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When to climb Mont Blanc

When to climb Mont Blanc

Choosing when to climb a mountain has a profound impact on the way that you’ll experience your excursion. As such, it’s important to do your research to ensure that you’re arriving at the optimal time and, further, a time that’s safe to climb. Naturally, there are no guarantees when you’re climbing a mountain of this magnitude, but you want to put yourself in a position to have the greatest success possible and, ideally, reach the summit. 

Climbing Mont Blanc in winter

If you’re looking to climb in the winter months (particularly December through February), then Mont Blanc, quite simply, is not your mountain. Due to the bitter and serious cold, it’s considered inadvisable to attempt the climb. It is possible, especially in conglomeration with a skiing aspect, but it’s a very challenging climb that only experts should consider. If you were to attempt a skiing ascent the very earliest you’d want to do that would be April. 

The ideal time to climb 

The ideal time to climb Mont Blanc is considered to be the period between June and September, as these represent the warmer, more palatable months. A predominant amount of people aim for the heart of summer, namely the months of July and August and that’s for a number of reasons. For one, climbing in July and August is going to offer you the “easiest” climb.  Now, of course, it won’t be easy, but objectively, the weather is the most cooperative during these months, which means you’ll face fewer obstacles in the climb itself. The other factor is that during July and August the huts and refuges are fully operational, which means your path to get to the top, in general, is going to a little more manageable. 

The downside of climbing in July and August is just that many others will be doing the same. You’ll need to book spots in the refuges months in advance to secure a bed along the way. It’s been said that some climbers bring a tent and simply camp nearby these refuges, but there’s no question it’s better to get a spot in the refuge for comfort, rest, and the fact that hiking and climbing with a tent is just extra (potentially unnecessary) weight. If you can embrace the notion that the path might be a little more crowded, but your climb will be more manageable than July and August are your months. 

Climbing outside the high season 

More experienced climbers and those who have climbed the mountain previously often intentionally avoid the high season of climbers which takes place in July and August and climb instead in either June or September. The clear advantage to climbing during these months is that there will be fewer people on the same path as you, which has a certain allure to some. Most huts are fully operational from June to September, but be sure to double check that the huts on your proposed route will indeed by open. 

If you’ve got the skill to attempt it, climbing in June or September can offer a magical sort of peace that you may not get in July or August, but just know that, weather-wise, that peace can come with a cost, especially if you choose to climb in early June or late September. 

A TRAVEL MAGAZINE BY TOURRADAR