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 ostarke 04 May 2022

Hello,

I am looking at climbing Mont Blanc and doing tour de Mont Blanc; a lot of friends I have spoken to are too worried to Climb Mont Blanc, so I am looking at doing it solo, or if anyone Is up for it; to join !

Does anyone have any tips or important information on solo climbing Mont Blanc?

it would be very helpful 

14
 Jesse Nagel 04 May 2022
In reply to ostarke:

If you need to ask for tips on solo climbing Mont Blanc you are nowhere near ready to solo climb Mont Blanc. Climb with a guide, or choose another objective. Mont Blanc is a serious mountain and you would run a very significant risk of injury or death if going solo. Your friends are right to be worried. Doing just Tour du Mont Blanc would be a great alternative with a much lower level of risk.

Post edited at 11:40
2
 Mark Haward 04 May 2022
In reply to ostarke:

With no idea of your experience in terms of climbing / mountaineering I would have to echo exactly what jessenagel has said. 

In reply to ostarke:

Book the Goûter hut very early, get fit, get up early and follow the track to the top. Don’t fall off the edge or step in any crevasses 

3
 profitofdoom 04 May 2022
In reply to ostarke:

> Hello,

> I am looking at climbing Mont Blanc and doing tour de Mont Blanc; a lot of friends I have spoken to are too worried to Climb Mont Blanc, so I am looking at doing it solo, or if anyone Is up for it; to join !

> Does anyone have any tips or important information on solo climbing Mont Blanc?

> it would be very helpful 

You have not even said if you are a climber or not 

Or listed any experience 

Please reply answering these first if you really want tips or information 

 subtle 04 May 2022
In reply to profitofdoom:

> You have not even said if you are a climber or not 

Is summiting Mont Blanc not just a walk?

8
 tcashmore 04 May 2022
In reply to ostarke:

0 / 10

3
 wayne1965 04 May 2022
In reply to subtle:

NO ... even getting to the Goûter refuge ... you have to time crossing a stone fall gulley ... where people have been killed or maimed in the past. Even if no real hands on rock climbing, it's high  ~4800m, weather can come and go quickly, there are NOW NEW significant crevasses opened on the normal route.... are perhaps the main points for any solo outings....  fatigue and altitude can knock you down as much as a falling rock .... on your own, you have no one to help you off this v.big hill.

Don't go solo unless you are - very strong, been to 4500m before, have experience of bad weather at >4000m and can handle yourself in all that can bring, know how to navigate in zero visibility, you have good equipment .... not going to a shop and renting everthing!!! 

2
 subtle 04 May 2022
In reply to wayne1965:

> NO ... even getting to the Goûter refuge ... you have to time crossing a stone fall gulley ... where people have been killed or maimed in the past. Even if no real hands on rock climbing, it's high  ~4800m, weather can come and go quickly, there are NOW NEW significant crevasses opened on the normal route.... are perhaps the main points for any solo outings....  fatigue and altitude can knock you down as much as a falling rock .... on your own, you have no one to help you off this v.big hill.

> Don't go solo unless you are - very strong, been to 4500m before, have experience of bad weather at >4000m and can handle yourself in all that can bring, know how to navigate in zero visibility, you have good equipment .... not going to a shop and renting everthing!!! 

Glad I didnt listen to all of the above too seriously on my first time!

Yes, crossing the gully can be a lottery, but so is crossing a busy road.

Mountain weather can sometimes be changeable.

Fatigue and altitude can knock you down, whether solo or in a big group, if solo then there will ALWAYS be another group on the hill, if in serious difficulties after being struck down by fatigue or rock (outwith the gully, hmm) then I am sure they would assist - I know I have assisted parties on the hills.

As for going high straight away it is recommended to do acclimatization first, bad weather is rather more predictable now so may not be there if its that bad  - and as for renting, if they are doing the tour of mont blanc then what would they have to rent apart from maybe crampons and walking axe? As long as they know how to use them?

Or were you being "sensationalist"?

Anyway, will the Mayor's rules not preclude solo attempts anyway?

