The ideal ascent to Mont Blanc entails using the huts of Tête Rousse and Le Goûter. This plan allows us to split the effort in three days, to have a good degree of acclimatization, and to enjoy the wonderful landscapes of the Alps. Furthermore, you avoid having to carry heavy loads, because the huts offer anything you may need for food or hidration (they sell wine and beer, too!!!)
To get to Tête Rousse you have to take the Tramway du Mont Blanc, the oldest cogwheel train in the Alps. You can board it at Saint Gervais, or take it at the Bellevue station, in which case you will take a cable car from Les Houches.
The train stops at the Eagle’s Nest, the terminus, at 2,372 meters. You then walk on easy terrain to Tête Rousse, which stands at 3,200 meters. It will take you between two and three hours. It is an excellent hut, with a nice restaurant y comfortable beds.
The second day begins with the traverse of the infamous Grand Coloir, also known as the “Bowling Alley” (guess what, we are the bowls!!!). This couloir is exposed to rock fall, and several accidents happen here every year. The earlier you cross it, the safer you will be.
We then climb up a beautiful wall to the Le Goûter hut, at about 4,000 meters. The technical sections are equipped with a thick cable, acting as a fixed rope. You should have your harness on, as well as a life line. We recommend wearing thin gloves, as the cable is torn in some places, and could easily cut you. Some times the use of crampons will be advisable, so carry them at hand.
After another night’s rest, we shall start the summit push at five am. We must still climb 800 vertical meters. The terrain is relatively simple, to the extent that some climbers do not wear helmets (we always wear it, safety is first, and also you will look more like a pro in the photos). The main risk is that you could fall in a crevasse or down the ridge, so we will rope up at all times.
The wisest is to reach the summit around nine, so we have ample time to descend to Chamonix that same day. The downclimb follows exactly the same path we have used to the summit. The last train leaves the Eagle’s Nest at six pm.
In Chamonix you will love taking a shower and eating a warm dinner. Do not forget to celebrate with a Mont Blanc beer; it is a wonderful blonde!
The reality is that it is extremely difficult to find a spot in both huts when the good weather is announced. For this reason, in the next blogs we will tell you about alternative plans and routes. You can also contact us at: