With fatalities reaching the hundreds each year, It's safe to say that more people die annually on the Mont Blanc massif than on any other mountain in the world. In many cases, it’s the result of poor planning, inexperience, or lack of skill or safety precautions. Sometimes it's just poor luck and the mountain's fickle weather, as the 11 tragic deaths from two separate accidents in July show.
That said, more than 2,000 people reach the 15,770-foot summit of Europe’s tallest peak each year, and if you’re willing to face the challenge, the walk to the top is a strenuous but fairly easy one for fit athletes who are properly acclimatized. Late summer usually provides the best weather conditions, so this is a preferable time to go. Beginners should be able to comfortably tackle either of these two routes. You'll want the help of a qualified guide: Chamonix Guide Company provides a three-day climbing course for mountaineering novices, followed by a two-day summit trip (starts at $1,050).