Geoff Mitchell on Mont Blanc and others • June 22 - 25, 2015

Geoff Mitchell, from "Maine to South Carolina", joined Mark for 4 days of climbing in the Chamonix area. Our original plan included ascents from a base at the Cosmiques hut, then the Traverse of Mont Blanc. The only concern was the large amount of new snow on the NW faces of Mont Blanc du Tacul and especially Mont Maudit, up which there was no track.

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Everything started well as we climbed the Arete Laurence and the upper Cosmiques Arete on day one.


That evening, however, the weather changed. Wind and 10 to 15 cm of new snow.


The following morning, climbing was out of the question. Even the cable car was very slow to open. The patrons at the Cosmiques hut awaiting news of the lift opening.


Finally, after some hours of waiting in the hut, we decided to battle our way up to the lift in the hope of being in place once it did open. And at 12:45 pm we were descending to Chamonix.

The poor weather had definitely put the Traverse of Mont Blanc out of the running. Instead we decided to climb the Gouter route, which was likely to be in much better condition.


The following morning we decided to squeeze in a short climb in the Aiguilles Rouges, before hiking up to the Tête Rousse in preparation for our climb of Mont Blanc.


Geoff on Gaspard Premiere, one of the best routes of this grade in the Rouges.


And later, the same day, hiking up to the Tête Rousse. For better or for worse, the hut was full. We had to camp. Though the packs are a bit heavier, icamping is quieter than the hut, with much less hurly-burly.


Looking up at the Aiguille du Gouter and the Gouter hut.


5:50 in the morning, the sun just coming up.


We pass the Vallot emergency shelter at 6:20.


Looking up at the final part of the Gouter route on Mont Blanc, about an hour below the summit.


And finally, the summit of Mont Blanc.


Descending from the summit. It is a long, long way down to Nid d'Aigle and the lift.

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