As the highest mountain in Western Europe, Mont Blanc requires some specific, technical clothing and equipment to help you summit it. It might seem like an investment at first but once you’ve got the kit you’re set for other popular mountain routes like the Matterhorn, Elbrus, the Eiger and the Monte Rosa).
Below is a list of our recommended kit for your trip. We work closely with Jottnar as they make, in our opinion, the best technical mountaineering clothing out there. All Adventure Base clients receive 15% off their range and you can learn more here.
KEY CLOTHING ITEMS
HARDSHELL WATERPROOF JACKET
A hardshell jacket of Gore-Tex, or similar standard, is one of your key pieces of kit. Make sure it’s big enough to put over multiple layers and that it comes with a hood. You’ll use this if the weather becomes a little wild and you need protection from wind and rain. Something like: The ‘Hodr’, ‘Grim’ or ‘Odin’ Jottnar hardshell jacket.
INSULATED MID LAYER
There are a few options here depending on your preferences but this layer needs to be a warm thick fleece, a softshell or a light down jacket. This is one of your key insulating layers so something comfortable and technical is recommended. Something like: The ‘Asger’ or ‘Floyen’ jackets from Jottnar are ideal.
LONG SLEEVE BASE LAYER TOPS x 2
Some long sleeve lightweight mid layers are required as they will be the second piece of your layering system. Something like: The ‘Svend’ or ‘Tyer’ from Jottnar.
SHORT SLEEVE BASE LAYER TOPS x 2
The first of your layering system. A top tip is to look for an anti-microbial treatment to keep things as fresh as possible. Something like: The ‘Ove’ or ‘Mar’ from Jottnar.
HARDSHELL WATERPROOF SHELL PANTS
Hardshell trousers of Gore-Tex, or similar standard, are required for this trip. Ideally they come with side zips to provide a little more ventilation when you’re working hard. Something Like: The ‘Valdyr’ from Jottnar works well.
SOFT-SHELL MOUNTAINEERING / TREKKING PANTS
This is the trouser you will spend a lot of your time in so make sure it’s comfortable. Something like: The ‘Valen’ from Jottnar is ideal.
BASE LAYER LEGGINGS
Make sure you’ve got some full leg, lightweight leggings will keep you warm and toasty.
A shorts option is great for warm days or when spending time indoors.
B3 BOOTS (CAN BE RENTED)
We recommend the use of B3 boots for this mountain adventure. These should be waterproof, stiff, warm and sturdy for when you’re on the glacier. Top tip if you’re buying them, make sure you leave a little room at your toes but not enough so that your heel moves when you walk. It will make for a much more comfortable fit. We recommend La Sportiva or Scarpa boots, namely the La Sportiva Nepal Evo and Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro.
TRAIL SHOES / HIKING SHOES
Trail or hiking boots will be more comfortable on the lower section of the mountain as well as any days you’re in the town.
HATS / FACE COVERINGS
You’ll need a sun cap, a warm hat that covers your ears and a buff or balaclava. The idea should be that if needed, you can cover your whole face.
You’ll need sunglasses (ideally glacier glasses), that provide 100% UV protection. You’ll also need some goggles (Ski goggles are ideal) that can be thrown on if it’s windy.
You will need a thin softshell glove that provide protection in the cooler temperatures and when on the glacier and a thick warm glove (Like expedition shell gloves) that are ideally Gore-Tex and have a removable inner glove.
We recommend a 30-40 litres pack but it all depends on how you light to pack and what you like to bring. It should be large enough to carry all your equipment up to the huts where you can remove certain items before summit days. Something like: The Osprey Mutant 38 Litre
ICE AXE (CAN BE RENTED)
You will need one ice axe with or without a leash. Something like: The Black Diamond ‘Raven’ Ice Axe.
CRAMPONS (CAN BE RENTED)
You will need some 12-point steel mountaineering crampons with anti-balling plates. Something like: The Black Diamond ‘Serac’ crampons.
CLIMBING HELMET (CAN BE RENTED)
While it’s highly unlikely anything will fall on you, a head injury can occur. Taking every precaution in a remote environment is important which is why you will need a lightweight climbing helmet. Something like: The Black Diamond ‘Vision’ Helmet would work well.
HARNESS (CAN BE RENTED)
This should be comfortable, adjustable and large enough to fit over all clothing. Something Like: The Black Diamond ‘Couloir’ harness is great.
TREKKING POLES (CAN BE RENTED)
Adjustable poles will help on some of the trekking sections both ascending and descending.