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Author Topic: Mont Blanc  (Read 30614 times)

Daisy

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Mont Blanc
« on: Mar 11 2005, 23:16 »

Hi there!

I know it's not one of the 7 Summits but I'd love to climb Mont Blanc. Have any of you ever climbed it and what are the different routes? is it necessary to have a guide and how busy is it up there in July?

Thanks
D

p.s. attached are a couple of pictures taken in Scotland at the end of February. So beautiful! we climbed a lovely route on the north face called 'number 2 gully'. Such an enjoyable day, who needs high altitude  ;)
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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #1 on: Mar 12 2005, 06:08 »

Hi Daisy!

I have climbed Mt Blanc 3 times and by 3 different routes. It's quite nice and doable especially the 2 normal routes (Gouter route and 3 MtBlanc route, these can be combined for a nice traverse). A guide might be useful for the 3 Mt Blanc route and all more technical routes.
It is busy from june to september, normally it can rain a week and then be good for the next, so everybody will head up simultaneously and if you do not have hut reservations you might be in trouble!

When are you going? I have guided people up there...

It might be busy up there:

(From my 2nd climb, Gouter route up)


This was the view from the summit the last time:


and this towards the Monte Rosa:


Thanks for the Scotland pics, I love Scotland in winter, is that Stob Coire nan Lochan?
« Last Edit: Mar 12 2005, 06:10 by 7summits »
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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #2 on: Mar 13 2005, 19:39 »

by the way, the discussion fo Mt Blanc not being one of the 7 summits is not yet ended! Though all summiteers in teh list have climbed Elbrus, there are many people who consider Mt Blanc the highest point of Europe instead as the border between Erope and Asia is quite arbitrary...
 O0
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MonteBianco

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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #3 on: Mar 13 2005, 21:00 »

I will be gooing for Mont Blanc this summer. I was there last summer to but didnt reach the summit. I thought Mont Blanc and chamonix was a great place to be and im looking forward to go back. Although I have nothing to compare with but the swedish mountains I thought it was a great experience. I believe I will go for the gouter route this summer to.  The biggest risk on the gouter route is all the loose rock which falls because of snowmelting and other climbers....The gouter hut is crowded and must be booked in advance if you want a bed.
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Buddha

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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #4 on: Mar 14 2005, 04:21 »

How much steeper is Mt. Blanc compared to Mt. Elbrus? The inclination on the first picture seems to be some 40-45%...
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Daisy

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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #5 on: Mar 14 2005, 17:33 »

Hi Daisy!


When are you going? I have guided people up there...


Thanks for the Scotland pics, I love Scotland in winter, is that Stob Coire nan Lochan?

Hi Harry,
I'm not sure what other peaks are in the picture but we were on Ben Nevis. Thanks a million for the photos of Mont Blanc, they're fantastic especially the one with the climbers on the Gouter route. So you have guided people up there? I don't suppose you could accompany us in July? I know you're climbing Everest so no doubt you'll be taking things easy in July but I thought I'd ask just in case! otherwise do you know anyone we could speak to? I don't think we will take a technical route because a couple of my friends have no experience at all. I don't want to take any risks with them anyway so maybe a guide would be a good idea....
Anyway, I can't wait. Should be a lovely trip!
Thanks
D
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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #6 on: Mar 16 2005, 15:14 »

Hey Daisy!

I never take things easy  ;D Might be a nice chill out after Everest, so I will send you some details by PM. MonteBianco was also interested, so if I can do 2 trips it might be worth it for me.

Buddha, Mt Blanc is comparable with Elbrus (you might traverse a few of these slopes close to teh summit plateau on Elbrus as well). But in genral Mt Blanc is more epxosed as you walk along a ridge most of the time. This is the steepest section (though not the narrowest) of the Gouter route.
The 3 mt Blancs route, which I have taken down all 3 times, is getting steeper every year due to melting snow and a guide might be very advisable as last year it was almost 70 degrees on the key section on Mt Maudit.
 8)
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MikeW

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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #7 on: Mar 17 2005, 04:34 »

Might be interested in climbing Mt Blanc in the near future, would love to do it in the month of May so I can ski down the mountain from the summit. But certainly not this year though with Aconcagua and another summit planned for next January. I will try for 2006 by taking my family on a trip to France and Switzerland (and me taking 3 or 4 days off for this adventure!).

