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Arête des Bosses / Goûter Route 

PG13

   
Type:  Alpine, Grade III
Original: Easy Snow PG13 [details]
FA: 
Season: Summer
Page Views: 2,200
Submitted By: Seleucus on Jun 19, 2012  with updates from kenr

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Mont Blanc Summit... alone in nature.

Description 

The route typically starts by taking the Tramway de Mont Blanc (TMP) from Saint-Gervais-les-Bains to Nid d'Aigle. From here, the climb follows up a rocky path to the Refuge de Tête Rousse. At this point, the route goes toward the Goûter Corridor (also known as the Grand Couloir). This Couloir is perhaps the greatest objective danger of the route as it is often peppered with rockfall. Crossing it early in the morning will help to minimize the risk of rockfall. Conversely, in the evening, the sun will often loosen the rocks higher up and the risk can be greatly increased.

Once across the couloir, climb the north ridge of the couloir (which is much less prone to rock-fall than the couloir proper) up to the Goûter Hut.

Total time from Nid d'Aiguille to Goûter Hut (4-6 hrs).

From the Goûter Refuge, head out along a very broad and gentle snow slope toward the Dôme du Goûter. From the Dôme du Goûter, head down toward the Col du Goûter.

After passing the Refuge-Bivouac Vallot, continue toward the summit on an increasingly narrow and exposed snow ridge. A final steep section will lead to the summit of Mont Blanc.

4-6 hrs from the Goûter Hut to the Mont Blanc summit.

Rock Climbing Photo: Goûter Route from Nid d'Aigle marked in red.  Pic...
Goûter Route from Nid d'Aigle marked in red. Picture of IGN Map.

Protection 

None. There is a fixed cable across the Goûter Corridor which can be clipped into. Bring a very long sling (or use a cordelette or rope) to connect to it.


Photos of Arête des Bosses / Goûter Route Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Approaching the Refuge du Goûter.  Fixed cables a...
Approaching the Refuge du Goûter. Fixed cables a...
Rock Climbing Photo: Goûter Route from Nid d'Aigle marked in red.  Pic...
BETA PHOTO: Goûter Route from Nid d'Aigle marked in red. Pic...
Rock Climbing Photo: Going up the North ridge of the Grand Couloir look...
BETA PHOTO: Going up the North ridge of the Grand Couloir look...
Rock Climbing Photo: View of Mont Blanc at Sunset from the north ridge ...
View of Mont Blanc at Sunset from the north ridge ...

Comments on Arête des Bosses / Goûter Route Add Comment
Show which comments
By KPRTX
Mar 9, 2013

Has anyone skied this in spring? Can you ski the grand coulair? Any thoughts about a march ascent? Thanks
By kenr
Jul 14, 2017

This route is _not_ in the Vallee Blanche basin,
or anywhere near the Vallee Blanche, which is one part of the giant Mer de Glace basin containing multiple glaciers (and this route is nowhere near any of it).
. . (despite this route page being placed under the "Vallee Blanche" area page on MountainProject as of July 2017).

The start of the route (from St-Gervais-les-Bains) is nowhere near the town of Chamonix (where most visiting climbers are based), and there's no simple quick public transporation from the Chamonix valley to the start of the route.
By kenr
Jul 14, 2017

As of 2017 this is the "normal" route, sleeping at the Refuge du Gouter hut then going up the Bosses ridge is used by most less-technically capable + less-experienced people who want to attain the summit of the highest peak in (non-far-east) Europe.

Another source of information and reports is the big well-known western European website CampToCamp.

Though as the summers get hotter, this frequenting has been questioned, because of rocks melting loose above and tumbling down over one of the key sections. So once in the last couple of years the huts supporting the route were closed for part of the season. So check ahead.

For some ideas about alternate routes to the summit of Mont Blanc, see this Mont Blanc page on MountainProject.
By kenr
Jul 14, 2017

ski?
This "Gouter" / "Arete des Bosses" route is not normally thought of as a ski mountaineering route. It is rather difficult to access during ski season (including the month of March). I sort of remember that the upper section (Arete des Bosses) is listed as an "extreme" ski descent, perhaps skied only once. Never heard of anyone skiing the Grand Couloir (but perhaps that's been skied once also).

The "normal" ski mountaineering route is to take the lift up to the Plan de l'Aiguille mid-station, then go (mostly on skis) through a seriously crevassed section (La Jonction), up to the Refuge des Grands Mulets hut to sleep. With an early morning start, climb up the North ridge of the Dome du Gouter (which avoids spending lots of time under serac-fall hazard). Optionally deposit skis at the Col de Dome or Bivouac Vallot just above it, then on foot up the Bosses ridge (Arete des Bosses) to the summit of Mont Blanc. From here (if very good snow conditions) could do a ski descent of the North face or the Corridor, or most parties return on foot (carrying their skis?) down the ridge back to Col de Dome, then ski down the Grands Mulets glacier (spending only a short time under the serac-fall hazard) past the Refuge des Grands Mulets hut, and then return to the Plan de l'Aiguille lift station.

Ken

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