Post edited at 16:28
12
 John Ww 04 May 2022
In reply to ostarke:

Registered today, first and only (dubious) post, no profile… hmmm 🤔 

1
 wayne1965 04 May 2022
In reply to subtle:

rented crampons ..... are often not maintained ... more for walking on the mer de glace than on a narrowish snow ridge that can often be icy ... one slip and it's a long way down ... people have fallen off that ridge for this reason or simply snagging your trousers!!  ..... If you are booking the Gouter ... it's FULL pretty much all of the main season especially when the weather is good ... you'll not easily be able to change your plans and hence big pressure to go out even if conditions are not ideal.

Going out and saying there'll be other people to help when you get yourself into the shit ... is that really good advice !!?? for someone who sounds like a novice !!??

 wayne1965 04 May 2022
In reply to subtle:

"Anyway, will the Mayor's rules not preclude solo attempts anyway?"

There is/was a police check point just before the couloir crossing.... checking for people dressed as trail runners .... I think you could get by solo .... If pushed, say (lie) your guide is waiting for you at the Gouter... which they do do!

 DaveHK 04 May 2022
In reply to wayne1965:

> There is/was a police check point just before the couloir crossing.... 

Do you know if this this a 24/7 thing?

 Mark Haward 04 May 2022
In reply to subtle:

> Glad I didnt listen to all of the above too seriously on my first time!

Many people don't listen or even bother to find out. Unfortunately whilst the route is technically easy it still requires considerable mountain knowledge, skills, technique and equipment to summit and return safely if done solo. If all is well it can feel very easy, but the number of accidents and deaths would indicate it is not a route to take lightly.

> Yes, crossing the gully can be a lottery, but so is crossing a busy road.

Knowledge can make this a lot safer. For example certain times of day are a lot safer, usually early morning, and certain conditions are safer such as after a good overnight freeze. Having the knowledge and skills to know where to pause safely to assess the crossing, crossing smartly without tripping, where to wait on the far side that is safe, ideally when to time the descent. These reduce the odds considerably in the climbers favour.

> Mountain weather can sometimes be changeable.

Yes, but not only do they need to be able to find and interpret the forecast they need to make their own judgement as the forecast timing is not always 100%. Knowing what wind direction, changes, cloud shapes to look for are important mountaineering skills. The summit area can go from calm to storm very rapidly, knowing about the approaching 'beret' can be a life saver.

> Fatigue and altitude can knock you down, whether solo or in a big group, if solo then there will ALWAYS be another group on the hill, if in serious difficulties after being struck down by fatigue or rock (outwith the gully, hmm) then I am sure they would assist - I know I have assisted parties on the hills.

If the OP is not familiar with the affects of altitude it can be a problem. Decision making can be affected ( for example choosing not to put a warm layer on despite being very cold ) as can  balance where individuals will trip over their own feet especially if not used to walking in crampons. Yes, I would hope other people would help but this cannot be guaranteed. You may not be aware that several individuals have frozen to death on the upper slopes of Mont Blanc, including one I know of whose partner was too debilitated to help but did survive and got back to the Gouter hut alone. The storm was considered too bad for anyone to go out and help the lost climber. The body was recovered later.

> As for going high straight away it is recommended to do acclimatization first, bad weather is rather more predictable now so may not be there if its that bad  - and as for renting, if they are doing the tour of mont blanc then what would they have to rent apart from maybe crampons and walking axe? As long as they know how to use them?

Acclimatisation is not just recommended, for almost everybody it is essential. Does the OP know how to do this, what will work for them. Can they do this solo? This requires some knowledge. Once again, the local forecasts are great but storms can come in faster than people expect and navigation on this route can be extremely challenging in mist / cloud. You are right about knowing how to use crampons and axes, do they have the other equipment such as appropriate clothing etc.?

> Or were you being "sensationalist"?

I'm not sure this was the intention, more just concern for an individual's safety.

> Anyway, will the Mayor's rules not preclude solo attempts anyway?

I don't know. Hopefully if the police meet the OP near the Tete Rousse and they feel they are not adequately equipped or prepared they will turn them around.

2
 Webster 04 May 2022
In reply to subtle:

> Fatigue and altitude can knock you down, whether solo or in a big group, if solo then there will ALWAYS be another group on the hill, if in serious difficulties after being struck down by fatigue or rock (outwith the gully, hmm) then I am sure they would assist - I know I have assisted parties on the hills.