Hope you have a great time in France this summer! O0

MikeW
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MonteBianco

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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #8 on: Jun 21 2005, 04:41 »

Hello !! Ive just returned from a Chamonixtrip and another "failure" of reaching Mont Blanc summit. This year me and my friend walked the Three Mont Blanc Route and we turned around at Col de la Brenva due to incoming clouds....We didnt make any more attempts on the summit either because the weather was bad ...Anyway we had a couple of nice acklimatizingdays on the glacier and atleast we got away with the biggest crux of the route the Maudit wall and it was a nice experience... Here are some pics from the trip  8) // Sry for the very long url adresses..I just made a temporary page to view the pics from..

link 1

link 2

link 3

link 4 :lol)
« Last Edit: Jun 21 2005, 12:10 by 7summits »
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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #9 on: Jun 21 2005, 12:12 »

Hey monte bianco,

I changed the links as they were messing up the page layout. The links did not work for me, I just got numerous windows pop-ups and almost impossible to get out some installing loops.
Why don't you just upload the pictures to the site? When you post as a registered member, there are advanced options at the bottom of the posting area, you can attach pictures easily.

Cheers,
Harry
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MonteBianco

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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #10 on: Jun 21 2005, 17:11 »

Hmm...Strange the pictures doesn´t work..I can´t attach directly to the page unless i find some way to make my pictures smaller and I have tried doing that for a while now with no sucess....  >:(..
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trunl

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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #11 on: Jun 21 2005, 21:53 »

LOL!! harry does know how to make pictures smaller.... i had the same problem a while ago.... i couldnt get down the size, without making the pictures almost unreadable....



trunl
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smrtnupp

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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #12 on: Jun 23 2005, 12:23 »

I am prepared to sound really dumb, but I have to know, are those clounds or snow in the pics?


Hi Daisy!

I have climbed Mt Blanc 3 times and by 3 different routes. It's quite nice and doable especially the 2 normal routes (Gouter route and 3 MtBlanc route, these can be combined for a nice traverse). A guide might be useful for the 3 Mt Blanc route and all more technical routes.
It is busy from june to september, normally it can rain a week and then be good for the next, so everybody will head up simultaneously and if you do not have hut reservations you might be in trouble!

When are you going? I have guided people up there...

It might be busy up there:

(From my 2nd climb, Gouter route up)


This was the view from the summit the last time:


and this towards the Monte Rosa:


Thanks for the Scotland pics, I love Scotland in winter, is that Stob Coire nan Lochan?
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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #13 on: Jun 23 2005, 21:19 »

I am prepared to sound really dumb, but I have to know, are those clounds or snow in the pics?


Well, in the first pic people are climbing on the snow  ;D

But the background and all the white stuff in pictures 2 & 3 are clouds, all the way to the horizon, wonderful sight!
 8)
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smrtnupp

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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #14 on: Jun 24 2005, 06:53 »

Ughhhhhh..... that is high!!!!!  :eek)

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Nudge

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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #15 on: Jul 11 2005, 22:02 »

Hi, myself and our team ,guided by Victor Saunders, summited by the Traverse Route on Saturday 2nd July in atrocious weather. Good fun and a hell of a challenge. We really enjoyed it. As a matter of interest only 13 people (including 5 guides) reached the top that day, quite something as I believe it can be quite busy on the first Saturday in July.

I have a few photos of the summit but they are poor, mostly myself and victor drinking champers. How do I make them smaller, they are at present 1.5mb each?
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7summits

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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #16 on: Jul 12 2005, 01:06 »

Well congrats  8)

Yes, it can be quite hard on Mt Blanc! You can resize pictures with any basic editing tool, in Windows you have MS Photo Editor somewhere in your menu. I assume you are not a regular Photoshopper   ;)

Else you can email them to me (harr@7...) and I will resize them for you.

