The Course Notes provide detailed information and background for Adventure Consultants' Gran Paradiso Course and Ascent.
You can view the course notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the following link:
Gran Paradiso Course & Ascent Trip Notes
We operate this course with an optional ratio of 1:1, 1:2 or 1:4 (guide to climbers)
Adventure Consultants guides are BMG/NZMGA and / or IFMGA-UIAGM qualified mountain guides. They are professional mountaineers and operate to the highest industry standards.
Being a technically proficient climber alone is not enough to work with us; our standards demand that trip leaders are great guides as well. You will find your guide friendly, approachable and focused on providing a safe and enjoyable trip in line with your objectives and comfort level.
Success with the highest margin of care is always a hallmark of our approach; promoting the realisation that even extreme pursuits such as high altitude mountaineering can be undertaken safely.
Adventure Consultants only employs IFMGA qualified guides for European ascents and courses and this is the only certification that is recognised in the French Alps. In order to gain these qualifications guides must undergo rigorous training and assessment on climbing skills, instructional skills, avalanche training and assessment, wilderness first aid, rescue training and much more. The qualification takes many years to attain and ensures you are getting a world class professional service.
Head Office Support Team
Running successful journeys and expeditions is more about experience, knowledge and strategic management than any other factors. As an organisation, we place a substantial amount of time and resources into ensuring our trips are well planned and supported. You can be assured that the AC staff will provide you with friendly advice and knowledgeable support throughout the planning stages of your trip and we will be there to provide backup while the trip is running.
Amelia Crofut-Brittingham, Client Liaison
Amelia has been with Adventure Consultants since October 2017 in the role of Client Liaison for European and Himalayan Operations. Having spent many years working in the ski industry, Amelia brings a wealth of experience to her role.
Our registration form requests that you advise us of any medical problems you may have and if you are on any medication. Any information you supply will be treated as confidential.
Level of Experience Required
To climb in Europe you need to be physically fit, have strong mental stamina and be capable of strenuous exercise for several days duration. Summit days will start well before dawn, but there is enough time for some and relaxed evenings enjoying the classic European culture.
Even climbing at the moderate altitudes in Europe has a definite physical effect on people. Most climbers notice a lower performance rate than normal. Summit days are the most physically demanding of the days and can entail 1000m or 3,300ft ascent at altitude. These rewarding and photogenic days typically take between twelve and fourteen hours.
This course and ascent is suitable for people wanting to learn and practice general mountaineering skills while climbing a classic and challenging 4000m peak. Though not essential, some rock climbing or scrambling experience is desirable and prior use of ice axe and crampons advantageous.
Preparing for Your Trip
To make the most of your climbing experience we encourage you to work on your fitness prior to the trip. You will find that training on hills with a +10kg pack on is the best preparation for the mountains, with the aim of building your endurance. Your guide will be attuned to your fitness levels and will regulate the pace accordingly. See our Fitness Training Programs for information on how we can help you prepare for your course.
We strongly recommend that you take out trip cancellation and travel insurance to protect yourself in case of injury or mishap prior to/or whilst on our trips.
While our focus is on safety and our track record supports this, the mountains do have hazards and there is the potential for mishap. If you were injured whilst on the trip there is a very efficient rescue service nearby.
Adventure Consultants will provide breakfasts for the duration of the course and evening meals on hut nights while the trip is running. This is from breakfast on Day 1 until breakfast on the final scheduled day of your trip. You will be responsible for your own lunches and snacks each day and your own evening meals on non-mountain nights in Chamonix. This allows you to experience the exciting culinary options available in Chamonix as there are many restaurants and bars within close walking distance that provide a variety of foods to suit your tastes. Any additional food, beverages or meals you purchase that are not mentioned in the inclusions will be at your own expense.
It is a good idea to bring a small selection of your favourite snack food and hydration drinks with you to ensure you are fuelled by your preferred brands. Actual amounts depend on your consumption but two per day in addition to your lunch would seem reasonable.
If you have any special dietary requirements, please advise us at the time of registration. If your dietary requirements are especially strict you are advised to bring a sufficient supply of your required food types with you to ensure you are provided for.
Accommodation is provided on a twin share B&B basis for three nights including the first and last night of the course. No sleeping bags are required when staying at the mountain huts, as blankets are supplied. There is no single supplement (or private rooms) available in the mountain huts but we can arrange this for you in Chamonix.
A single supplement is available at additional cost for the hotel nights during the course. Please enquire about costs at time of booking as this needs to be reserved in advance.
Clothing & Equipment
Climbing in the European Alps requires you have high quality clothing and equipment due to the extremes of weather conditions. Our focus is on having the essential clothing and equipment to keep you warm and comfortable during the climb.
Your guide will go through the equipment checklist with you at the beginning of your trip. Actual equipment taken may vary subject to seasonal weather and route conditions. You can rent technical equipment for the climb but you must provide your own clothing appropriate to mountaineering as per the equipment list. Group equipment including ropes and technical hardware will be organised by your Guide.
Communications & Messages
Our guides are in cell phone communication with our operations base throughout the trip. This assists us with schedule and weather forecast updates, lift and accommodation co-ordination and safety back up. Your own mobile phone should work in the region though you may want to check with your own service provider first. Local mobile phones can be rented at the international airports.
We operate in the Alps mid-June to mid-September and other times as conditions allow. In June and early July we can expect more snow cover on the routes, and as temperatures warm up into the summer months from mid-July we traditionally experience more settled weather and warmer temperatures.
Europe has a continental climate which in general encourages more stable weather. However, the weather in the high mountains can be changeable and at times very severe. It is possible weather conditions may thwart our program. However, due to the length of the course and our focus on the forecasts we can often change our itinerary slightly to work around frontal weather systems.