Requirements for Climbing Mont Blanc (Beginners and Experts)

Requirements for Climbing Mont Blanc (Beginners and Experts)

Mont Blanc isn’t known as an extraordinarily difficult mountain to climb from a technical standpoint, but it cannot be underestimated. The true challenge is more around physical fitness and endurance than sheer technical skill, but that’s somewhat dependent upon the route that you’re taking. In short, you should have serious mountain climbing experience, but also implement an extensive aerobic and cardio regime in the months leading up to the climb. You cannot over-prepare for a mountain like Mont Blanc, but you can certainly under prepare. 

Many of the routes to climb Mont Blanc take around 2-3 days, but if you are not an experienced climber, then it might make sense to schedule a trip that’s a little longer, though it will be more expensive. For example, you might want to schedule a trip that’s 5 days long where you spend a day or two before you begin your ascension training, getting to know your guide and, most importantly, acclimatizing to the altitude. Acclimatizing to the altitude is going to be especially crucial if you’re coming from a low or neutral altitude area. Keep in mind that Chamonix itself is over 1,000 metres above sea level, so you’ll be dealing with some serious height from the onset. 

Preparing for the climb 

A plethora of people climb, and most fatalities are attributed to improper preparation, so make sure you take the time to prepare the right gear, as well as your route. This, again, is where a guide can be extremely useful, as they know exactly what you need to have for a successful climb, and what it takes to get to the top. Also keep in mind that, like any mountain, different routes are going to require a different level of skill. It’s not uncommon for inexperienced climbers to initially climb lesser summits near Chamonix, then come back at a later date to tackle Mont Blanc when they’re more experienced.

Ascending Mont Blanc 

For starters, you want to ensure that you’re choosing the correct route when you’re establishing how to tackle the mountain. If you’re ascending by foot, for example, a common route is to begin in Saint-Gervais-Des-Bains, then reach the summit via the Gouter Route. You can also ascend Mont Blanc via skis but this should only be considered if you’re a very experienced skier. Usually, this route is attempted in April and May though it can also be done in March and June. 
You can base yourself out of Chamonix and spend a night at the Grand Mulets Refuge. 

All in all, you have innumerable options to ascend in terms of both routes as well as method. It is, however, more common to ascend via foot, as well as generally safer if you’re more accustomed to hiking than skiing. In either circumstance, you’re going to want to have a guide unless you consider yourself an absolute expert in either discipline.