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Our 2018 Mont Blanc team recently returned from the French Alps after having a great time climbing Western Europe’s highest peak! Our climbers met in the historic mountain village of Chamonix, France, and from there ventured into the high country, spending two nights at the Albert Premier hut to acclimatize and train in mountaineering technique. We climbed the Tête Blanche, a glaciated peak with an exposed rock scramble at the summit. After 3 days up high in the alpine zone, we descended back to Chamonix. Everyone enjoyed a restful evening and great dinner in town.

The following morning we had a leisurely start and then took the famous Aiguille du Midi tram up to the top station, and enjoyed a traditional French lunch overlooking the Alps. Donning our technical climbing gear, we roped up for the descent out of the ‘ice tunnel’ from the station. Slowly we climbed down the very exposed snow arête. The slopes drop away on either side, down to the glacier below. From here we traversed the glacier to the Cosmiques refuge, a climbers hut perched on the edge the cliff overlooking Mont Blanc, and the Chamonix valley far below. After we discussed our plan for the summit attempt and enjoyed a nice dinner, we hit the sack in preparation for an early alpine start!

We awoke just after midnight, had a quick breakfast in the hut then turned on our headlamps and went outside to put on our crampons & rope up. We began the climb climbing the first of the 3 peaks in the ‘tois mont’ or ‘triple summit’ route, Mont Blanc du Tacul. After switchbacking up the glaciated terrain we encountered a large crevasse with a ladder in place to cross. After this section we soon passed by Mont Blanc du Tacul and ventured towards Mont Maudit, a more challenging and higher consequence part of the climb. Climbing up Mont Maudit involved crossing some crevasses on narrow snow bridges and also using our crampons on hard ice as we ascended over the peak on onward towards the final summit, Mont Blanc.

We climbed the final snow slopes to the top of Western Europe’s highest peak and reached the summit at 9 AM! The views were phenomenal and we snapped many summit photos while savoring our success. We then began the descent back down from Mont Blanc, over Mont Maudit, and Mont Blanc du Tacul back to the Cosmiques refuge for dinner. As we sipped celebratory beverages after dinner we recounted our climb of Mont Blanc and our good fortune in climbing other summits and having great weather throughout. Thanks to all of our climbers for participating in a fantastic week in the French Alps, and especially to guides Victor Saunders and Kris Erickson who helped make this a great program.

The Madison Mountaineering Mont Blanc team summitted August 18th with 100% success! All 11 clients & 5 guides made the top with clear conditions and only a little wind. We climbed from the Cosmiques hut near the Aguille du Mide top station, and over Mont Blanc du Tacul and then Mont Maudit before reaching the summit of Mont Blanc, known as the ‘traverse’ or ‘triple summits’ route. We descended the Gouter route, some of us staying in the Gouter hut and some staying in the Tete Rousse hut, then made our way back to Chamonix, for a celebration lunch! We are very happy with our success, great weather and climbing conditions we had here in France on the ‘Mont Blanc‘! Thanks so much to our amazing climbers, as well as our fantastic guide team for making this climb a great one!

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Mont Blanc summit success

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Mont Blanc summit success

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Mont Blanc summit success

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 Mont Blanc summit success

The last few days we have been climbing in the French Alps around the small town of Chamonix.  We stayed at the newly remodeled Albert Premier hut at 8,900′ and then summitted the Tete Blanch yesterday which involved some climbing on steep glaciated slopes as well as a few technical moves on rock at the top.  It was a fun ‘mixed’ climb to prepare us for the upcoming climb. The team is excited for our next challenge, Mont Blanc, at 15,773′!

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French Alps

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French Alps

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French Alps

Mont Blanc climbing

We are very excited to launch our Mont Blanc climbing program in the French Alps, our team will be arriving over the next few days and gearing up to climb a few small peaks before taking on the highest peak in Europe, west of Russia’s Caucasus peaks!  At 15,773′ Mont Blanc is heavily glaciated and defines the border between France and Italy.  We will be based out of Chamonix, France, often thought of as the birthplace of mountain climbing and the location of the first winter olympics.

Garrett Madison

Irena & Aparna are having a wonderful trip in the French Alps! Pictured below rock climbing and hiking at FluAlp under the shadow of the Matterhorn this weekend. Yesterday guide Jayson-Simons-Jones spent the day climbing on the Rifflehorn above Zermatt and the Monte Rosa Massif  with Irena in preparation for a Matterhorn attempt next time.

Photos taken by Jayson. Enjoy!

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“Beautiful morning with Irena & Aparna on the Entreves Traverse straddling the Italian / French border. A real treat to have this classic alpine ridge climb completely to ourselves!” – Jayson Simons-Jones

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Beautiful early morning sunrise ascent of the classic Traverse du Entreves on the Italian / French border with the Italian Face of Mont Blanc lit up by morning alpenglow behind us. Our climbers  Irena & Aparna are having a wonderful time and will continue to explore the beautiful Chamonix valley in the French Alps.

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Our summer 2016 Mont Blanc expedition is underway with climbers exploring the beautiful Chamonix valley in the French Alps. Chamonix is where the first winter olympics were held in 1924 and is also considered the ‘birthplace’ of climbing.

Yesterday Irena & Aparna climbed the Cosmiques Arete ridge.  Guide Jayson Simons-Jones will teach alpine mountain skills in preparation for Mont Blanc in a few days time. Right now Chamonix is in the midst of an above average heatwave, and this allowed our team to make a completely crampon free ascent of this alpine classic mixed rock snow and ice ridge climb (II+ AD / 5.6)

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Irena & Aparna enjoying a rare quiet day and beauty spot for lunch at 3600M on the super Classic Cosmiques Arete.
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Climbing the Aiguille du Toule 3600M on a perfect bluebird summer day on the French / Italian border
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