/ NEW ARTICLE: BMG Route Card: Ski Ascent - Mont Blanc

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UKC Articles - on 06 Jun 2011
The summit of Mont Blanc, 4 kbBritish Mountain Guide Jim Blyth takes us up Mont Blanc - on skis!

"Mont Blanc has claims to being the highest, one of the most beautiful and most committing of ski peaks in Europe. To ski it safely and enjoyably one needs all the skills and tools of the experienced ski mountaineer. Clipping into bindings on the summit and then admiring your tracks from the café terrace in Chamonix is wonderful. Everything in between is too!"

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=3795

Morgan Woods - on 06 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

good stuff - out of curiosity how busy does the route get with skiers?
Tom Hutton - on 06 Jun 2011
In reply to Morgan Woods: Was seriously busy last time I tried it by this route - May 2009. A constant stream of headlamps heading up to the Grands Mulets ridge.

Anyone any experience of trying it as a 3 day route by skiing Grands Mulet to Gouter Hut (unmanned in Winter) and then a shorter summit day?
stevev on 06 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: i couldnt find a route card in that article. Anyone found the link
craigloon - on 06 Jun 2011
In reply to stevev:

errr, the article is the route card?
stevev on 06 Jun 2011
> errr, the article is the route card?
really, I was expecting a map or topo with a description of the route, not a diary of someones ascent.


Dave Rumney - on 07 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:
Interesting. I read another article on this recently that advised leaving skis at Vallot, although it would be more satisfying to have skied down from the top.
Dave Kerr - on 08 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Anyone know if this route would be worthwhile in mid July? Or would it be a bit cack by then?
francoisecall - on 08 Jun 2011
In reply to Dave Kerr: Many locals would not go up via Grand Mulets in any season!
gdp - on 09 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:
Many non locals wouldn't go up by the Grand Mulets either, however the route described is pretty popular whether you live in the valley or not.

Wouldn't think it would be too much fun in July, mainly because the Jonction and below will probably not be skiable, much of the joy of the route is going from summit to beer in the valley in a few hours! 3 Monts there and back would probably be a better bet, though I doubt the final climb up to the midi would be much fun...
Dave Rumney - on 11 Jun 2011
In reply to francoisecall:
OK, Why is that then?
Is there a better way up on ski's? From memory, the Grand Mulet approach is the only marked ski route up Mont Blanc on the map.


thanks,
Dave
jon on 11 Jun 2011
In reply to Dave Rumney:

I don't think Francoise noticed that the route Jim has described misses out the dangerous part of the Grands Mulets by taking the North Ridge of the Dome du Gouter. The only time I've done MB on skis, I went the true Grands Mulets way and was very conscious of the serac danger on the Petit Plateau. Sometime afterwards several people were wiped out by a huge serac fall, I believe - though I'm not sure - that they were descending, maybe on skis. How unlucky can you be? Francoise is right however to point out that the true GMs route is very dangerous.
Dave Rumney - on 13 Jun 2011
In reply to jon:
So do you think it just goes more or less straight across from the hut to get on the North Ridge?
Just looking at a photo's I took of MB from Aiguilles Rouges last summer and the route to get from Aiguilles Plan to the Grands Mulets hut looks fairly complicated and dangerous.
jon on 13 Jun 2011
In reply to Dave Rumney:
> (In reply to jon)
> So do you think it just goes more or less straight across from the hut to get on the North Ridge?

Yes, across and up. It obviously depends on conditions, glacier etc. Also of the state of the ridge which can be icy.

> Just looking at a photo's I took of MB from Aiguilles Rouges last summer and the route to get from Aiguilles Plan to the Grands Mulets hut looks fairly complicated and dangerous.

It is. It's called la Jonction. However, whenever I've been through it (once on skis and a couple of times in descent on foot), it's passed remarkably easily - though dangerously. In the summer the slope between the hut and the junction can be very crevassed. I've seen long ladders in place, in the past.

Dave Rumney - on 13 Jun 2011
In reply to jon:

Thanks Jon - food for thought.

I think the idea of ski mountaineering up MB is starting to become a bit less appealing to me.
John W - on 13 Jun 2011
In reply to Dave Rumney:

An ascent and ski descent of MB featured in an episode of "High Altitude" with Graham Bell and Noel Baxter (2009 I think) - they sacked it.
Dave Rumney - on 13 Jun 2011
In reply to John W:
Oh yes, I saw it now you mention it. One of them tried to go straight up there from sea level as I remember which made him quite ill (obviously).
I have a vague recollection they might have tried to go up from Italy somewhere. Would that be possible?

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