This is an utterly bollocks attitude to have and thing to say and you should be ashamed of yourself.

Anybody not capable of being self sufficient on a mountain should NOT be on a mountain. Unless accompanied by a guide or suitably experienced other person/s...

6
 subtle 04 May 2022
In reply to Webster:

> This is an utterly bollocks attitude to have and thing to say and you should be ashamed of yourself.

> Anybody not capable of being self sufficient on a mountain should NOT be on a mountain. Unless accompanied by a guide or suitably experienced other person/s...

Hahahahahaha - so there should be no need for MR in Britain then and everyone should be self sufficient in times of accidents?

12
 subtle 04 May 2022
In reply to Mark Haward:

Did you mean to type everything in bold?

3
 OP ostarke 04 May 2022
In reply to Jesse Nagel:

thank you for your reply…

looking further into it; I don’t believe I am ready for solo Mont Blanc, I may do some climbing up, but not to summit without a guide or people with me…

tour de Mont Blanc is still on the Itinerary though 

 OP ostarke 04 May 2022
In reply to Tyler:

Thank you…

information online is very contradicting, where some websites and forums are saying/ replying to me saying that not much experience is needed, and others are saying you need a lot.

I am a bit contradicted

 OP ostarke 04 May 2022
In reply to subtle:

Hello,

I am going to try and find a group when I am there, if not I don’t think i am ready to climb the mountain solo

 subtle 04 May 2022
In reply to ostarke:

 Go have fun, enjoy the tour, if you’re not sure then it will always be there another year, with or without others 

1
In reply to Webster:

> This is an utterly bollocks attitude to have and thing to say and you should be ashamed of yourself.

Well said. 

2
 subtle 04 May 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Well said. 

Yawn, are people not allowed to go out onto hills, explore, and gain experience, perhaps even through adversity without having to hire a guide?

Never took you for for taking that train of thought, oh well.

4
In reply to subtle:

> Yawn, are people not allowed to go out onto hills, explore, and gain experience, perhaps even through adversity without having to hire a guide?

Of course they are. I have soloed Mont Blanc by four different routes myself.

I was just agreeing with Webster that letting the likely presence of other people on the route affect your planning is very irresponsible.

Post edited at 23:45
 Mark Haward 05 May 2022
In reply to subtle:

Yes and no. When I first typed the text it didn't look much different from the original I was referring to so I changed it to bold to differentiate the sections more easily. Then , when it came out, the original was clearly different being in italics. Just a mistake...

To the OP:

Hope you have fun and enjoy developing the skills and knowledge to climb Mont Blanc or any other alpine mountain whether with others or by yourself. 

 ExiledScot 05 May 2022
In reply to ostarke:

I'd say go for it, presuming you've got a few seasons in the alps under your belt and say 10 plus successful 4000m summits learning the ropes etc..  

 ExiledScot 05 May 2022
In reply to subtle:

Encouraging those not capable to rely on other groups in the area isn't exactly fair on those groups. 

Once when doing the 3 summits at night there was a soloist loitering with us the whole way, they we clearly not as competent on their feet for soloing maudit which had a steep channel that year wasn't easy and their descending was likely not going to be much better... your brain starts to think do we tie him in but I don't want to be fastened to an incompetent I'm there to climb myself, not work. But also if they fall solo our plan us ruined and I've the guilt of not tying him in.

Low experience climbers are safer soloing a lot 3000m and other 4000m peaks first, if that's their thing. You wouldn't recommend a novice Diff climber to go solo on idwal slabs just because there will be others there to pick up the pieces. Whilst many are fortunate, people die on MB every year. 

Post edited at 08:00
 Enty 05 May 2022
In reply to ostarke:

I won't say "go for it" because you've already admitted that you might not be ready for it but I did it solo for my 50th birthday in 2018. My first 4000m peak and the second best climbing day in my 35 year climbing life.
If I'd listened to all the advice I wouldn't have done it.

E

In reply to John Ww:

Maybe OP joined here specifically to get an answer to this question from people who've been up it

Personally: I'd say that Gouter route is a walk...  ...  well ... until it isn't!

