You’ve heard of Mont Blanc, yeah? Europe’s highest mountain? The one with the transparent glass cage jutting out over the Alps of France, Italy and Switzerland? Yeah, that’s the one.
Well what if we told you you could stay in accommodation on top of the glorious white mountain for just 30 Euro ($47AUD) a night? Sounds pretty good right? Yeah, well there’s just the tiniest catch – getting there isn’t exactly the easiest thing in the world.
Nestled 3835 metres above sea level is the Refuge du Goûter, a four-storey egg-shaped stainless-steel structure and the last stop before the final climb up to the summit of Mont Blanc. Sitting 16-metres high, this new-age alpine accommodation is a battle in itself to get to, but boy are the views worth it when you do.
Jutting out over a 1500 metre drop, this hut – which took seven years to complete – is a wonder in its own right. With an impressive 120 beds, the Refuge du Goûter is completely self-sufficient, and energy efficient to boot. There’s solar and wind powered electricity, recycled water, triple glazed windows to keep the cold out and a bunch of other eco-friendly features.
Sleeping dormitories are neat and clean, there’s cloakrooms, communal living areas, a kitchen and the coup de gras, a dining room with a killer panoramic view.
Okay so getting there: the best route is to climb from the Cosmique hut down below via the du Goûter route on your way towards the Chamonix valley ahead. It’s the perfect mid-way point to relax those weary legs after hours and hours of climbing. Their website lists handy coordinates in case you get lost. Note: bring a compass.
While Mont Blanc is known for its sheer beauty (and boy, is it beautiful) it’s also a popular spot for mountaineering, hiking, skiing and snowboarding. As it’s a hub for any and all winter activities, travellers come from far and wide to battle the slopes of this piercingly white mountain and enjoy that amazing view on the way down.
(Lead image: Nikolay Bersenev)