There are two relatively easy routes to Mont Blanc summit: one leading through Goûter hut (the one we offer), and a longer, more challenging and dangerous route through Cosmique refuge.
To get to the beginning of our route we will take an hour-long cable-way ride from Lafayette or St-Gervais stations (at an elevation of 800 m) to the last station of Nid d`Aigle (at 2372 m). Then will follow a 2–2,5 hours’ hike to the glacier Tete Rousse. As a rule the first night will be spend in Tete Rousse refuge or in tents.
Next day we will climb through the glacier to Grand coloir, cross it and climb to the old Goûter hut. This climb to the elevation of 3817 m from Tete Rousse will take two to four hours, with the trail consisting partially of regular rocks, and equipped with steel-wire rope for belay on several sections. This climb technically is not challenging but pretty exhausting. After getting to the refuge, we may take an acclimatization climb to an elevation of 3900–4000m.
Summiting Mont Blanc
If the weather and the trail’s condition are good, we will start at 3 or 3:30 AM after a breakfast at 2 AM. Crampons should be fastened on from the very beginning. The trail is passing by a broad snowy ridge, then by a closed glacier to bypass crevasses (moving in roped parties for two hours) heading towards the top of Goûter hut and further up to Vallo hut (a French astronomer, who built an observatory there, at an elevation of 4300m). Then the trail is passing by steep snowy slopes and ridges to the beautiful and impressive ridge preceding the summit. From that point there is 2 to 4 hours’ climb to the summit. The descent to Goûter hut will take 2–3 hours.
Technically this route is not very challenging but it is very long, with an altitude gain of over 1000m. Climbers with good physical fitness can pass the section of the route from cable-way station to Goûter hut (at 3800m) in one day. Another way to start the ascent is from Tete Rousse (at 3150m), with altitude gain of 1700m, and with duration of the ascent 7–12 hours, followed by a 6–8 hours’ descent back to Tete Rousse.