/ Mont Blanc solo.
I'm looking for advice.
I'm going to st gervaise. Late jan 2014. Whilst there. I'm looking at using time on slopes to acclimatise my body. And trek up Mont Blanc.
1, is it possible to do within 24 hours.
2, advice on doing it solo.
3, is the gouter route from chamonix, a good choce? In that is it more of a hike than climb?
I soloed the gouter route 14 years ago and there are no technical difficulties. Probably the grand couloir being the crux in as far as it can chuck a lot of boulders down at you, but its not that wide and can be quickly crossed. After that its a scramble up to the hut itself. I bivvied behind the hut but I believe you may not be allowed to do this now. I'm sure others will advise on this. I only had one day aclimitising on the petite aguille verte beforehand. I met plenty with huge packs carrying way too much kit. Good luck.
"Trek"? "Hike"? "Climb"? In January?
It's certainly possible to *ski* Mont Blanc in January. But walk up it? Almost certainly not.
Possible, sure. Advisable, absolutely not.
None of the locals get anywhere near Mont Blanc on ski before late April at the earliest (usually more like mid-May). And only a fool would try to walk up there in winter. Deep snow, crazy avalanche risk, very low temps.
My girlfriend works at Snell and sees people like you (OP) a couple of times every week of the winter. They come in various states of unpreparedness, usually don't even own crampons or touring skis, and sometimes haven't even checked the weather forecast. She manages to talk most out of it, but some actually try. They usually turn around very quickly when they realize what it really entails. And then, a few die every year, stupidly.
Holy s..t just noticed the January bit lol. June!!!
In January it will be around -30 deg C on the summit. Wait till April/May then ski tour it or wait till summer...
I have soloed the Gouter in July. Was enjoyable and being alone added something to the experience/made it more interesting as a route. But I was extremely well acclimatised and knew most of the route in advance (having crossed over from Italy with a friend a few days before).
I second the others in saying it would be dangerous and daft to try this in January. Especially on your own. It will be very cold and the snow will be too deep.
Come back in the summer. Do not do this in January.
You are Andy Kirkpatrick and I claim my £5
I found the scramble up the side of the Grande Couloir to be much more dangerous than the 20 second jog across it. It seemed relatively easy to listen for rockfall and run across when it went quiet. Perhaps we were lucky.
From St. Gervais? In January? Without skis? No.
If you have to ask, don't do it.
In January the route from St Gervais to the bottom of Grand Couloir is not a hike. It's not a climb. It's a Russian roulette played by avalanches.
Elsewhere on the site
A fantastically versatile little pack; whether out running in the hills, hitting the trails on the bike or just running for the... Read more
Pete Whittaker has flashed the 32 pitch route Freerider 5.12d on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley over three days,... Read more
Last year, Finn McCann wrote an article about climbing El Capitan with his terminally ill father Seamus, who had been... Read more
Manchester Climbing Centre is showing Reel Rock’s Valley Uprising on Tuesday the 11th of November at... Read more