Cheers
-H
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Nudge

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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #17 on: Jul 12 2005, 14:35 »

Thanks, I'll have a go later. By the way saw your "7 summits" sticker at the Cosmique Hut :) :)
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MoT

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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #18 on: Jul 15 2005, 04:57 »

Just to let you guys know - Daisy summitted Mont Blanc yesterday  :)
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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #19 on: Jul 15 2005, 05:24 »

Just to let you guys know - Daisy summitted Mont Blanc yesterday  :)


Cool! Go Sheila, err Daisy  :)

Well done and send us the pictures soon! Shame I could not join you!
-H
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Daisy

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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #20 on: Jul 18 2005, 15:56 »

Well hello there! yes Sheila sorry DAISY did manage to reach the summit of Mt Blanc last Wednesday morning at 8:20am after a string of hilarious (disastrous?) events.
We were SO well organised to start off! We had bought all our food in advance and lovingly packed it all neatly in zip lock bags. We had the best of sleeping bags and warm gear, stoves, pots, cups everything! in fact, the trek to the Tete Rousse hut was a bit of a nightmare with the weight of all our gear! complete madness. Anyway, we arrived at the Tete Rousse only to discover that there are the most comfortable of beds and beautiful meals to be had. Out of stubbornness we cooked our boil in the bag meals on a tiny gas stove anyway and watched everyone else tuck into what appeared to be three course meals accompanied by beer and wine  :(

We couldn't get a place in the Gouter Hut at all, completely booked out so we thought we could stay at the Tete Rousse and summit from there with an acclimatisation walk to the Gouter Hut in between. I now understand why the owner of the TR hut was laughing when I told him of our plans! Anyway, the next day we packed up very light, food, sleeping bags, extra warm clothes etc left behind at the TR hut. We crossed the infamous Grand Couloir which I actually found ok despite what we'd read about it. This lead on to the 'rocky scramble' or so it's called to the Gouter hut. I actually hated this part. It was a lot longer and steeper than I'd expected and very slippy with icy, snowy patches here and there. There were cables fixed on the dangerous parts that you could clip into but these seemed to be coming loose where the bolts were fixed into the rocks. Crowds of climbers were both heading up and down and there was a lot of waiting around and avoiding inconsiderate climbers - especially those who drop their ice axe on you from above and don't apologise! So 4 and a half hours later and with the cloud thick around us we arrived at the Gouter hut. "Change of plan guys!" There was no way we could go back down to the Tete Rousse at this stage. We were stuck here for the night!
After lots of pleading and begging with the hut owner we were allowed to stay - bed less of course! and all we could think about was our food and lovely warm gear and sleeping bags down below. My usual altitude headache and sickness set in all of a sudden and I doubted I'd be able to go on at all. Tears were coming out my eyes with the pain and nausea and I lay my head on the crowed table and tried to ignore all the sweaty socks left drying out on the table and the nearby Spanish team tucking hungrily into runny omelettes.
After about an hour and several painkillers I was feeling better. We couldn't move from the table in case our places were taken but we were hunted out at dinner time and had to stand outside in the cold.
Finally, 8pm was lights out. This was by far the most insane night I have ever had. There must have been 70 people in the room. Many had sleeping bags and mats but of course we didn't. We begged for food and managed to get some biscuits and water for a mere 50 euro!
I lay on the stool to sleep and some of the lads lay on the table, some were under the table. People were everywhere! Of course we didn't sleep a wink but the whole situation was very entertaining! At 1am shivering with the cold everyone began to stir. At 2am we got some stale bread and hot chocolate, strapped on our crampons and headed out into the night. It was a really beautiful warm night. The trail of head torches ahead of us and the lights from Chamonix below was a really magical sight.
Approaching the Vallot hut we all started to feel cold and headaches began to set in. The Bosses ridge was just as scary as we'd heard. It wasn't just the fact that it was steep and narrow with a sheer drop on either side it was more the trail of people coming down that scared us. There was no where to go! one frightened woman actually grabbed on to my leg as she was passing! I was saying let go let go but she was clinging on for dear life! At this stage we were so unbelievably cold we just wanted to get to the summit so that we could get down as quickly as possible. We finally reached the summit at 8:20am with frozen fingers and toes. We took three summit pictures and then my camera batteries died. We made our way down the mountain as quickly as we could so that we could warm up. At the Vallot hut altitude sickness (or something hit me again). I was so ill, kneeling down on the snow with my head pounding. It was a tough slog back to the Gouter hut. They gave us some plain spaghetti and then we headed all the way back down to Les Houches, back to civilisation. We got there at 8pm dreaming about warm showers and clean clothes only to discover that our hotel was completely locked up with all our stuff inside!
So we were left with only one choice....to stay in our dirty clothes and plastic boots and have some beers in La Christiana.... all in all a great trip!  ;D
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Daisy

