Mont Blanc Equipment List
This kit list is designed for a Mont Blanc ascent in normal summer conditions. Off season ascents obviously require a different set of gear. This list also assumes your using the mountain huts, and not carrying camping gear up and down the hill.
Technical Gear – which can be rented from us or in Chamonix:
- B2 or B3 Mountaineering boots. You need warm boots, that can take a C2-3 crampon. Despite the photos of people in trainers on the mountain, it does get very cold and icy. Scarpa make a good range – Freney, Jorass etc.
- Crampons – 12 point steel mountaineering crampons are ideal, with a set of anti-balling plates. Petzl Vasak for example. Lightweight Alloy crampons are not suitable for icy conditions and ice climbing crampons are heavy.
- Ice axe – 50 – 70cm. A walking style axe is fine and they are generally lighter than a climbing axe. Remove all leaches and straps, they get in the way.
- Harness – large enough to go over your layers. 2 x screwgate krabs.
- Helmet – A rock climbing helmet to go from the Tete Rousse hut to the Gouter.
- Rucksack – Light and simple, 35 – 50 Ltr. Some rucksacks weigh over 2kg, some as little as 0.5kg.
Clothing – There are lots of gear shops in Chamonix, from cheap to posh for last minute purchases:
- Gaiters for mountaineering boots. Keeps the snow out and stops you catching your crampons.
- Thin liner socks and mid weight walking socks. Can prevent blisters if you have two layers, but not essential.
- Warm gloves for summit day, e.g Mountain Equipment guide glove or similar. Plus one pair of thinner fleece gloves for general walking.
- Warm hat, buff/neck gaiter and a sun hat.
- Waterproof jacket and trousers, lightweight is best. Ideally your jackets hood will go over a helmet.
- Trousers – Mid weight soft shell trousers are ideal, and normally wouldn’t require a thermal layer underneath, you can use the waterproof trousers if it’s windy above the Gouter hut. E.g. Arcteryx Beta pants. Thinner trousers can work, but you may need a thermal layer as well.
- Thermal top layer, thin long sleeved tops work best to keep the sun off.
- Mid weight top layer. Fleece or other synthetic.
- Lightweight down or mid weight synthetic over jacket. This needs to be able to go over all your other layers so you can add or remove it without having to take your waterproof or harness off.