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Mont Blanc - Monte Bianco // How to climb the Italian route

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 Encalomer 09 Jul 2021

Hi!

Here I'm sharing our video-documentary on the Italian route to the Mont Blanc:

youtube.com/watch?v=ubuy2dcF1og& 

The Monte Bianco (in Italian) or the Mont Blanc (in French), with 4,810m altitude, is the highest mountain in the Alps. In summer it is a very busy mountain, mainly for being the highest alpine peak but also because it is a stunning peak. But do not get confused because of the high number of mountaineers that come here to try to leave their tracks on its summit: this is not an easy climb, neither physically, nor technically.

There are several “normal” routes to climb the Mont Blanc: two of them start from the French side (the Goûter route and the “Trois Monts route&rdquo and another one from the Italian side. In June 2021 we climb the Italian route to the Monte Bianco.

Our route to the Monte Bianco is organized in three days: the first day we climb form the bottom of the Val Veny (1,526m) to the Gonella Refuge (3,071m), where we spend the night. The second day we climb 1,700 metres to reach the summit of Monte Bianco. And from there, we go back to the Gonella Refuge. And the third day we return to the Val Veny.

The Italian route is the wildest, the most remote and the least busy of the normal routes to the Monte Bianco. This is also the longest route because in the Italian side there are not lifts that helps you climb the huge difference in altitude from the Val Veny to the summit of Mont Blanc. Apart from being a strenuous 3,300 meters climb (and descend), this route has some technical difficulties, and this is the reason why its grade is PD+.

Hope you like it!

In reply to Encalomer:

Many people consider it rude to sign up to any sort of community just to drop in links to promote your own content and get your viewership/subscriber numbers up, without engaging with or contributing to that community in any meaningful way.

Just saying...

 Encalomer 09 Jul 2021
In reply to tehmarks:

I didn't have the chance to contribute yet. Give me some time. I'm new to this forum. 

Happy to help with info to those who want to climb in Spain.

Salud!

In reply to Encalomer:

Apologies; I seem to be getting grumpy as I age. Feel free to prove me wrong — but first day, first post a link to one's own off-site content always raises my eyebrow.

 Rob Parsons 09 Jul 2021
In reply to Encalomer:

I enjoyed that, thanks.

What a complex and varied peak Mont Blanc is.

 Encalomer 09 Jul 2021
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Thanks!

 Encalomer 09 Jul 2021
In reply to tehmarks:

I think that producing a documentary on how to climb a big mountain as the Mont Blanc is a good way of contributing to the climbing community. It takes far more time than writing these few lines

Anyway, happy to answer doubts to those planning to climb the Italian route!

Post edited at 15:28
 Fergal 09 Jul 2021
In reply to Encalomer:

Fantastic video, very informative, there is something very special about the Italian side.

 Myfyr Tomos 09 Jul 2021
In reply to Encalomer:

Enjoyed it. Thank you.

 Tim Sparrow 09 Jul 2021
In reply to Encalomer:

I enjoyed that too. Thank you.

 OwenM 09 Jul 2021
In reply to Encalomer:

Did that route back in 1983, wow it's changed a lot.

 Greylag 09 Jul 2021
In reply to Encalomer:

Brilliant video. Brought back some fantastic memories as well some I'd like to forget!!

We climbed alongside an Italian team that descended back to the Gonella (we went on to Chamonix). We met them in Val Veny the day after and they told us they ended up being helicoptered out after falling into a crevasse. I think the Rockfax guidebook warned us of this so pretty glad we took the advice as Lord knows what the cost of a helicopter would have been (I doubt the insurance we had would have covered it??).

Cheers

 Dave the Rave 09 Jul 2021
In reply to Fergal:

> Fantastic video, very informative, there is something very special about the Italian side.

Yeah, how they get up with a broken leg and play on

 Myfyr Tomos 09 Jul 2021
In reply to Dave the Rave:

> Yeah, how they get up with a broken leg and play on

Like it!

 Encalomer 10 Jul 2021
In reply to OwenM:

In which sense has it changed? Thanks for the info

 Encalomer 10 Jul 2021
In reply to Greylag:

The Dome glacier is extremely cracked and quite dangerous (specially in the way down, when the snow os soft). With bad luck and a bad fall you can have a nasty accident in one of those crevasses. I think it is very important to practice how to "safely" progress in a glacier and how to organise a crevasse rescue, as the risk of falling into a crevasse is quite high.

Thanks for your comment!

 OwenM 10 Jul 2021
In reply to Encalomer:

On the lower glacier where you were walking on the moraine ridge. We were walking up the middle of the glacier, which was only just a few metres lower than the moraine. 

Below the hut, where you were on rock and ladders we had much more ice. It looked much harder now and not as safe.

Even the hut is new, the old one was much smaller. 

The upper glacier is more as I remember but it to has melted. The ridge and the summit is just as I remember. 

