Great weather. Chamonix kicks ass.
Climbed via the Gouter route.
Hiked to the Gouter refuge in poor windy weather,betting on an improvement during the night (forecast was for the weather to clear up but for the wind to remay strong at 4000m)
At 9pm, the wind died down...Great night sky when we started the climb a 3am. Great sunny day all along, no wind. Reached the summit at 6.30am, no crowd, just my buddy and I.
Day 1: Hiked up to Tete Rousse from Les Houches through the lovely forest and the soon to become standard trail they are currently securing. Still had enough time to go up to Gouter but opinion was divided about the Grand Couloir.
Day 2: Set out at 2 after a restless night and minor acclimatisation issues. The couloir had been unstable throughout the night and was also tricky when we tried to cross. Reached the new Gouter hut at dawn. Lost some gloves while fixing a loose crampon on Dome du Gouter (had spares luckily). Turned back at Vallot around 8 o'clock due to the ~50 km winds and fatigue. (Many people summited but quite a few people turned back.) 2 Spaniards had a near-fatal fall on the loose rocks below Gouter on the Bionassay side. The couloir was again in full motion, but at least we could see what we were up against. Hiked down to Les Houches the same day and did some very enjoyable ferratas in the following days.
My climbing partner Marcin and I reached the summit of the Mont Blanc at 8:42am on the 26th of August. We found the small Swedish flag on the summit. The wind was very strong (60km/h) and we didn't see anyone else from the Vallot refuge on this day except two Czech climbers who turned back before the final ridge. Our calculation of the chill factor was -35 Celsius degrees.
We came via Italian Normal Route and this was the best climb in my life even despite the really strong wind and clouds. We were the last people descending towards Gouter Refuge on that day leaving the dark clouds behind us. The descent via Grand Colouir was scary and stressful among the flying stones reaching the size of the large backpack. We have used the tram from the Nid d'Aigle to get to the Les Houches on the same day.
I would recommend The Italian Normal Route to everyone - it's a beautiful, classic Alpine route with the elements of rock and ice climbing, glacier crossing (event that negotiating the Glacier du Dome in the darkness was quite tricky) and good exposure factor. The Gonella Hut is the most pleasant place to stay in this part of the Alps and the owner (David) was really friendly and professional. The greatest days out on the hills so far!
An epic traverse
From Vallot hut to Dome du Gouter via and Bosse ridge. then Mont Maudit and Mont Blanc du Tacul and down
Les Houches-summit-les houches cca 30 hours. Beautiful walk and "climb", only the number of the people makes impression less interesting.
Impressive sun rise. I got it second attempt
With a luck in the weather (snowed and was cloudy hours before the summit attempt from Gouter) we managed to summit under perfect weather conditions. Quite a lot of snow for being in the end of July (recent snow) which made the Grand Couloir just perfect to climb (crampons a must).
One week in the alps with nary a day under the sun. Managed to get on top of the big white mountain. Spent a day at tete rousse waiting out a fresh dump. Only passed about 5 people in all on summit day. Definitely encountered more mountain goats than people!
Nice climb after an unsuccesful first attempt the day before. Third group on the summit, so not yet too crowded :)
Hard day at the office
At sunraise was visiblity down to less than 1m - then the storm came and everything was clear, crystal freezing clear.
We meet a lot of teams heading down while still heading up - they all said "impossible" - but we felt strong and continued.
Perfect windy summit - perfect view - only one other team on the summit with us.
Down to cosmique hutte for steaming meal :)
Perfect long day with James & Edward
This was a wild adventure that late in the season on the Aretes Boissons/Dome Du Gouter route. A long story, but basically, bad partner, found a new partner on the mountain who is now a great friend, and we summited on a day when everyone else turned around due to high winds. It was awesome!
Succesful climb thanks to my buddy Koen, who summited for the third time.
Skipped Mont Maudit summit.
I planned to climb this mountain for 2 years after a year of training and focus I did it! It was a good climb but if I did it again I'd do it from the Aiguille du Midi. Too many people on the Gouter Route and quite a few inexperienced unprepared climbers as well.
Very nice and easy route with some nice "climbing" on ice to get to the Col Maudit. Bugger we summited in clouds with a 10m view. I'll be back...
I failed on the mountain 4 times before 1st of 5 subsequent successful ascents between 1984 and 2009. I have climbed Brenva face, traversed the mountain from Gouter to Midi - and finally solo'd the Gouter route in 2009. I would like to climb it a 6th time - this time via the Val Veni and Aiguille Grises route on the Italian side.
Not sure about the exact date - I remember that I ran the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc then waited a few days because of foul weather and headed up to Aguille du Midi as soon as the skies were about to clear. Started with another guy whom I met on Col du Midi at 4 am but soon he withdrew because of high avalanche danger and problems with crevasse crossings. Hard slogging in fresh snow (nobody else on this route that day). Scared the shit out of myself when I broke a big cornice while climbing the Maudit. Got to the summit late in the afternoon and down to Refuge du Gouter at dusk. Hiked down all night and got to Les Houches about 6 am.
All in all 26 hours of a real solo adventure on a mountain that is told to be overcrowded.
First alpine experience, which was great! 2-day ascent with a stop-over at Gouter hut. Pretty good pace of 3.5 hours to summit from Gouter hut and back for the noon train.