Brenva Spur - the easiest and safer route from the Brenva side - only 1 critical point : the last ice wall, changing during the season
- one negative point : coming out from the Spur you loose the willing to go to the summit ... too far and of "less level" so, normally climbers turn to the right and come back to Aiguille du Midi (crossing the slops of Maudit and Tacul)
Sentinella Rossa - looks to be the safer route to the summit (I've seen it from both sides - Spur and Major) - but looks also a strange mix of snow and rock, very discontinuous and (I think) not much engaging
Major - 1 very dangerous point : the cross of the big (killer) channel coming down from the summit between Sentinella Rossa and Major ridge
Once passed it the climb is safe, various and very engaging with fine snow ridges and not easy rocky bulwarks
Poire - dangerous approach and, I think, some danger even along the route, the Poire itself (a rocky triangle) is not so marked so that ice falls can cross the whole wall ...
But, in safe conditions I think it should be very fine, complete ... a classic Himalayan ascent ...
worth to be mentioned (and to be climbed, I heard) the eastern Pilier of Freney (Gervasutti 1940), a really important and difficult route, a little less difficult than the central one but even more wild and more "classic" (mixed, very little aid climbing ecc)
Last summer (aug. 2005) we climbed Mont Blanc. We had chosen for the route "Tournette Spur". The couloirs, snow channel, and the glacier near to it, where difficult, almost impossibel to reach. Hugh crevasses en falling rocks makes it verry dangerous. So we went to the Gonella Hut. From here we could see the "Link Couloir". The snow in the upper part of this couloir was disappear and we saw rock-avalanches. No way, nobody wants to climb there. On th 4th Aug we reached the summit via the "Italian normal route". We believe that the Tornette Spur the next years not in condition is to climb. And if you still wants to try; Good Luck !
You can get useful information about Mont Blanc condition updated every 2/3 days at this site:
Please correct the last name in the climbers list of historical attempt via Central Pillar of Freney (1961).
It was the famous Polish climber and poet and his proper name is:
JAN D?UGOSZ not Jan Djugloz.
There is also mistake in the first name, there should be:
CHRIS BONINGTON not Bonongton.
Thanks for all commitment and very nice article.
Sorry for Polish letters, once again, better to write:
http://jeffmercier.blogspot.fr/?m=1 (in French)
So am I guessing correctly that summit/climbing/wilderness permits are not required for Mont Blanc?