|Elevation:||12523 ft / 3817 m|
This hut, which is also called Ref. de l'Aig. du Goûter, is the starting point for the most popular and shortest route to Mont Blanc.
Therefore it is completely overcrowded during the season. You have to make an early reservation for this hut. Many mountain guides reserve the hut 1 year before!!!
Unless you are lucky enough to get reservations for the Gouter hut, you'll probably sleep on the floor or on the table!
The old hut was closed in 2012 after the new hut was opened 200 m south of the old hut.
The new hut has a place for 120 climbers.
It has a modern form of an elliptic cylinder.
From Chamonix, take the bus to St.Gervais and then the tramway to Nid d'Aigle. From there, follow the trail up to the Tête Rousse glacier, passing by the Tête Rousse hut. Either scramble up the rock rib to the north of the Grand Couloir or sprint across the couloir and scramble up the easier slope to the hut (fixed ropes there).
Or you drive to Les Houches (by bus or car). At Les Houches, a cable car goes to the Hotel Bellevue. Then you walk ca. 300 m to the station of the Tramway du Mont Blanc. Then you drive to the Nid d'Aigle (2386m) from which a trail leads to the Tête Rousse Glacier.
You pass the Tête Rousse hut along the way after 2-3 hours. Some people stay one night at the Tête Rousse hut before ascending to Refuge du Goûter. At the base of the final slope of the Aiguille du Goûter, a trail leads to the Grand Couloir. The Couloir is narrow and the rockfall here is continuous. It's a one-person a time sprint across the couloir to the slope on the other side. Scramble up the slope, at the top of which sits the Goûter hut.
There is an alternative ascent but the Office de Haute Montagne disadvises this route. You don´t cross the couloir, you can also climb the rock rib north (left) of it to Arête Payot. This way is only slightly more difficult But also very crumbly and you endanger the climbers in the Grand Couloir by rockfall. So you should traverse the Grand Couloir!
In the Grand Couloir there is a lot of rockfall the whole day, especially in the afternoon! There is a fixed rope at the couloir where you can click an HMS. But it is at a height of 2-3 m in the middle of the Couloir so you are faster (and maybe safer) when you don´t use it and run fast through the Couloir.
The Goûter hut sits on the west side and just under the summit of the Aiguille du Goûter at 3817m.
Time to get there:
4 to 6 hours from Nid d'Aigle
Nid d'Aigle - Refuge Tête Rousse: 2-3 h, 800 hm
Refuge Tête Rousse – Refuge du Goûter: 2-3 h 700 hm
The hut is the starting point for climbing Mont Blanc (4.810 m) and Dôme du Goûter (4.304 m):
1. Mont Blanc (4.810 m): PD, 1000 hm, 4-5 h
Route description Mont Blanc via Bosses ridge
2. Mont Blanc de Courmayeur (4.748 m): PD+, 1050 hm 5 - 5 1/2 h
3. Dôme du Goûter (4.304 m), PD, 500 hm, 2 h
From the Goûter hut climb the broad snow ridge to the Aiguille du Goûter, then via a wide flank to the summit of the Dôme du Goûter (4303m) (Problematic orientation in snowfall and fog!). A slight descent takes one to the Col du Goûter (4240m). Now continue up a steepening slope, passing the Vallot hut along the way. The slope turns into a narrower and steeper ridge that leads to snowy ridge bumps, the Grande Bosse (4513m) and the Petite Bosse(4547m). After that the ridge becomes very narrow and leads past the rock of La Tournette (4677m). A final steep slope brings one to the summit.
In most cases, route finding is not hard - just follow the deep track and the long line of people. Where the Bosses ridge is very narrow, passing descending climbers as well as inconsiderate people can make this part unpleasant.
The route is known to be very windy but with few crevasses.
- Télephone number for reservation : 33 (0)4 50 54 40 93
- The hut is guarded from mid-June to the end of September.
- Sleeping places: 100
- Réservation: Obligatory
Wild camping near the hut is not allowed. There are a lot "Interdite"-signs near the hut.
Some climbers reported about control flights of the French police.
Partially wild camping there is tolerated but the tent should be put up not before the evening.