Mont Blanc Course & Ascent

ITINERARY


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Day
 
 
0
Arrive Chamonix.
 
1
Drive to Gran Paradiso National Park.
Trek up to Rifugio Hut, Vittorio Emanuele II (2,735m). Rope work revision skills on arrival. Prepare for climb next day.
 
2
Crampon, ice axe and glacier travel skills. Ascent of Gran Paradiso 4,061m by west flank (5 to 6 hrs). Return to hut.
 
3
Descend and return to Chamonix, big boot climbing skills in the afternoon at Gaillands/rest in preparation for summit attempt.
 
4
Ascend to Tete Rousse Hut (3,187m) or to Cosmiques Hut (3,613m)
 
Summit day, Mont Blanc (4,807m) 7-8 hrs. Descend to hut or to Chamonix.
 
6
Descend to Les Houches, transfer to Chamonix. Hotel night.
 
7
Trip Ends.

COURSE OBJECTIVE

To develop sufficient skills to ascend Europe’s highest peak, Mont Blanc.

  • Development of cramponing and snow climbing skills
  • A training climb
  • Rope techniques applicable to the ascent
  • An ascent of Mont Blanc

SKILLS TAUGHT ON COURSE

You will be taught basic snow climbing techniques that will prepare you for the ascent of Mont Blanc. The training will focus on teaching good footwork by spending as much time as possible on snow and ice on similar slopes to what you would find on the climbing route up and down the mountain. 

  • Basic snow climbing using crampons and ice axe
  • Rope skills applicable to basic alpine climbing     
  • Glacier travel techniques 

ABOUT THE COURSE

Our 6 day course/ascent is designed to enable you to climb to the summit of Mont Blanc after spending the initial days learning the necessary climbing skills. During training, we make the short trip through to Italy to make an ascent of the Gran Paradiso which provides fabulous views of the Mont Blanc Massif. This ascent is imperative to encourage acclimatisation for the final ascent to the summit of Mont Blanc. Mont Blanc is not technically difficult but is very physically demanding and requires a good level of fitness.

During the training program, you develop a thorough grounding in crampon and ice axe use which are the primary skills required for the ascent of Mont Blanc.

We operate the course and ascent on a ratio of one guide to two climbers. You benefit from the higher degree of personal tuition from your guide and your skills will be accelerated because of this. Even if you are a seasoned climber your guide can adjust the program to cater to your existing skills set. Whatever your existing climbing standard, the training will get you back on your feet and you will benefit from the acclimatisation as well as the spectacular surrounds.

We will make the final ascent of Mont Blanc from either the North West via the Goûter Route or the North via the Cosmiques Route. The Cosmiques Route traverses the lesser peaks of Mont Blanc du Tacul and Mt Maudit on the way to the summit. The choice of the route taken will depend on group size and snow and weather conditions at the time.

On the Goûter Route we begin the approach by tram and railway, then walk up to the Tête Rousse Hut which takes 3-5 hours. The summit day begins early and the climb takes around 7-8 hours over snow domes and a superb snow ridge to the summit.

The Cosmiques Route is slightly more difficult and therefore guided only as a 1:1 option. This route takes around 6-7 hours to the summit from the Cosmiques Hut and features snow basins followed by some short steeper sections as you ascend the peaks of the Tacul and the Maudit. After the Maudit is passed you climb a large snow dome to Mont Blanc’s summit, the highest point in the Alps.

DETAILED ITINERARY

Arrival day: Arrive Chamonix, check in to your hotel. Hotel night.

Day 1: Meet your guide early morning, gear check and briefing. Drive to Gran Paradiso National Park (1 1/2 hrs), trek 3hrs up to Rifugio (hut) - Vittorio Emanuele II, (2,735m/8,973ft), rope work skills revision on arrival.

Day 2: Crampon, ice axe and glacier travel skills. Ascent of Gran Paradiso 4,061m/13,323ft by west flank (5 to 6 hrs). Return to the hut for a valuable second night of sleeping high to aid acclimatisation.

Day 3: Descend and return to Chamonix, showers back at the Hotel. Practise big boot climbing skills in the afternoon at Gaillands / rest. Chamonix hotel night.

Day 4: Take the lift to Bellevue and the Mont Blanc Tramway(2380m/7800ft)), and trek to Tete Rousse hut (3,187m/10,377ft) or take the Aiguille du Midi lift and trek to Cosmiques hut. Enjoy an early night.

Day 5: Very early start for the ascent of Mont Blanc (8 hrs from Tete Rousse, 7 hrs from Cosmiques) and descend to either Gouter or Tete Rousse hut if on the Gouter route or Cosmiques hut if on the Cosmiques route (5 hrs). Sometimes it will be possible to descend to Chamonix the same day.

Day 6: Descend to Les Houches, transfer to Chamonix. Debrief. Hotel night.

Day 7:  Breakfast, a chance to exchange photographs and departure. Airport transfers are not included but we can arrange this for you.

TRAVEL TO CHAMONIX

We commence our Mont Blanc Course & Ascent from Chamonix in France. The closest international airport is in Geneva, just over the border in Switzerland. Regular shuttles operate through to Chamonix and the trip takes about 1.5 hrs. Your shuttle driver will drop you at your accommodation. At the completion of the course, the shuttle can take you back to the airport. The shuttle transfers are at your own cost but we can help arrange this for you.

 

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