“And while we’re there, it would be rude not to climb Mont Blanc!”
Sat in the Cosmiques refuge, Oli, Nico and I were wondering what to climb the following day. We had settled on climbing Tour Ronde – a popular peak on the Italian side of the Mont Blanc Massif – although none of us were that excited about the 2.5 hour approach walk across the heavily glaciated Vallee Blanche. I had stumbled on a mixed snow and rock climb up the North West ridge of Mont Maudit, which stands at about 4450m and is just below Mont Blanc. The best thing about it was that the “approach” to the climb involved scaling Mont Blanc du Tacul – a peak of over 4000m in its own right. Nico and I had been forced to turn back 50m below its summit two days before in favour of a sprint, slide and rush back to catch the last lift. So we had unfinished business there.
In one voice, we exclaimed “let’s do that!” And of course we all knew that after attaining the summit of Maudit, all we had to do to reach the roof of Europe was walk – no climbing involved – another 500m higher. We would then continue on to the Goutier hut and therefore complete the traverse of Mont Blanc. Simples! We changed our breakfast time from 5am to 3am and immediately went to bed, we were so excited.