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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #21 on: Jul 18 2005, 15:59 »

More pics!
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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #22 on: Jul 19 2005, 03:03 »

 ;D
congratulations! Thanks for the great report and pix! Now your friends will know that a guide is not just for technical climbing, but also for hut information and reservation!

Actually the 2nd time I slept in the Gouter hut, I had reservations, but so many people arrived unannounced that we got 1.5 beds for every 2 reservations!

It's incredible crowded on Mt Blanc in high season, but it is still a pretty mountain with great routes and views.

Thanks again, what are the next plans?
-H
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Mary Clare

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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #23 on: Jul 20 2005, 01:07 »

Hi Daisy

I just wanted to let you know that I truly appreciate reading about your mountaining "adventures".  I also read the posting on your attempt of Aconcagua.  I hope you will go back and make the summit one day.

You have a GREAT attitude and that along with your obvious skills will get you far in your climbing endeavors.  Thank you for your stories and pics.  You are very inspiring and you are helping me to want to start climbing high altitude mountains again.  At present time, I am a "hiker".

I wish you all the best!!!
mc
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Daisy

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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #24 on: Jul 20 2005, 15:12 »

Hi Mary Clare,

Thank you so much for your lovely message! I decided Mt Blanc would be my last test to see how I got on at altitude. I have always suffered badly and this time was no better so I swore I would never, ever EVER again go to high altitude!

Of course, as soon as I got down to sea level and was having a nice cold beer with a South African team I knew I couldn't give it up. Their guide Sean was joking that he gave up mountaineering 6 years ago yet there he was, still climbing. He said when it's in the blood it's in the blood and there's nothing you can do about it ;)

Harry,
As for what's next...? the lads on my team are talking about the Matterhorn. I'm not too sure yet but it will possibly be Russia for me. Time to start scraping together the pennies again!

Two more pics attached..
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Tony J

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Re: Mont Blanc
« Reply #25 on: Jul 25 2005, 20:29 »

Congrats Daisy!  :)

I was up there myself just a few days later, on Sunday 17th, summiting at the unusual time of 1.15pm. We did the Three Monts route, supposed to stay the previous night at the Refuge des Cosmiques but couldn't get up there because of high winds. So we took the first cablecar up to the Aiguille du Midi (about 6.30am) and went straight for the summit. There were quite a few people heading up, but most turned back before the top, so we had the summit to ourselves.
It was quite windy up there though, so we didn't hang around - a group hug and a few pictures later we were on our way back down to the hut for dinner and some well-deserved beers.

A very enjoyable day, and quite straightforward apart from the steep section on Mont Maudit (I'm an atheist but I thanked God for that fixed rope ;D)

This was my 2nd high altitude mountain (after Kilimanjaro 2 years ago), and now I think I'm hooked. Looking at Aconcagua next, time and money permitting...

Tony.
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