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mman

Mount Blanc question

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Arrive in Paris August 8 and depart out of Rome August 20 for the honeymoon (second time around for both of us so not a traditional type thing). The soon to be has agreed to devote a few days in the Alps. Is Mount Blanc worth climbing? In August? Worth the hassle of draggging gear over to Europe? The better half has some expereience (Rainier, Hood and the like) but I'm not going to get her to agree to anything technical or sustained. For obvious reasons climbing on my own this trip is out of the question. Thoughts?

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My recommendation is to go for it.

I was over there with my wife and our two kids several years ago in August. While I can't vouch for the global warming since, it was well worth taking the gear over. While they rode the Augille du Midi, I continued on up the three Monts route, and after summiting, traversed down the to the Gouter Hut. The next day I met them down valley from Chamonix at Les Houches. Very scenic and popular. If your bride is able to get over the inevitable headache at the 15K summit, she will have a great time too. Caveat, it does have a technical part where a couple ice screws will be necessary, and it is steep in places, but mostly the climb is snow slogging.

Reservations for the hut, while recommended, they don't normally turn you away if descending.

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If you don't want to take gear it's possible to rent/buy everything you would ever need in Chamonix, often for the same or less than US, or just the new model that you won't find in shops for a couple of months.

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Thanks for the info. I think we are going to give it a try. Are ice screws necessary for the standard route? Axe and a second tool?

Edited by mman

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I think the route I described to the summit (north to south) is the standard route. Adding the traverse would open up more of the mountain's diversity for you with minimal effort (no rappelling or technical downclimbing back to Augille de Midi. So yes ice screw or two would be handy, but I think you can get by with a single tool. I don't recall bringing a second tool, but, on the other hand, an extra tool might add more security for you and your wife.

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