Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc is the tallest mountain in Western Europe. Its highest point is known to vary over time and is measured o­nce every two years. The latest elevation puts Mont Blanc at 4,810 meters high (15,781 feet). This is the height of the snow summit. The height of the mountain’s rock summit is 4,792 meters (15,720 feet). Some consider Mont Blanc to be the birthplace of mountain climbing.

Mont Blanc is a popular mountain to climb, perhaps because it is not as challenging as other major peaks. About 20,000 people every year climb Mont Blanc, most of whom follow o­ne of several established routes. Each route has permanent cabins established for climbers to spend the night. The record climbing speed o­n Mont Blanc is 5.17 hours up and back, accomplished by a Swiss named Pierre-André Gobet.

The fact that access to Mont Blanc is relatively easy is exemplified by some of the remarkable activities that have taken place. First, cabin structures have been built o­n the mountain since scientist Joseph Vallot built his cabin near the summit at the close of the 19th century. An observatory was built o­n Mont Blanc’s summit in 1893, although it eventually collapsed in 1909.

Mont Blanc Massif
Mont Blanc
The traffic o­n Mont Blanc is so heavy that restrooms have been established o­n the mountain at a height of 4,260 meters (13,976).

A pilot by the name of Henri Giraud landed an airplane o­n the summit in 1960. o­ne of the most bizarre activities o­n the mountain was the setting up of a hot tub at the summit in 2007. It took a group of 20 people to carry up the tub and equipment to run it.