On the Italian side, the ridge forms a wonderful line up to the highest alpine peak. It starts with a brilliant rock climb up the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey. After a long rappelling maneuver, it’s off across the rock and firn of the Aiguille Blanche de Peuterey, the Grand Pilier d’Angle, the Mont Blanc de Courmayeur, and right up to the summit of Mont Blanc.
This amounts to around 4500 meters of ascent climbing on rock and firn, with up to 400 meters of rappelling in between. The 1000 meters of ascent on approach to the Borelli bivouac need to be mentioned for the sake of entirety. The firn slope has an angle of up to around 55 degrees, the rock has a VI-grade crux and, in between, neither rock nor firn in the horribly unsound flank of the Dames Anglaises offer any kind of foothold.
Consistently good conditions are hard to find. This tour combines everything an alpinist’s heart could wish for – in one of the most remote, most exclusive corners of the Alps.
Information about conditions can be found at Charmonix High Mountain Office: