Mont Blanc Refuges to Reopen on Saturday

The Tête Rousse and Goûter refuges, essential stopovers on the normal route to Mont Blanc, will reopen on Saturday, August 20. The two key shelters were closed for two weeks during peak climbing season because of dangerous conditions on the mountain.

Cooler days ahead

Forecasts show that the heat that has bombarded most of Europe since mid-July is finally over. Cooler temperatures and some snow should shortly improve conditions on Mont Blanc.

In addition, guides have carefully monitored the dangerous Goûter Couloir and cleaned away some unstable rocks primed to fall onto the access route, Radio Mont Blanc reported.

The mayor of Saint Gervais, Jean-Marc Peillex, closed the shelters when those he called “pseudo-alpinists” — inexperienced, poorly prepared people — ignored the warnings and insisted on climbing Mont Blanc.

Closeup view of snowy Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc from Chamonix. Photo: Jordi Corominas

 

Too many exercising free will

Chamonix and Courmayeur guides have stopped offering the Mont Blanc climb, although it is the most profitable activity in the region. Most accredited mountain guides followed. IFMGA guide Ferran Latorre previously told ExplorersWeb that he had switched his scheduled Mont Blanc trips to Monte Rosa and Gran Paradiso.

However, independent climbers and some guides from different countries kept going up the mountain, preferring to “decide for themselves”.

A guide and his clients on the final ridge before the summit of Mont Blanc. Photo: Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix

 

The sophisticated mountain refuges usually attract many visitors, most of them aiming to climb Mont Blanc. Goûter can host 120 visitors and Tête Rousse, 72. In summer, both refuges are usually fully booked well in advance.

Mont Blanc’s Goûter route is the most popular and straightforward way to the top. Yet, there is no such thing as zero risk in the mountains, especially on the 4,809m giant of western Europe.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides is a college-graduated journalist specializing in high-altitude mountaineer and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.