Quite probably it will only be a walk and we'll get more comments here like "I used the Gouter route on date xxxx and it was easy", but possibly on the day it will not be only a walk. (where "walk" involves walking in crampons, competence at ice axe self arrest and walking in possible knife edge ridge sections depending on the shape of the Bosses at the time (huge drop to Italy) with 1,000 others clambering past in both directions grumbling about crowds

So should OP attempt this on the basis that maybe 9 times out of 10 it'll be a "walk"? and 1/10 it'll be something more. If OP isn't happy to handle more than a walk I'd say this is roulette with a 1/10 change of getting shot. If OP can handle more than a walk then all will be good but unlikely to have joined here to ask the question if that was the case.

 OP ostarke 05 May 2022
In reply to CantClimbTom:

Hello, thank you for your help.

I have done previous hikes and climbs, but none to this degree; but I have felt very comfortable doing the following. I have climbed Ben Nevis, Aonach Eagach, and I also managed to walk around the whole of Sardegna, whilst also climbing Punta La Marmora. 

Whilst I was up Aonach Eagach we ran into some pretty brutal weather in regards to our safety, to the point where we couldn't even see. On top of that, unfortunately, one of our climbing mates was stuck on a ridge because he was having a panic attack from the climb and its conditions. I managed to go an alternative face of the rock, down, and around behind him to help him out; I was using ice picks and crampons, which felt comfortable to use.

From this, I feel like I could be comfortable to climb, if not some, of Mont Blanc? Being the internet, there is always opinions from both ends of the spectrum regarding my question though.

And I appreciate your message

In reply to ostarke:

Now you've clarified that, on the **assumption** you are happy/experienced walking in crampons and ice axe arrest on The Ben etc ..

There is a possibility, no guarantees!! that you can tag along with another group on the summit day. Depends on how charming you are, lady luck, and try not to look like someone who trips over in crampons!! try not to look like a serial killer - it could work out nicely.

Edit, as long as you have fitness, skill, experience in the less likely, but equally quite possible event it isn't all just "walking"

Go for it

Post edited at 10:38
 Webster 05 May 2022
In reply to ostarke:

even if you have the competence to simply not fall off the mountain while walking in crampons (which i am not convinced of... just bacause you have done 2 or 3 Scottish mountains, you might have got lucky), the fact remains that the entire summit day is on glacial terrain, somewhere where nobody should be going unroped without the suitable experience to read the lay of the land and make sensible descisions. and that is experience which you certainly dont have!

yes its a busy, well trodden 'path', but most of the ascent is done in the dark, and there will be places where the bootpack branches, and indeed places where you can easily lose it. falling into a crevase is a very real risk in any season, but even more so now after the really dry winter we have had.

 montyjohn 05 May 2022
In reply to ostarke:

I don't think this thread is all that useful. A bunch of people either saying "ye go for it" or "don't do it you don't have the experience". Whilst there is some really good information here, there's a bit of a elitist superiority tone to a lot of the responses.

No offence ostarke, but you are just one person, and since this is on the internet, it's legacy is probably more important as it could affect the decisions of dozens of others.

I think a better approach is just to ask a series of questions (add to the list if I've missed anything).

  • Are you comfortable navigating in the dark or in a white out on a mountain?
  • Do you have the gear to sustain -20 degree temperatures with wind?
  • Do you know how to interpret the weather and know what you're comfortable summiting in?
  • If not soloing, do you know how to ascend a rope, create anchors and set up a pulley crevasse rescue (and be practices in it)?
  • Can you read a crevasse and know the best route through?
  • Are you aware where serac or rockfall areas are and comfortable protecting yourself if you get trapped in a rockfall event?
  • Do you know how to and practiced in self arrest?
  • Are you comfortable hiking in crampons all day, on different terrains not catching your trousers and making every step solid?
  • Are you comfortable and practiced in scrambling on really exposed wet and icy rocks with no protection (doesn't really matter if you are soling or not)?
  • Are you planning on acclimatising first and would you recognise the symptoms of altitude sickness and respond correctly?

If the answer is yes to all the above, you surely know the risk and can decide for yourself whether to go or not.

