At 4,810m (15,781ft), Mont Blanc is the highest peak in Western Europe, sat between Haut-Savoie, France, and Aosta in Italy. Despite involving no technical climbing, it’s an undertaking that should not be approached lightly: it requires decent fitness levels, acclimatisation and glacier travel skills (including crevasse rescue techniques). Here, Rory McCrea from Snow+Rock Covent Garden lists the essential clothing (Part One) and equipment (Part Two) needed to summit the White Mountain.
This is essential. Make sure that you know how to execute a crevasse rescue! If you are being guided or doing an alpine course, check to see what they will provide and what you need to bring. There are different crevasse rescue systems and it’s possible to substitute different items.
The suggestions below are based on what we think is the easiest method: Petzl Micro Traxion  Petzl Swing Cheek Pulley  Petzl Tibloc Ascender 2x screw gate carabiners  2x 19cm ice screws  120cm sling  3m of 5-6mm cord to make prussic loops.
NOTE: This kit list has been written with non-technical ascents in mind (like the Gouter route) and for those who will be either using a guide or at least the huts.
This is the extra kit needed if you don’t use a guide or the huts. If you don’t have some alpine experience or aren’t familiar with glacier travel and crevasse rescue, this is not a wise option!
We sell freeze dried meals which have about 500-700 calories per pouch, plus bars, gels and energy and recovery drinks.
Tip: Add a little couscous to boost the energy value!