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Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc

Postby Tonnystark » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:49 am

Hi All, I'm going to be hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc this June and would love to climb Mont Blanc on the Router Route. The only issue is that I have pretty limited experience (Rainier but guided, Mt. Adams SSpur, MSH Worm Flows, winter ascents in the Whites & Katahdin) and will be going by myself. Should I take a crevasse class first and wait on it? Or hire a guide? My only caveat with hiring a guide is that I can't seem to find any programs that aren't five days long and therefore pretty pricey. Are there some other, less technical summits I should try instead? Thanks!
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Re: Mont Blanc

Postby walkingpoles » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:05 pm

I haven't climbed Mt Blanc. But I climbed (and guided on) other 4000m peaks in the Alps.

Going without rope on a glacier is a bad idea. I assume that you can see a lot of bad stuff on the Gouter Route, but that doesn't mean that you should join in. Bring a friend along or pay somebody. And don't be one of them: https://www.petzl.com/fondation/projets/accidents-couloir-gouter?language=en

I often venture solo in the Alps, but having felt the void under my feet on a glacier more than once (roped up), I am really careful with glaciers and consider the ones high up no-go-zones when soloing.
Check out the prices for private tours. I just organised one in the Alps and it was cheaper than the official guided group tours (which take a day longer and climb some more peaks). With a guide you might also have the possibility to climb Mt Blanc on a more interesting route with less people.
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Re: Mont Blanc

Postby prog99 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:15 pm

Mont Buet on the other side of the valley is 3000m and non technical. Great views, easy access and will probably still have snow on it. Its by no means a mountaineering challenge but I've done the circuit with Cheval Blanc a few times and thoroughly enjoyed it.
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Re: Mont Blanc

Postby simcc » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:37 pm

Shame it's June you're planning for. I'm still on the lookout for a partner for the end of August for Mont Blanc.
see: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=86229
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Re: Mont Blanc

Postby gaffr » Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:34 am

The reason for the guides having deals over a few days is probably to make sure that you have practised the skills for moving together while roped up, moving with crampons on etc. and the techniques of recovery from say a crevasse.
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Re: Mont Blanc

Postby dav2930 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:07 pm

gaffr wrote:The reason for the guides having deals over a few days is probably to make sure that you have practised the skills for moving together while roped up, moving with crampons on etc. and the techniques of recovery from say a crevasse.

Also for purposes of acclimatization; something that needs to be taken seriously on MB.
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Re: Mont Blanc

Postby Veryhappybunny » Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:18 pm

Friends of mine have used Kathy Murphy several times and found her very good. She is based in Chamonix. Details at https://www.chamonix.net/english/generic/Kathy-Murphy-Mountain-Guide-Chamonix/32
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Re: Mont Blanc

Postby Sack the Juggler » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:39 pm

The Gouter route is fairly straight forward for most of the way, but there are problems areas, particularly the dome. People have died there either from falling into crevasses or freezing to death when the weather closes in. The mountain claims many lives each year.

Its still a spectacular climb though but I'd definitely recommend going with a guide, knowing how to use crampons and an ice axe, and preferably doing some acclimatisation climbs.

Also, its a long walk in and out, you won't be able to do it all in once day, you will need to bunk at the Gouter hut. The new one was still being built when we climbed it, it looks spectacular.
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Re: Mont Blanc

Postby Msp1987 » Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:00 pm

Sounds like you have good experience all ready. Why not find a partner rather pay for a guide? We used the BMC Alpine Skills DVD to learn the theory of crevasse rescue and hired a guide for one day to go through the practicalities of crevasse rescue. We then climbed Mont Blanc by ourselves.
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Re: Mont Blanc

Postby Riverman » Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:26 pm

If you're doing the TMB you'll be physically warmed up for doing something extra but arguably not properly acclimitised. I don't think the TMB goes much above 2600m and I would have thought you'd want to do another summit around 3500-3800m (or at least have spent a night sleeping above 3000m) as acclimitisation before attempting Mont Blanc. If you really want to climb Mt Blanc though, I wouldn't dream of attempting without a partner who also knows what they're doing or a guide.

If it were me though I'd be thinking about doing something like Petit Mont Blanc from the Val Veny as an off trail detour during the TMB (though in June I expect you may still find snow below the Petit Mont Blanc bivouac hut). I think that something like this would be more feasible solo. There are lots of nice, non-technical options up to around 3000m on both sides of the massif.
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Re: Mont Blanc

Postby seanboylan » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:04 am

I went to Mont Blanc September last year I climbed as far as the gouter hut the altitude seriously weakened me and was able to go no further, you need to acclimatise 100% it’s also very dangers especially the grand corridor with rock fall, also the climb from the tete rousse to the gouter hut is very challenging steep climbing for 2-3 hours take a guide and get fit I have the number for a guide who is very reliable if you need it. I want to go again this year and try again.
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