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Ascent of Mont Blanc on 2011-07-18

Climber: Peter Stone

Others in Party:Euan Whittaker
Nick Asher
Date:Monday, July 18, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mont Blanc
    Location:France/Italy
    Elevation:15781 ft / 4810 m

Ascent Trip Report

Expertly guided by Euan Whittaker & Martin Moran as part of a fortnight in the Alps. As is generally recommended our climb followed ascents of several other 4,000 metre peaks in the previous week to aid fitness and acclimatisation.

It was a snatched ascent between snow storms via the Goûter route and success seemed improbable at many stages. The tramway to Nid d'Aigle wasn't running because of the bad weather so we had to walk all the way up from Bellevue in horizontal snow. We opted to stay at the Tête Rousse Hut in each direction as it's less crowded and more conducive to sleep than the Goûter Hut.

The usual early alpine start ensured that the Goûter Ridge was frozen and less prone to rockfall and after slow but steady progress, with brief respites from the exposure at the Goûter and Vallot Huts, we eventually reached the summit at about 10:30, where the temperature was minus 12 °C with wind speeds of up to 60 km/h (so wind-chill & spindrift a problem). Fantastic views, a true sense of being on top of the world and no other climbers on the peak! Co-summitted with Euan and Nick Asher, unfortunately our fellow climber Neil Norris was forced to turn back at the Vallot Hut with an asthma attack.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
On the summit of Mont Blanc (2011-07-18). Photo by Peter Stone.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:9875 ft / 3009 m
    Total Elevation Loss:7999 ft / 2438 m
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Guide, Hut Camp
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:9875 ft / 3009 m
    Route:Goûter
    Start Trailhead:Bellevue  5906 ft / 1800 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:7999 ft / 2438 m
    Route:Goûter
    End Trailhead:Nid d'Aigle  7782 ft / 2371 m



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