Tomorrow I will be off to Chamonix for a week training and climb on Mt. Blanc . I am hoping this course/ climb will permit me to better prepare for my upcoming expedition to Cho Oyu which is starting end August.
My itinerary will be something like this below:
Most commonly we climb the Normal Route via Gouter Hut. On occasions we climb the three Monts route via the Cosmique Hut.
On the Gouter route the main difficulties involves steep rock scrambling (at times on crampons) to get to the Gouter Hut and then the last two hours of the climb require accurate crampon work along the icy summit ridge. The spectacular scenery and final exposed summit ridge makes this the finest snow route in the Alps.
To climb Mont Blanc, previous mountaineering experience is not essential. Nevertheless, training and altitude acclimatisation is required for climbing and descending its glaciers, ice slopes and airy ridges. The program is divided into two halves. The first three days are dedicated to training and acclimatisation, the later three days to climb the peak itself.
Sample Itinerary/ Photo of points:
Arrive in Chamonix. Meet the guides to discuss the week’s plan and to check equipment. Stay overnight in Chamonix.
Climb to the Refuge Albert Premiere (2,706m). The afternoon is spent learning ice axe and crampon techniques on the glacier. Sometimes instead of the Albert Premiere, we use the Orny refuge.
After an early start we ascend the Petite Fourche (3,520m). The climb begins by a glacier trek and finishes on a spectacular granite ridge. On a clear day it is possible to see the Matterhorn in the distance. We then trek over the Swiss border and overnight at the Trient Hut.
Leaving the hut at around 5am we make an ascent of the Aiguille du Tour (3544m) Weather permiting we witness a perfect sunrise. Again, it’s mostly walking on snow with a rocky scramble to a sharp summit. After the ascent we descend to the valley and stay overnight in Chamonix.
After a relaxing morning preparing kit and making last minute purchases, we take the Bellevue cable car to the Col du Voza and the rack and pinion railway to the Nid d’Aigle. From there we reach the Tete Rousse hut in 2 hours of easy walking.
From a 4.00 am start, the attempt on the summit via the Gouter refuge and the Bosses ridge. We should reach the summit in 7-10 hours. Descend the same route all the way back to the Tete Rousse hut.
Descend to Chamonix to celebrate a successful trip. Last night is spent in Chamonix.