There are several different routes to reach the top of Mont-Blanc: some of these routes are harder but less crowded. If you are fit enough and an experienced mountaineer looking for a new challenge, you have found your adventure !
We offer the other classic routes to the Roof of Europe.
- Traversée des 3 Monts (3 ‘Monts’ traverse : Mont-Blanc du Tacul, Mont Maudit, Mont-Blanc), alpine grade : PD
- Italian normal route (Pope Route or Aiguilles Grises route), alpine grade : PD
- Traversée Royale : Miage Bionnassay Mont-Blanc The Royal Traverse, alpine grade : AD (fairly difficult, exposed)
- Tournette Spur, alpine grade : AD (fairly difficult)
- Innominata Ridge, alpine grade : D+
Italian Normal Route of Mont-Blanc (Gonella Hut)
Also called the ‘Aiguilles Grises Route’ or ‘Via del Papa’ (Pope’s route in Italian), it was first climbed in 1890 by a party including Achille Ratti, who became Pope Pius XI a few years later.
The ascent of Mont-Blanc from the Italian side, via the ‘Aiguilles Grises’ route is much less frequented than the normal Goûter route, or even the 3 Monts Traverse, on the French side. Once you have conquered the Mont-Blanc (4810m) you will descend on the French side, completing the entire journey from Courmayeur to Chamonix.
This is a long climb that requires good general preparation, which is why we really encourage our clients to do a few days of acclimatisation before the trip in order to successfully climb the route.
Chamonix Valley offers a great variety of climbs to prepare yourself for this adventure. Climbs such as the Aiguille du Tour (3542m), Mont-Blanc du Tacul (4248m), and Arête des Cosmiques, to name but a few, will give you the necessary preparation to face the ascent of Mont-Blanc.
2 to 6 days programme :
Day 1 : Courmayeur – Gonella Hut
We’ll start at the bottom of Val Veny where we’ll walk to Combal Lake. From there we’ll climb the steep moraine towards the Miage basin, where we’ll walk for about 2.5 hours on the glacier’s moraine. During the final stretch, we’ll be faced with snowy and icy terrain. The last part of the ascent will take us to the Gonella Hut (3050m), where we’ll stop for dinner and to sleep.
- Elevation gain : 1400m
- Ascent time: 4-5 hours
- Day 2 : Summitting Mont-Blanc
After an early breakfast we will leave the hut at around 1am. In the dark, we will follow the Dôme glacier, which comes down from the col de Dômes, and gives us access to the steep section of Col des Aiguille Grises. From there, we’ll ascend the sharp and spectacular ridge with narrow stretches giving way to the wide slopes that take us to the summit of Piton des Italiens. We will easily reach the Dôme du Goûter, where our route joins the French normal Goûter route. From here we’ll head up to the Vallot Hut (4362m) and finally along the amazing Arête des Bosses, which will lead us to the summit of Mont-Blanc.
The descent will be by the normal French route via the Goûter Hut and then down to Les Houches, making this an incredible journey across the top of Europe.
- Elevation gain : 1800m
- Ascent/descent time : 12-15 hours
Innominata Ridge Arête de l’Innominata
The last great ridge to Mt Blanc to be conquered, the Arête de l’Innominata, was finally climbed in 1919. It can be described as an immense mass of snow and ice rocks that rises from the depths of Val Veny on the Italian side and culminates at the roof of Europe: the majestic Mont-Blanc (4810m).
The route demands a good sense of movement on the terrain as well as teamwork with your guide. You will need to be in good physical condition, especially to get past the slightly trickier moves above 4000m !
A classic climb, this is an absolute must for all mountaineers who want to discover a different, wild and remote side of Mont-Blanc.
- Day 1 : Meet in Chamonix. Run through of equipment and logistics. Drive across Mont-Blanc Tunnel to Val Veny. Climb to Monzino hut (2561m) where will spend the night.
- Day 2 : Early in the morning, after breakfast, we will begin our journey towards the Eccles Bivouac (bivy) (3852m). We will head across the Brouillard glacier, followed by a final section of rock scrambling to reach the bivouac and our home for the night.
- Day 3 : At 2 am we will set off from the bivy to begin the great climb to the summit. Narrow, exposed, snowy ridges will lead you to climb a crack, which in turn will lead you to a red rocky buttress. You will then continue in mixed terrain to reach the Brouillard ridge. From here, the route takes us directly to the summit of Mont-Blanc, offering breath-taking and stunning views along the way. The descent will be via the Goûter Normal Route, on the French side.
The Royal Traverse – Miage – Bionassay – Mont-Blanc – Midi (Traversée Royale)
Without a doubt, this is one of the most beautiful routes in the Mont-Blanc massif. This three-day ascent will allow us to summit Mont-Blanc in the most authentic way, without the use of any cable car or other mechanical means.
Technically not very difficult, this long traverse runs along the sharp edges of Dômes de Miage, Aiguille de Bionnassay and the famous final Arête des Bosses ridge up to the very top of Mont-Blanc ! The descent continues to be a considerable adventure as we will continue along the 3 Monts route across to the Aiguille du Midi, where we will take the lift back down to Chamonix.
Several alternatives are possible on this high-altitude trip, but the route that we suggest here is the longest and most beautiful. It can be shortened at different points and has several options to retreat if necessary.
Programme: 6 days (5 days of activity)
- Day 1 – Meet in Chamonix and run through programme, equipment, etc. Climb to the Torino refuge to climb the Entreves ridge (AD). Night at the Torino refuge (3371m)
- Day 2 – Climb the Rochefort ridge to the Aiguille du Rochefort (4001m, AD)
- Day 3 – Ascent to the Conscrits refuge (2602m)
- Day 4 – Ascent to the Col de Dômes (possibility of ascending to the Aiguille de la Bérangère) and descent to the Durier refuge (3370m).
- Day 5 – Ascension and traversing of the South ridge to the top of Mont-Blanc (4810m). Descent along the 3 Monts route to the Aiguille du Midi (3800m).
- Day 6 – Extra day in case of bad weather or rest.
We will sleep in 3 huts :
- The Torino refuge (3371m) on the Italian side of Mont-Blanc, which we will access through the Mont-Blanc tunnel to Courmayeur (Italy) and then up the Skyway lift.
- The Conscrits refuge (2662m) which is accessed from Le Cugnon with an approach of 4.5 hours.
- The Durier refuge (3370m) which is accessed by the col du Dôme in a 6/7h traverse from the Conscrits refuge.
Climbing description :
General difficulty : AD, long journey that is mostly made up of snowy edges with rock and mixed sections.
Descent : Following the 3 Monts route back to the Aiguille du Midi. About 5 hours from the top of Mont-Blanc.
Required level : Excellent physical and technical ability required. High mountain experience in snow and rock terrain (specifically ridges) of PD/AD difficulty is required, as well as climbing experience.