David Dougherty in the Aiguilles Rouges and on Mont Blanc • August 1 - 4, 2010

David, who hales from Wales, made another climbing trip to the Alps, joining Mark for three days of mountaineering.

Our original plan had included the Lion Ridge on the Matterhorn (David has already done the Hörnli) as well as the Eiger's Mittellegi Ridge. However, recent snowfall and a less-than-ideal weather forecast suggested alternate objectives.

We made a strategic retreat to Chamonix, and hatched plans for Mont Blanc.

Other trips with David

Alps, July 2009
Alps, August 2008
Alps, August 2007
Alps, August 2006
Alps, July 2005

Return to all recent trips

Since we had established our rendezvous in Zermatt, we had a half day of good weather remaining the day of our drive to Chamonix. So it was the Crochues Traverse for us.


Here are the Aiguilles Crochues, as seen on our approach. The traverse crosses close to the ridge from left to right. Descent is down to Lac Blanc, a popular hiking destination on the back side of the peak.

Mouse over for the route.


Climbing on the Aiguilles Crochues. The route is a fun and occasionally exposed ridge traverse. There are a few technical sections and the views are outstanding.


The descent is easily made down snow and rough trail to Lac Blanc.


The Mont Blanc Massif from the summit of the Crochues.


Mont Blanc has two "normal" routes, the Gouter and the Traverse of the Three summits. With a weather forecast calling for 20 to 30 centimeters of new snow, concern about avalanches suggested that the Gouter might be a more sensible option. So we hiked up to the Tete Rousse hut.

However, we were unable to get a booking in the hut (apparently overbooked by some 40 people). So we elected to camp in the one officially sanctioned area not far from the hut. In the end we probably had a better night's sleep in our own little house, even if we had to carry it.

In this photo, take from out tent, the hut is just out of view behind the ridge.


Looking up at the Aiguille de Gouter from our camp site. The Gouter hut sits atop this dark mound of loose rock, some 600 meters higher than our camp.

Mouse over for the route up to the hut. The climb crosses the Grand Couloir traversing from left to right, to gain the rock buttress below the hut.


The following morning, we woke up at 1 am, had a quick breakfast, and were off climbing a bit before 2. Now (at the time of this photo) it is about 3:50 am and we are taking a wee break at the Gouter hut.


The sun just starts to lighten the sky as we climb over the Dome du Gouter at almost 4300 meters.


The Vallot emergency hut at dawn, 6:15 am.


The mountain was quite busy on this day. Small wonder, as the weather was excellent.


Looking to the northeast.


Looking up at the final section of the route, the Bosses Ridge.


Only at the final part of the climb was there any significant wind. The photo makes it look much worse than it really was.


David on the summit of Mont Blanc.


And me too.


Time to start down...