On March 13, Philippe left Les Houches (1,000m) at 4:30am, hoping to climb Mont Blanc non-stop and get back down to Les Houches in the evening. The weather was clear, the temperatures not too low but there was a lot a snow and 60km/h wind above 4,000m.
Mont Blanc route from Les Houches (© P. Gatta)
Philippe had to break trail straight from the parking lot of Les Houches. He got lost a couple of times in the forest going to Mont Lachat Pass.
Breaking trail below Mont Lachat Pass (© P. Gatta)
The rest of the route to the Gouter was fine and the Grand Couloir below the hut was in perfect conditions.
Aiguille, Refuge and Dome du Gouter (© P. Gatta)
The snow bridges above the Refuge du Gouter were very thin and he went through two times. It would have been okay roped up but not safe enough to continue alone.
Crevasses below Dome du Gouter (© P. Gatta)
He turned back at 4,100m and was back in Les Houches just before 6pm.
Below Dome du Gouter (© P. Gatta)
Overall, he did 20km and +3,300m non-stop, breaking trail all the way. He hasn’t seen anyone in 13.5 hours which was great and pretty uncommon on the normal route of Mont Blanc.
Refuge du Gouter (© P. Gatta)