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Mont Blanc or The White Mountain!

Mont Blanc is in the Haute Savoie region of France and is also in the Aosta Valley region of Italy.

Chamonix is situated at the foot of Mont Blanc on the French side and Courmayeur is situated at the foot of the mountain on the Italian side.

Linking the two towns of Chamonix and Courmayeur and in fact the two countries is the Mont Blanc tunnel. The Mont Blanc tunnel is 11.611 kilometres long and runs directly through the mountain range. There is also the Aiguille du Midi cable car and the Punta Helbronner cable car which link the two resorts.

Mont blanc Chamonix

The first recorded ascent known on Mont Blanc is by Jacques Balmat and Doctor Michel Paccard on the 8th of August 1786. The first women to ascend was Marie Paradis in 1808.

Climbing the White Giant!

The most popular climbing route to summit Mont blanc is the Gouter Route which is from the French side of the mountain.

Gouter Route

The Gouter Route is the most popular route to climb Mont Blanc.

The route starts from Les Houches and from here you need to take the Bellevue cable car.

From the top of the cable car you then need to take the Tramway du Mont Blanc train. The tramway actually runs from St Gervais railway station which is also know as Le Fayet station. The train will take you to Nid d’Aigle which is at 2372m.

The first section of the route is fairly straight forward and is easy walking terrain. The pace is gentle enough to allow you to soak up the views without having to worry about any technical sections. Once you reach the Tete Rousse refuge its nearly time to cross the Grand Couloir. You have to be focused here as rock fall from above is common so you need to keep watch.

From here you will need to make it to the Gouter refuge hut. This is an altitude increase of around 1445 from the Nid d’Aigle and will take roughly 4 - 5 hours. The refuge is approximately 3800m.

After you leave the Gouter Hut the rest of the way is glaciated under foot and crampons must be wore at all times.

From here it’s again not particularly difficult, just a long slog on not that steep ground.

On the ascent you will pass the Vallot hut and then make your way across the Bosses ridge.

Once the summit is reached you can choose how to get back down. You can either take the same route back or you can head to the Aiguille du Midi and take the cable car down.

All great - Thanks!!

Gary Pooley