1
 ExiledScot 05 May 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

I suspect most didn't answer seriously because it's not impossible the op is trolling. 

2
 wayne1965 05 May 2022
In reply to DaveHK:

Police check point would only be in the main tourist season = July/Aug from first train to last train times ... probably less often ... like no checks in foul weather

 montyjohn 05 May 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

> I suspect most didn't answer seriously because it's not impossible the op is trolling. 

I appreciate that, but I think creating useful content for others is possibly more important than weeding out trolls.

 ExiledScot 05 May 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

Good point, well presented! 

 wilkesley 05 May 2022
In reply to ostarke:

IIn addition to all the other things commented on above I would recommend taking something like a Garmin eTrex to log your route between the Gouter and the summit. The upper part of Mont Blanc is quite featureless and there are a lot of tracks that don't lead back to the Gouter. If the weather turns bad and there is no visibility it's much easier to retrace your route using a GPS track.

 OP ostarke 05 May 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

No, I am not a troll; I’m just a new , curious climber who is asking some questions on a climbing page…

 OP ostarke 05 May 2022
In reply to wilkesley:

Thank you !

I will look into getting one 

 ExiledScot 05 May 2022
In reply to ostarke:

I'm not suggesting ticking off a big hill isn't gratifying, but you don't want it to be your last for the sake of a few years more experience.

MB is pretty dull in the big scheme of things, there are 100s of nicer hills, more interesting routes, safer approaches and better huts through out the alps at 3 and 4000m, where you'll likely have a far more enjoyable time. Don't get drawn by the headline summits, or when you do climb them by better lines and use the easy route for descent. 

 OP ostarke 05 May 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

Thank you for this message, it has been really helpful ; you are right, some  people are being elitist on this forum unfortunately.

But I will keep all of this in mind for when I make the decision to make the climb !

Id like to be in contact with you some more regarding all this, because it seems you are helpful and an experienced climbed !

 OP ostarke 05 May 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

Hello,

Do you have any recommendations of some nicer places to climb in the alps ?

id like to make a plan of some of them !

I am in the Alps for 3 weeks 

 C Witter 05 May 2022
In reply to ostarke:

If you go alone, these are the sort of hazards you might have to deal with on your own:

youtube.com/watch?v=xNRkImOHkb8&

1
 ExiledScot 05 May 2022
In reply to ostarke:

Good beginners 4000m hills could be castor, bishorn, weismiess in Switzerland. Loads of easy 3000m stuff around MB from huts such as albert premier hut, or Dômes de Miage an easy 4000m top, but you really need to be roped up for glacier travel on most of these.

There's masses of info online, join a uk club as many have alpine trips too. 

 montyjohn 05 May 2022
In reply to C Witter:

> If you go alone, these are the sort of hazards you might have to deal with on your own:

I don't think rockfall discriminates to be honest.

I'd like to know what time of day this was. It looks to be in the shade on a sunny day and the Grand Couilar points west so it should have been a fairly safe time. Unless it's close to mid-day so the peak is exposed.

 C Witter 05 May 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

It doesn't discriminate, but if I got hit with a rock I'd rather have a partner there to help get me off the hill.

 montyjohn 05 May 2022
In reply to C Witter:

This is true. Although I think with all dangers, a partner an only make things safer (unless your partner is the hazard)

 DaveHK 05 May 2022
In reply to wayne1965:

> Police check point would only be in the main tourist season = July/Aug from first train to last train times ... probably less often ... like no checks in foul weather

So if I was to head past in my trainers about 1am in the morning I'd be unlikely to face a challenge? Asking for a friend.  

 mcawle 05 May 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

Dômes de Miage isn't 4000m, or have I misunderstood your post?

 ExiledScot 05 May 2022
In reply to mcawle:

> Dômes de Miage isn't 4000m, or have I misunderstood your post?

You're correct, for some reason I was thinking about the height of Aiguille de Bionnassay, whilst typing Miage! 

 wercat 05 May 2022
In reply to DaveHK:

> Do you know if this this a 24/7 thing?

you need to ask off-duty (in french)

 OP ostarke 05 May 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

I am going to look into Dômes de Miage, this looks like a more suitable route for my experience ! thank you for the suggestion 

 OP ostarke 05 May 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

That is very true, I don't want my first big one to be my last, I am still young, I have plenty of time to climb it; its not like it is going anywhere haha

 Enty 05 May 2022
In reply to C Witter:

That one on the back of the neck looked like it stung a bit. Was that the reason why she didn't leg it when it stopped?

E

 CRISTEA 10 May 2022
In reply to ostarke:

There's some big naysayers in this group BOYYYY! 

So let me give my 2 cents on attempting to solo Mont Blanc in 2016 without any Alpine experience.

I was in the same situation as you, something posest me to do it. In a shit period of my life the thought of this MOTIVATED me, and like you I didn't have anyone to do it with and didn't have any money to do a mountaineering course or hire a guide. This whole forum keeps screaming "get a guide, do a course, have experience", but some people don't understand that not everyone has the availability or the money, and my position at the time was; save up and wait 2 years or go in the first season and prepare before hand as best I could.

My personal mantra on the mountain was "I'll go as much as I can and when I'm really out of my comfort zone I promise I'll turn back". And so I went.

Long story short I went up to the base of the bosses ridge, around 4700m I believe. Altitude sickness got to me bad and I started to trip a lot, so I turned back.One hour later I was behind a father and son that were roped up in front of me, crossing a fairly sharp ridge. The father slipped and went down the ridge fast, the son hadn't even noticed. The father I assume also panicked, because he didn't self-arrest. I dived in the snow and forced my ice axe in with one arm and grabbed the rope with the other, holding on for dear life hoping it's gonna be enough to stop the fall. And it did. I saved his life and his sons, me, a guy with no experience that was reading these forums before attempting MB and having all the naysayers in my own head the whole way. I'm still friends with the father and son to this day by the way.

I went back a year later with a couple of mates and summited MB. After this I did a couple of 4k's that don't cross glaciers solo, did several other 4 and 5ks with friends and one day I'll so the 7 summits, all because I don't listen to keyboard warriors and naysayers.

Obviously it's a dangerous mountain with a ton of objective dangers, and yes you'll be at risk going there, anyone stepping on that mountain is. You need to be prepared, and nothing is going to guarantee that you won't get hurt, but that applies to absolutely everyone. It's your choice, but whatever you do, believe first and foremost in yourself man, in your own head your the only voice that has a godamn say.

6
 OwenM 10 May 2022
In reply to ostarke:

> Hello,

> Do you have any recommendations of some nicer places to climb in the alps ?

> id like to make a plan of some of them !

> I am in the Alps for 3 weeks 

Arolla or Zinal are both much nicer valley's with stacks of peaks around to do. They are in Switzerland so a bit expensive but you can camp to keep costs down. La Berarde in the Ecrins is another area you could look at. 

 OwenM 10 May 2022
In reply to ostarke:

> I am going to look into Dômes de Miage, this looks like a more suitable route for my experience ! thank you for the suggestion 

This is a better route than from the French side but the crevasses are serious, I wouldn't recommend soloing it. You really do want to be roped up on this one.    

 ExiledScot 10 May 2022
In reply to CRISTEA:

Sometimes folk just get lucky, over 100 have died in the last 30 years just getting to the hut, you were lucky not to watch a father drag his son to his death. 

I'd prefer to discourage the incompetent, rather than encourage them to risk their life, it's only a hill. 

1
In reply to ExiledScot:

> MB is pretty dull in the big scheme of things, there are 100s of nicer hills, more interesting routes, safer approaches and better huts through out the alps at 3 and 4000m, where you'll likely have a far more enjoyable time. Don't get drawn by the headline summits, or when you do climb them by better lines and use the easy route for descent. 