 Encalomer 10 Jul 2021
In reply to OwenM:

Wow, very interesting! I can imaging that some years ago de Miage glacier was much bigger and it partially covered the initial arete. It must have been a superb glacier!

The climb to the hut must be easier on summer, but with snow and ice it is a very interesting climb.

Salud!

 65 10 Jul 2021
In reply to Encalomer:

Brilliant, really enjoyed that. Keep them coming.

 gooberman-hill 10 Jul 2021
In reply to Encalomer:

Lovely little video. Thanks for sharing it.

In reply to Encalomer:

Great video thanks. And not a whoop or a dude in sight!! 

 mountainbagger 10 Jul 2021
In reply to Encalomer:

Excellent, really good video! Thanks 👍

 TheGeneralist 10 Jul 2021
In reply to Encalomer:

Loved the vid.

Do you have any MTB vids with subtitles?

 Encalomer 11 Jul 2021
In reply to TheGeneralist:

Hi! Thanks for your comment.

I'm afraid that I only have a couple of mtb videos with English subtitles (two routes that I did with two English-speaking friends). The YouTube app for adding subtitles is a nightmare and it takes quite a lot of time to synchronise the subtitles. Maybe in the future...

Salud!

Post edited at 10:57
 TheGeneralist 11 Jul 2021
In reply to Encalomer:

> Hi! Thanks for your comment.

>  I only have a couple of mtb videos with English subtitles (two routes that I did with two English-speaking friends). 

Go on then.... add a link to them

Currently Covid isolating for the third week. Trying to stop myself falling into a funk before my Glenmore Lodge course next weekend.

Spent an hour yesterday on the turbo trainer watching your vids on silent with some random music from my phone.  It was actually quite fun, but would be better with some words.

Also, what language are you both speaking in the Bianco vid and the mtb video?

I assumed it was Italian, but then thought some of it was Spanish....

 Encalomer 11 Jul 2021
In reply to TheGeneralist:

Wow, good luck with the isolation!

Jejeje, we are Spanish. But, as a Spanish saying says: "españoles e italianos, primos hermanos" (Spanish and Italians are like cousins). The good thing in the Val de Aosta was that we could understand each other speaking our own languages

Here is my favourite mtb video. Very few dialogues, only music and action:  youtube.com/watch?v=gcZ6Gh1dWe4&

Hope you enjoy it in your next turbo trainer session!

Salud!

 streapadair 11 Jul 2021
In reply to Encalomer:

I know a bit of Italian, and spent the first few minutes of your video wondering which obscure dialect you were speaking, then twigged that you were Spanish.

Excellent video, thanks. June is early in the summer season - do you think conditions would be better or worse in, say, late August?

 Encalomer 11 Jul 2021
In reply to streapadair:

Hi!

Thanks for your comment!

I think August is a bad season for the Italian route. Mauro, the refuge keeper, clearly told us that very few people go there after July because the Dome glacier is far riskier. Check also if the Gonella refuge is open.

As the main objective hazard of this route are the huge crevasses of the Dome glacier, I clearly recommend you (if you have the chance) to ascend this route in the early summer. More snow means a safer glacier and an (even) more beautiful mountain

Salud!

Post edited at 14:58
 streapadair 11 Jul 2021
In reply to Encalomer:

Noted, thanks again.

In reply to Encalomer:

Fantastic video! Thanks for posting 

In reply to Encalomer:

Hello, thanks for creating and sharing, I enjoyed it. 

Purely out of interest, is this the same route Marco de Gasperi took up Monte Bianco in this footage?

https://youtube.com/watch?v=xZ_wZNxEp5k&

Thanks, 

Colin

 Rob Parsons 12 Jul 2021
In reply to Colin Henderson:

Yes, I think so.

Do you know what date that was done? Looks later in the season.

 McHeath 13 Jul 2021
In reply to Encalomer:

Hi Encalomer, and welcome to UKC! Great video - I rarely watch videos like this all the way through, but yours is constantly informative and entertaining and I love the enthusiasm! It's made me want to get on the route... 

 Encalomer 16 Jul 2021
In reply to Colin Henderson:

Wow, astonishing!! I didn't know about this record.

He is climbing the Italian normal route... but starting from the village of Courmayeur, which is some km farther than the Val Veny. 

There is a similar video from the French side, starting from Chamonix. In this case the record-man was Killian Jornet. 

Thanks for sharing the video. Very impressive to see how he "runs" up the mountain. Without ropping up in the glacier seems to me an extremely dangerous activity.

 Encalomer 16 Jul 2021
In reply to McHeath:

Thanks a lot! I tried to do an informative video for those who plan to climb the Italian route. So happy to hear your opinion!!!

 Encalomer 16 Jul 2021
In reply to Rob Parsons:

I've read that Marco de Gasperi climbed the Monte Bianco on mid July 2015.

 Doug 16 Jul 2021
In reply to Encalomer:

¡muchas gracias!


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