The Mont Blanc: The Finest Routes guidebook is a collection of the 100 must-do climbing routes in the Mont Blanc Massif.
Modern alpinism is a multi-faceted activity for which the Mont Blanc Massif is the perfect playground. Classic routes to which every mountaineer can aspire are surrounded by the towering rock faces, huge mixed walls, precipitous ice shields, serrated ridges and narrow gullies that define the massif's harder climbs.
In order to attain these prestigious summits via the most interesting itineraries, this book presents a modern selection of 100 must-do routes, ranging from historic classics to more recent lines, described in order of increasing difficulty.
Author and mountain guide Philippe Batoux provides a comprehensive account of each route, outlining its history and atmosphere and giving all the technical information needed to climb it. These written descriptions are complemented by photo diagrams and detailed topos. In addition, every route is illustrated with superbly evocative photos that make best use of the book's large format.
The routes were chosen for the quality of the rock, the reliability of the in-situ gear, the beauty of the surroundings, the prestige of the summit and the enthusiasm the route inspires. Preference has been given to routes in the modern idiom, whether they are gullies that only form in winter, difficult free climbs on high-altitude cliffs, long ridge scrambles or traverses of major summits. There are routes here for all tastes, from famous classics such as the Cosmiques Ridge on the Aiguille du Midi, the American Direct on the Petit Dru, the Whymper Couloir on the Aiguille Verte, the Walker Spur on the Grandes Jorasses and the Kuffner Ridge on Mont Maudit to more recent gems such as Je t'ai conquis, Je t'adore on Pointe Lpiney, No Siesta on the Grandes Jorasses and Le Vent du Dragon on the Aiguille du Midi.
Philippe Batoux is an exceptional mountaineer who has travelled the globe seeking out the world's greatest climbs. He works as a mountain guide and instructor at France's national ski and mountaineering school in Chamonix. He has climbed all the routes he describes in this book, often in the company of today's most talented mountain photographers.