HIKING MONT-BLANC I FRANCE
2005 - From Chamonix to the Mont-Blanc summit at 4810 m along the Gouter-route in an autonomous climb. During 5 days 14 fireman and 2 cameramen reported on this expedition. In coöperation with AVS Oost-Vlaamse Televisie and Brandweer Ghent.
BEFORE YOU GO
Autonomous climb means ascending the peak without any external help (huts, train, animals, carriers) starting in ground base Chamonix and carrying food, supplies, tents, shuffles, fuel, ...
A summit attempt greatly depends on how much time the weather gives you
Get yourself ready in order achieve physical fitness and optimal weigh. Schedule a 12 month training periode including climbing & rope techniques, glacier and cords walking techniques, endurance and height fitness.
The Gouter route is the shortest way to get to the summit of Mont Blanc. Despite sometimes being too dry to climb because of stonefall in the Grand Couloir, it nevertheless has low avalanche risk and produces the most reliable conditions overall.
Leaving Chamonix at 1035 m, you follow the easy walking trail through de green all the way to Les Houches. This is the starting point for Tour du Mont Blanc as well as the ascent of Mont Blanc. The trail slowly goes up to Bellevue 1800 m and later on to Nid d’Aigle at 2372 m where you stay for the night. Your tent is to bet set between rocks.
Get acquainted with the height effects and proceed to Tete Rousse 3187 m. Remember that starting low helps you to avoid getting altitude sickness by starting low. Dig yourself a hole in the snow and pitch your tent.
Get up early as you have to cross Grand Couloir. Freezing temperatures are far more safe because less rocks will fall down. Try to find a nice camp
Gouter hut at 3815 m.
SUMMIT & BACK
Leave at around 04:00 AM in order to summit at 4808 m. Be careful when walking along small ridges with steep descends on both sides. Enjoy the spectacular view op the top and hurry to descend back to Tete Rousse hut area where you can relax. When fit enough just keep on walking until Les Houches.