GOÛTER ROUTE (F)
Of the four normal routes leading to the summit of Mont Blanc, the most prestigious of the peaks of the homonymous massif, which is the symbol par excellence of the Alps, the Goûter Route is considered the easiest. Even so, it requires a good physical and technical preparation.
When you reach the top, the feeling is unique and extreme: with no higher peaks obstructing your view, your gaze can stretch all around, towards the mesmerizing curve of the horizon.
It is the shortest and most popular way. Long and exerting, this is a hugely gratifying ascent. It follows the route passing by the Goûter Hut and the Bosses ridge.
Note: you must book the hut at least a few months in advance.
Starting in 2019, a maximum of 214 people will be allowed to climb Mont Blanc via its Normal Route on a daily basis, following a decision by the town of Saint Gervais. A new tax of 10-20 euros (amount to be defined in coming months) will be imposed and climbers wanting to make the ascent in more than 1 day will have to make hut reservations in advance.
Although it is the least difficult way to reach the Mont Blanc, the Gouter Route requires a big physical effort so a very good fitness level is mandatory. Previous acclimatization is also very important in this 2days-ascent, as well as having some mountaineering experience, such as walking in crampons and using ropes and ice axes.
If you are not sure whether your level and experience are enough to climb Mont Blanc, our Guides strongly suggest to conduct a test on an easy glacier route. This half-day or day extra trip needs to be purchased separately.
Drop: 1,450 m
Ascent time: 6 h
Meeting point: meeting in Courmayeur for equipment checking and a short briefing.
Transfer to Les Houches; from here we’ll reach the Nid d’Aigle by cable car and rack rail. A long but comfortable trek over moraines and rocky grounds leads to the Tête Rousse Hut (3,167 m); from here a steep trail (partly equipped with climbing aids) will take us to the Goûter Hut (3,815 m), where we will eat and stay overnight.
Note: this is a long length with a considerable elevation gap. The final 800 m of ascent are demanding and at times dangerous. In a few sections, extreme care must be taken due to occasional rockfalls caused by melting snow (especially late in the season or in particularly warm weather conditions).
Drop: 1,000 m
Ascent/descent time: 10-12 hours
We’ll leave the hut around 3 am. We’ll set out on the glacier, through a gently-sloping stretch followed by a steeper one, until we reach the Dôme du Goûter (4,250 m), on a vast glacial plateau. From here we’ll resume ascending until we reach the Vallot Hut (4,362 m), and finally the summit at the end of the airy and amazing Bosses ridge. We’ll descend and be back in Courmayeur after about 12-13 hours total.
Note: Despite a smaller drop than the first day, this leg is equally strenuous since it is entirely on glacier. You can really feel the altitude, especially in the final 600 metres of ascent and you must be fit enough to walk on glacier and hike uphill for about 12 hours.
- the assistance of a UIAGM certified Mountain Guide
- liability insurance
- loan of shared safety material
- research and rescue insurance with UVGAM coverage (recommended): €5 per person for 3 days
- the Mountain Guide’s expenses (lifts, transfers, meals and accommodation) to be covered by participants
- transfers from Courmayeur: round-trip Mont Blanc tunnel by car: €54.30 for each vehicle; with Courmayeur-Chamonix bus: €13 per person one-way, €20 per person round-trip
- lifts: Chamonix/Aiguille du Midi cable car: €58,50 per person round-trip; Les Houches/Bellevue cable car: €17 per person round-trip; Bellevue/Nid d’Aigle rack rail: €23,50 per person round-trip
- the hiring of any personal equipment (harness, ice axe, crampons and helmet): €20/day per person while supplies last
- half-board in mountain huts: Tête Rousse Hut €90 per person, beverages not included; Goûter Hut: €110 per person, beverages not included
- fee for ascent permission (10-20€ – to be defined in 2019)
- anything that is not mentioned under “The rate includes”