All true and the advice I'd give back in time to my 18 year old self, but maybe you've got to do one classic (i.e. swarming with people) "big" snow plod and get it out of the way, to understand how true that is

 ExiledScot 11 May 2022
In reply to CantClimbTom:

I guess, you don’t know better until you've got something to compare with. Better to learn the lesson fastened on a rope, rather than soloing MB as a novice. I've probably done two thirds or more of 4000ers, many multiple times via different routes, many more 3000ers. I'm now extremely wary of any extended glacier travel solo in summer, days and nights are warmer, bridges thinner, winter snows melting earlier in the season, wide crevasses in places you wouldn't normally expect them, it's a lottery I'm not prepared to gamble on anymore, traditionally safe lines of passage just aren't anymore.

 subtle 11 May 2022
In reply to CRISTEA:

> Long story short I went up to the base of the bosses ridge, around 4700m I believe. Altitude sickness got to me bad and I started to trip a lot, so I turned back.One hour later I was behind a father and son that were roped up in front of me, crossing a fairly sharp ridge. The father slipped and went down the ridge fast, the son hadn't even noticed. The father I assume also panicked, because he didn't self-arrest. I dived in the snow and forced my ice axe in with one arm and grabbed the rope with the other, holding on for dear life hoping it's gonna be enough to stop the fall. And it did. I saved his life and his sons, me, a guy with no experience that was reading these forums before attempting MB and having all the naysayers in my own head the whole way. I'm still friends with the father and son to this day by the way.

I think they are making a remake of Vertical Limit, the screen writers may contact you 

 subtle 11 May 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

> Good beginners 4000m hills could be castor, bishorn, weismiess in Switzerland.

Allalinhorn as a starter surely if in Switzerland

In reply to ExiledScot:

> Sometimes folk just get lucky, over 100 have died in the last 30 years just getting to the hut.

I wonder what proportion of people going to the hut that is? Is it actually more dangerous than other places on routes with far fewer people crossing (ie it is certainly a big issue for the Gendarmerie and so on, but is it actually such a big issue for the individual? It may well be - just wondering).

 ExiledScot 11 May 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

I'm speculating that it must see 10,000 run the gauntlet annually, hut capacity multiplied by a 90 day season would give a minimum number. I'm not certain on number of bed spaces, I hate the concept of that hut, never even stepped in the door (mountaineering snobbery?!), I've come down there several times, but ideally as early as possible. 

In reply to ExiledScot:

> I'm speculating that it must see 10,000 run the gauntlet annually, hut capacity multiplied by a 90 day season would give a minimum number. 

Yes, that was my estimate, so 300,000 in 30 years giving a 1 in 3000 chance of death for an individual ascent. I'm now not sure whether that sounds bad or not too bad. And how it compares with other places one runs the gauntlet.

 ExiledScot 11 May 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Yes, that was my estimate, so 300,000 in 30 years giving a 1 in 3000 chance of death for an individual ascent. I'm now not sure whether that sounds bad or not too bad. And how it compares with other places one runs the gauntlet.

It's not the best is it. What we need now is a graph plotting best and worst time to cross, early season, late season... science the f out of it and you'll feel safe to pause for a brew midway... well maybe not! 

In reply to ExiledScot:

> It's not the best is it. What we need now is a graph plotting best and worst time to cross, early season, late season... science the f out of it and you'll feel safe to pause for a brew midway... well maybe not! 

It's a long time since I have crossed it (so maybe it's got a lot worse) but my memory is of how excruciatingly slowly a lot of people were crossing (they might as well have stopped for a brew) when it is a clearly a place where you absolutely leg it.

 ExiledScot 11 May 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> It's a long time since I have crossed it (so maybe it's got a lot worse) but my memory is of how excruciatingly slowly a lot of people were crossing (they might as well have stopped for a brew) when it is a clearly a place where you absolutely leg it.

I would agree, I blame all the path builders, moving quickly over broken ground, boulder fields, traversing scree is a lost art. A quick break before the dangerous section to refresh the legs then go for it, max effort. 

 montyjohn 11 May 2022
In reply to ostarke:

> Id like to be in contact with you some more regarding all this, because it seems you are helpful and an experienced climbed !

I've possibly over sold myself then. I wouldn't describe myself as an experienced mountaineer. I'd like to be helpful tho' so if you have any question fire them through.

 Mark Haward 11 May 2022
In reply to ostarke:

You may find this article helpful for your future attempts:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/destinations/how_to_climb_mont_blanc_-_the_two_easiest_routes-5784

However, bear in mind that, as others have said, conditions constantly change on the route and currently the crevasses on the Bosses Ridge have opened up considerably. At the moment the Chamonix Mountain Guides are recommending two axes be used for that section at the moment.


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