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Ascent of Mont Blanc on 2022-07-18

Climber: Harry H

Date:Monday, July 18, 2022
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mont Blanc
    Location:France/Italy
    Elevation:15781 ft / 4810 m

Ascent Trip Report

Took the cable car up to Aiguille du Midi and walked over to Cosmiques Hut. They say it takes 45 minutes, it took about 20, the route was relatively safe except for the start where its a little steep, would recommend ax and crampons, you can rope up if you feel more comfortable, we did.

Cosmiques Hut has dinner from 6:30-8:30pm which is more like it finishes at 8:30pm then breakfast at 1am. If you want to get an early night sleep it may be better to bring dinner up yourself.

We started a bit later around 2:30am after the initial crowd had left. Overall from the hut to the approach of Col du Mont Maudit was relatively straightforward. Up to the col was a bit steeper with a large crevasse which required a reach and large step up. A fixed line was in place which made it a lot simpler and one could climb up and pull the other party up as well if required. I didnt see a need to put in protection up to the col, some others may you can place pickets or possibly rock protection, but the placement locations were a bit out of the way and getting to them would just increase risk for little gain so we just moved up.

From around 4500m upwards was a bit of a slog, as it was a bit steeper and just hard if you haven't acclimatized (Since we only got to the hut the afternoon before and were heavily jetlagged it was quite the slog for us).

Summit was nice with limited wind and very clear.


Descent
We took the Gouter route down (The normal route). It was quite pleasant with no major issue, in fact, it was super mellow in comparison. We decided to stay at Refuge du Gouter as it was around midday and didnt want to the cross the famous Grand Couloir during the middle of the day due to falling rocks.
The next day we headed down and the Falling rocks was not a huge issue, we saw two sets of rocks falling in a 1 hour period, this was about 8am.

A note on the falling rocks.
Many people are told its very dangerous and people should not be climbing due to the falling rocks. When we were here many years ago we were told the same thing. In fact, many people questioned us about it once we got down and even had a guide and reporter ask us questions as they were trying ban climbing due to the falling rocks. But I must say I felt it was a little overrated, especially coming from the Pacific Northeast. Yes, its dangerous and falling rocks are hard to avoid, in addition, the section that has the falling rocks has a lots of loose rocks and thus its a little hard to walk over. So I completely understand why people are very cautious about it, in addition its probably the most dangerous section of the hike given the Normal route is quite simple. So I think its important to know your capabilities and experience and not take unnessesary risks. If you dont know what youre doing consult someone that does, if you still dont feel comfortable hire a guide.

We have been in much worse conditions and felt confident in assessing the situation and determining the risk. Falling rock is always an issue and so is walking on scree. this is the reason we decided to travel when it was cooler as loose rocks are often the cause of ice/snow melting. In addition the section of rock fall is primarily focused on a 30 meter section. You also walk along side the Couloir for quite a while during which we monitored the rockfall and frequency, if we saw a lot of rocks falling continuously we may have changed our minds about crossing luckily we had that option since we were coming down.
We did, however, hear of 2 teams turning around at the Grand Couloir but it wasnt due to the rock fall but more due to the teams ability to walk on loose rocks.



Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Headlamp, Ski Poles, Hut Camp
Ascent Statistics
    Route:3 Monts
Descent Statistics
    Route:Gouter
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Harry H
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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