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Lazlo


Aug 25, 2010, 5:46 PM
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Mt. Blanc
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I'm hoping to climb Mt Blanc next season. I've read a little online about the mountain, checked it out on Google Earth, read about a few of the popular routes. Gouter sounds horrible. Wink

So.... what routes are recommended?

Is staying in a hut pretty much mandatory? Is it feasible to just bivy?

Are the French really that bad?


Lazlo


Aug 25, 2010, 5:48 PM
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Oh, and is the Italian side as 'worthy' (for lack of a better term) as Chamonix?


Gmburns2000


Aug 25, 2010, 6:03 PM
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can't answer any of your questions...but Chamonix fucking ROCKS!

I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, but that was a decade ago.


olderic


Aug 26, 2010, 10:26 AM
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Re: [Lazlo] Mt. Blanc [In reply to]
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Lazlo wrote:
I'm hoping to climb Mt Blanc next season. I've read a little online about the mountain, checked it out on Google Earth, read about a few of the popular routes. Gouter sounds horrible. Wink

So.... what routes are recommended?

Is staying in a hut pretty much mandatory? Is it feasible to just bivy?

Before I could give you any advice I'd want to know why you think it sounds "horrible"? I did it ~30 years ago and didn't think it was horrible - pretty much what I expected and had anticipated.

Now I could guess that you are concerened about the route being overrun by stampeding rude French - but maybe that is not your objection at all - I don't know.

If you are capable of climbing harder routes there certainly are lots of options - but based on the tone of your post that might not be a good idea.

Yes the Gouter, yes Mt Blanc, yes Cham and yes most of the Aplys are going to be overrun by stampeding rude French (and others) in season when the conditions are good. They will all be able to climb circles around you with one arm tied behind their backs. Its just part of the scene. Be aware of it and either embrace it or avoid it. But here I am giving advice without really knowing what you are driving at,

Are the French really that bad?


edge


Aug 26, 2010, 11:35 AM
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Re: [Lazlo] Mt. Blanc [In reply to]
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Lazlo wrote:
Oh, and is the Italian side as 'worthy' (for lack of a better term) as Chamonix?

Well, I only climbed it from the Italian side via the Brenva Spur. Our plans had been for the Route Major, but a storm on the day we walked in to the Ghiglione (sp?) Hut made us decide for a ridge over a gully; turned out to be a wise choice as at 3AM I watched a huge avalanche far below us overtake a headlamp that I assume was attached to a climber on Route Major. There would have been no surviving that one.

Anyway, Brenva Spur was nice, pretty much endless 60 degree slopes leading to a bit of easy grade 4 punching through the upper serac band, then a slog up the final summit cone. We left the hut at 2 am and summited at 9 am so that the snow would be frozen solid and we wouldn't post hole; this was end of August 1985.


http://www.rockclimbing.com/...ont_Blanc_49466.html

We went down the French side via the Grands Mulets, which got us back to our tent in the Valee Blanche quickly, but would have been quite boring as an ascent. Still, it did have a few crevasse crossings and great position, just would have been a long slog as an ascent.

We were the second group to the summit, the first was a party of 10 Italians who had come up the French side and were deep into the wine and singing "Ave Maria." It would have been funny if it wasn't so obnoxious.

Otherwise, what olderic said...


(This post was edited by edge on Aug 26, 2010, 11:37 AM)


thomasribiere


Aug 26, 2010, 12:32 PM
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By the "3 Monts" seems to be enjoyable (Mt Blanc du Tacul > Mont Maudit > Mt Blanc).

You can check different routes here : http://www.camptocamp.org/summits/37355/en/mont-blanc#ascent-routes


Lazlo


Aug 26, 2010, 1:33 PM
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olderic wrote:
Lazlo wrote:
I'm hoping to climb Mt Blanc next season. I've read a little online about the mountain, checked it out on Google Earth, read about a few of the popular routes. Gouter sounds horrible. Wink

So.... what routes are recommended?

Is staying in a hut pretty much mandatory? Is it feasible to just bivy?

Are the French really that bad?

