On the roof of the Alps: Mont Blanc

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    On the roof of the Alps: Mont Blanc

    Climbing Mont Blanc in three days with bivouac on the Tete Rousse Hut.

    The climb

    We arrive in the morning around 9 o'clock Les Houches (1003m) on. Coming from Switzerland, we stick practically at the window all the time and look up at the towering Mont Blanc massif. The Bossons Glacier hangs on the steep mountainside and ends at 1400 meters above sea level practically in the middle of the forest. At the train station we gather and start the ascent towards Tete-Rousse-Hütte. It goes through the place, the signs point us to Col du Mont Lachat. It goes up steep and original forest, we need about 2 hours, then we allow ourselves a break on the first Col (2073m), Every half hour the rack railway whizzes by, on the route of which the path continues and at the mountain station Nid d'Aigle (2372m) ends. Here you can leave the masses of tourists behind as soon as you take the path towards Col des Rognes. "Mass" is relative here, because even the normal route to Mont Blanc is much more frequented than the average 4000. About boulder fields it goes up, here there is no water, the sun is burning and so we are glad when we at the first snowfield at the Rognes Hut (2768m) can fill up a little. From here, only the zigzag path in the rock flank to create the small glacier plateau on which the Tete Rousse Hut (3167m) and the bivouac site is located.

    The bivouac place

    The place is awesome, nice little flat campsites are next to each other. You can decide whether to buy for 5.20 CHF per 1.5 liters of water at the hut or simply taps the drain of the Firnfeldes :). There is a dry toilet, which stinks terrible, but so at least the environment serves. Of course there's only nice people out here, we talk about the start time the next morning and who expects something from the route. The evening ends with a magnificent undisturbed sunset in the west.

    The summit day

    The alarm rings at 3 o'clock, we are fast on our feet and attack the ascent. The trickiest part is directly the stone chip-prone Grand Couloir at the start. We hurry to bring the 30-meter truss behind us. From here it goes on high visible trails and crampons along the mountainside. High above a glisten the lights of the new Gouterhütte on the rock edge. In such dry conditions we do not need crampons or rope safety in our opinion, nevertheless several groups are on the way. At 5 o'clock we are at the old one Gouter Hut (3817m), the new one is two hundred meters further south. Here fast breakfast, in's climbing rope integrated and off you go. The full moon illuminates the further ascent, the headlamps of the other rope teams are like a loose string of pearls in the snow. Two hours later, around 7 o'clock, we are on Dome du Gouter (4304m), Walk over the flat piece of glacier where you could play football and reach the silver box of the Vallot bivouacs (4362m), Take a short break here, warm up, feed, then continue. We have a terrific view, only clouds over the Bosses ridge and the Mont Maudit. Still we see the summit, with lots of people on the ridge. Steep up in autobahn moderate tracks, however, we soon see nothing more, from the Bosses (4547m), we are stuck in the cloud, as well as the summit. But it is almost windless, the Hundertschaften come towards us and after the narrow summit ridge we face 9 clock all alone on the Mont Blanc (4808m), The sun is shining through the clouds, but it does not manage to give us a blue sky or a view. No matter! We made it! For this height, we feel relatively great, there are probably quite different (Kotzflecken just before the summit, very pleasant).

    The missing prospect restricts the summit stay to a minimum, we start the descent. Very fast we are back at the Vallot bivouac, here it is much warmer. We lie down for a moment. The descent to the Gouterhütte is done again in one hour, we are now out of the cloud again and enjoy the panorama in all directions. Here, too, at 3800 m above sea level, no mountain obstructs the view to the west and north, at most a few clouds. Now the whole dumpling can be stowed in the backpack and the Kraxelpartie down towards bivouac stimulates again to concentration. In the Grand Coulouir from noon always off the post office, every minute rushing stones over. You can either use the rope to secure yourself to a high-hanging steel cable and then traverse further down the gravel, or in the slippery but shorter snow and ice at the same height as in the morning. Only when you are practicing crampons (!), You can run in 10 seconds like the crossbar in the steep snow and is so only briefly in the danger zone. The short piece of glacier can then be easily to bivouac depart. As soon as we have arranged our things and freed our feet, a rock avalanche with autogroute chunks rushes down the Grand Coulouir and creates completely new conditions in the crossing. Luck!

    The third day, relaxed descent

    We have holidays, so we spend the afternoon up here, sleep one more night in the tent and do not until the next morning, around 9 o'clock, to the descent after Les Houches, Here we take the alternative, which leads along the moraine of the Bionassay glacier, to the train station Bellevue but again leads into the steep forest. An hour spent with blueberry picking, we arrive with blue fingers and satisfied again in Les Houches, where then only 7 hours train ride waiting for us. Horny tour!



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