Mont Blanc, France

Mont Blanc, France

France’s highest mountain is famously known as Mont Blanc, and actually lies between the French Republic and Italy. It is one of Europe’s most popular winter sports destinations and is famous for the Mont Blanc Tunnel, which goes under the mountain and connects France and Italy.

Mont Blanc reaches just over 4,500m and hence is excluded from the “eight thousanders” club. It was explored and climbed relatively early in the history of big mountain climbing. It was first scaled in the late 1700s, with the first female climber reaching the top as early as 1808. US President Theodore Roosevelt was one of the many early climbers to reach the summit.

Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc

As a result of its early exploration, Mont Blanc is known as the birthplace of modern mountain climbing. This is one of the reasons that the mountain is being considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The frequent trails of visitors and high footfall on the slopes of the mountains have led conservationists to lobby for a protected status of the mountain to be enforced.

Travel Mont Blanc

flickr image by Philippe Stanus photographies

Mont Blanc is not as dangerous a climb as many of the other mountains listed here, and can be easily completed with a certain amount of preparation and acclimatisation to the altitude. In fact, over 20,000 people are able to successfully complete a climb each year. It is, however, not without its perils, and Mont Blanc has been known to claim lives, mainly due to altitude sickness, falls and bad weather.

Travel Mont Blanc

Many Europeans have seen the summit of Mount Blanc with little effort, as a large amount of commercial planes fly directly over the peak, offering great photo opportunities before descent begins into Geneva or the plane flies on to other destinations. The mountain has also seen a number of plane crashes throughout its history.

Mont Blanc Travel

flickr image by will_cyclist

There are plenty of routes accessible to moderately skilled climbers. The Voie Royale is a

well-travelled route, as is La Traversee. All the routes require a stop overnight in order to acclimatise to the altitude, while the Bionnassey Route can last three days. Those who are completing the climb will be rewarded with fantastic views overlooking the Alps into France and Italy, with views of Germany’s Black Forrest being possible on a very clear day.

Aside from climbing and hiking, the mountain is also a popular destination for many different winter sports, including skiing and snowboarding, as well as mountain walking. Mont Blanc’s easy accessibility via Switzerland and France ensures it remains a largely popular site throughout the year, and climbing the mountain is relatively tourist friendly, making the beautiful Mont Blanc an excellent site for a first climb.

Date posted: 15th August, 2017

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