Before I could give you any advice I'd want to know why you think it sounds "horrible"? I did it ~30 years ago and didn't think it was horrible - pretty much what I expected and had anticipated.

Now I could guess that you are concerened about the route being overrun by stampeding rude French - but maybe that is not your objection at all - I don't know.

If you are capable of climbing harder routes there certainly are lots of options - but based on the tone of your post that might not be a good idea.

Yes the Gouter, yes Mt Blanc, yes Cham and yes most of the Aplys are going to be overrun by stampeding rude French (and others) in season when the conditions are good. They will all be able to climb circles around you with one arm tied behind their backs. Its just part of the scene. Be aware of it and either embrace it or avoid it. But here I am giving advice without really knowing what you are driving at,

I've also posted these same questions on another site...and have come to realize I was reading TRs from idiots. My sig, for example, is from one of the TRs.

Having said that.....

By horrible, I mean highly overcrowded. And I have no grudge against the French. Blush

edge wrote:
Lazlo wrote:
Oh, and is the Italian side as 'worthy' (for lack of a better term) as Chamonix?

Well, I only climbed it from the Italian side via the Brenva Spur. Our plans had been for the Route Major, but a storm on the day we walked in to the Ghiglione (sp?) Hut made us decide for a ridge over a gully; turned out to be a wise choice as at 3AM I watched a huge avalanche far below us overtake a headlamp that I assume was attached to a climber on Route Major. There would have been no surviving that one.

Anyway, Brenva Spur was nice, pretty much endless 60 degree slopes leading to a bit of easy grade 4 punching through the upper serac band, then a slog up the final summit cone. We left the hut at 2 am and summited at 9 am so that the snow would be frozen solid and we wouldn't post hole; this was end of August 1985.


http://www.rockclimbing.com/...ont_Blanc_49466.html

We went down the French side via the Grands Mulets, which got us back to our tent in the Valee Blanche quickly, but would have been quite boring as an ascent. Still, it did have a few crevasse crossings and great position, just would have been a long slog as an ascent.

We were the second group to the summit, the first was a party of 10 Italians who had come up the French side and were deep into the wine and singing "Ave Maria." It would have been funny if it wasn't so obnoxious.

Otherwise, what olderic said...

Thanks Edge! That's exactly the kind of response I was looking for. And it sounds like just the right route.


Lazlo


Aug 26, 2010, 1:34 PM
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thomasribiere wrote:
By the "3 Monts" seems to be enjoyable (Mt Blanc du Tacul > Mont Maudit > Mt Blanc).

You can check different routes here : http://www.camptocamp.org/summits/37355/en/mont-blanc#ascent-routes

3 Monts does look very fun. Looks like a great ski.


reno


Aug 26, 2010, 3:37 PM
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Lazlo wrote:
thomasribiere wrote:
By the "3 Monts" seems to be enjoyable (Mt Blanc du Tacul > Mont Maudit > Mt Blanc).

You can check different routes here : http://www.camptocamp.org/summits/37355/en/mont-blanc#ascent-routes

3 Monts does look very fun. Looks like a great ski.

We made it about 2/3 of the way up in July 08 before turning back when the snow got to dumping heavy and the visibility scaled so low it was almost a negative number.

Still, good fun.


jaablink


Aug 26, 2010, 3:43 PM
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bring me back a pen... please


majid_sabet


Aug 26, 2010, 4:03 PM
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watch for avalanches as 155 people were killed in Alps last year. Stay in Chamonix for few days and enjoy it.


Lazlo


Aug 26, 2010, 6:12 PM
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majid_sabet wrote:
watch for avalanches as 155 people were killed in Alps last year. Stay in Chamonix for few days and enjoy it.
Word.


edge


Aug 27, 2010, 6:38 AM
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Mt Blanc from Chamonix


Lazlo, we took the two telepheriques up to the top of the Aiguille du Midi, then followed the ridge down into the Vallee Blanche where we set up our tent and hung out for about a week. Lots of cool, fun, short routes all around, particularly on the rock South Face of the Midi, and the Cosmiques Spur.

We left there and circumvented the mountain clockwise to arrive at the Trident Hut in Italy. I forget how long it took, maybe 1/2 day? Anyway there was no official border crossing, we just showed up and all of a sudden the hutkeeper was speaking Italian instead of French and charging us in Lira. He did accept Francs and we were able to buy a nights lodging, a spaghetti dinner, and a couple of beers that had been helicoptered in; the bottoms of the aluminum cans were convex from the change in elevation, so we couldn't set them down.

Next day we were all awaken at midnight for the climb. We brewed up and ate a bit, and my partner and I were the last to leave the hut. At the base of the climb there was a long queue waiting in line at the first official pitch, a 5.6ish inside corner. We roped up and I headed off left for a ropelength where I found a 5.8ish alternative that I quickly climbed in crampons and we then found ourselves the lead team on the entire route.

The first 2-3 hours or so were on a steep ridge with thousands of feet of exposure to each side, which we simul-climbed with 75 feet of rope between us. We placed no pro, the idea being that if someone fell off, the other would jump over the opposite side of the ridge. It worked out that I lead the entire route with the exception of the serac band, which required a 150' belay. I anchored below, my partner swung through and led it, then he anchored to bring me up and I swung back in the lead until we hit the summit cone where we stopped to eat and unroped.

I think the entire traverse from the Trident Hut in Italy to our tent in the Vallee Blanche took somewhere around 16 hours.

View from the summit, looking north. Switzerland to the far center, France to the left, and Italy to the right.



Lazlo


Aug 27, 2010, 7:53 PM
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edge wrote:
Mt Blanc from Chamonix


Lazlo, we took the two telepheriques up to the top of the Aiguille du Midi, then followed the ridge down into the Vallee Blanche where we set up our tent and hung out for about a week. Lots of cool, fun, short routes all around, particularly on the rock South Face of the Midi, and the Cosmiques Spur.

We left there and circumvented the mountain clockwise to arrive at the Trident Hut in Italy. I forget how long it took, maybe 1/2 day? Anyway there was no official border crossing, we just showed up and all of a sudden the hutkeeper was speaking Italian instead of French and charging us in Lira. He did accept Francs and we were able to buy a nights lodging, a spaghetti dinner, and a couple of beers that had been helicoptered in; the bottoms of the aluminum cans were convex from the change in elevation, so we couldn't set them down.

Next day we were all awaken at midnight for the climb. We brewed up and ate a bit, and my partner and I were the last to leave the hut. At the base of the climb there was a long queue waiting in line at the first official pitch, a 5.6ish inside corner. We roped up and I headed off left for a ropelength where I found a 5.8ish alternative that I quickly climbed in crampons and we then found ourselves the lead team on the entire route.

The first 2-3 hours or so were on a steep ridge with thousands of feet of exposure to each side, which we simul-climbed with 75 feet of rope between us. We placed no pro, the idea being that if someone fell off, the other would jump over the opposite side of the ridge. It worked out that I lead the entire route with the exception of the serac band, which required a 150' belay. I anchored below, my partner swung through and led it, then he anchored to bring me up and I swung back in the lead until we hit the summit cone where we stopped to eat and unroped.

I think the entire traverse from the Trident Hut in Italy to our tent in the Vallee Blanche took somewhere around 16 hours.

View from the summit, looking north. Switzerland to the far center, France to the left, and Italy to the right.
[IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v293/loransmith/Climbing/MontBlancSummit-1.jpg[/IMG]

Wow. Sounds like a fabulous trip


alpinismo_flujo


Aug 30, 2010, 2:07 PM
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Climbing in France showed me skilled French climbers are...

