached Vallot refuge. Inside we waited for sun to get up and tried to get warm (mission impossible!). At 7am Sun was up enough so we continued towards Mont Blanc. One person on our rope was suffering from altitude so I couldn't get my rhythm. He even fell and pulled me few meters down the slope till my crampons and ice ax stopped me. I lost lot of strength because of that. We were resting more than we were walking, so it was damn cold :-) Wind was lifting up snow all time from Bosses ridge, filling the air with shiny particles of ice. After 2.40h of suffering and enjoying, at 9.40am we reached the SUMMIT! What a feeling. Wind slowed down considerably by now so we could really enjoy on this amazing spot of our planet. View was crystal clear, everything above the horizon visible, not a single cloud. 8 of us, out of 10, reached the summit. We spent 50 mins on top. Descent was pure enjoyment. There was no need to be roped, snow was excellent (hard), wind became just a light breeze, views stunning. We stopped at Vallot again (this time outside) and Gouter refuge before reaching Mont Blanc tram at 18.20h. That evening we were watching great Mont Blanc from Chamonix. Simply fantastic!
Climbed with Fred Spicker.
Really bad thunderstorms throughout the night and high winds the next morning led to a very late start. Only two other parties when we made the summit. Most turned back or never started. Awesome view! Had intended to traverse over Maudit and Tacul, but conditions did not allow. Good thing, too - lightning had hit the Midi cable car station and burned it down!