Can't remember the route we did but was from Cosmique Hut. Big Avalanche the day before that killed 3. We went up the next morning...keep it cool if on that route, it spills often. Unsure

I do remember seeing tents around..


yves


Aug 31, 2010, 11:53 AM
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Hi Lazlo ,

Just to add my five euros ...
1. Gouter: normal route, overcrowded, but still if you are doing that before the 14 July or after the 15 Aug, you might do all right. It remains a great way to climb Mt Blc.
2. As it has been suggested, you can do via Tacul-Maudit-Mt Blc and back but you need to be well trained. Avoid descent by Grands Mulets, which has become quite unsafe.
3. Brenva Spur; it is not a beginner route. Once you are on it, if any change of weather you are done. BTW, check as Giglione might have been destroyed in the late 90ies.
4. If you want to do it properly (safety margin, proper timing, etc ...) you might want to do something on the Bassin du Geant before (top of Aig du Midi): Cosmiques, Lachenal, North face of Tour Ronde ...
5. Brenva Spur in on the Italian side but you reach it from France. You have also (tens of) great routes on the Italian - Val Veni side that you can access by the Aig du Midi lift or by the tunnel to Aoste , from the less difficult : Aiguilles Grises via Bionassay ridge (need good cramponing technique though) to the most difficult (Peuterey) via medium diff. Innominata. All that needs some altitude training.
6. For the French, they might be (even) worse than you have heard (!!) especially if you are travelling with this prejudice. However, after having worked, travelled and climbed in the US for the last six years and in other places since the late 80ies, I only remember the great people I had met because I wanted it so.
Have a great time , Yves.


alpinismo_flujo


Aug 31, 2010, 1:04 PM
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yves wrote:
Hi Lazlo ,

Just to add my five euros ...
1. Gouter: normal route, overcrowded, but still if you are doing that before the 14 July or after the 15 Aug, you might do all right. It remains a great way to climb Mt Blc.
2. As it has been suggested, you can do via Tacul-Maudit-Mt Blc and back but you need to be well trained. Avoid descent by Grands Mulets, which has become quite unsafe.
3. Brenva Spur; it is not a beginner route. Once you are on it, if any change of weather you are done. BTW, check as Giglione might have been destroyed in the late 90ies.
4. If you want to do it properly (safety margin, proper timing, etc ...) you might want to do something on the Bassin du Geant before (top of Aig du Midi): Cosmiques, Lachenal, North face of Tour Ronde ...
5. Brenva Spur in on the Italian side but you reach it from France. You have also (tens of) great routes on the Italian - Val Veni side that you can access by the Aig du Midi lift or by the tunnel to Aoste , from the less difficult : Aiguilles Grises via Bionassay ridge (need good cramponing technique though) to the most difficult (Peuterey) via medium diff. Innominata. All that needs some altitude training.
6. For the French, they might be (even) worse than you have heard (!!) especially if you are travelling with this prejudice. However, after having worked, travelled and climbed in the US for the last six years and in other places since the late 80ies, I only remember the great people I had met because I wanted it so.
Have a great time , Yves.

Although this is a little OT - You seem to have a firm grasp of the routes for Mount Blanc. Can you help me remember the name of the route I did? It was right in front of Cosmique Hut. I remember a slog/traverse, climbing an ice gulley, then off the top and down the "normal route" to a train? Thanks!


yves


Aug 31, 2010, 1:16 PM
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Hi.
From your description, it should be the Arete des Cosmiques [Cosmique Ridge traverse]. Although usually quite crowded, it remains a great route. Y.


alpinismo_flujo


Aug 31, 2010, 1:30 PM
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Thank you, I did climb the Cosmique Arete as warm up, but any idea what the name of the route on Mount Blanc is?

Here's a pic of what the route looked like the day after avy from the hut's deck. We went up debri and traversed right...




(This post was edited by alpinismo_flujo on Aug 31, 2010, 1:38 PM)
Attachments: 2005_0729France0066.JPG (85.8 KB)


yves


Aug 31, 2010, 2:22 PM
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What you are talking about seems to be the normal route of Mont Blanc du Tacul (4000 m + peak).
This route which is avalanche prone is from time to time impassable because of the state of the seracs . It is also the first "leg" of the route which is called the Trois Mont Blancs and which comprises Mt Blanc du tacul (on your photo), Mont Maudit (next "in line") and Mt Blanc ... and then back ..


alpinismo_flujo


Aug 31, 2010, 2:29 PM
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Thanks for the help..now back to your normal programming Cool


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