The Trip Notes provide detailed information and background for Adventure Consultants' Mont Blanc Guided Ascents.
You can view the trip notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the following link:
Mont Blanc Guided Ascent Trip Notes 2020
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.
Hayley Furze, Client Liaison
Hayley joins the AC team with a wealth of experience working in the tourism and hospitality industry along with a love of travel. She works as Client Liaison on a number of our European and international ascents, treks and expeditions.
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.
Each of our trips is individually rated according to its physical and technical difficulty, displayed in the icons towards the top of each trip page. You can click on the accompanying question mark for additional descriptions and the full run-down of our grading system is available on our Difficulty Ratings page.
Preparing for Your Trip
To make the most of your climbing experience you must train in the months leading up to your trip. Summit day on Mont Blanc is 10-12 hours long and gains over 1500m in elevation. Combine these factors with an altitude of over 4000m and the need to arrive with a good level of cardiovascular fitness is even more vital.
By adopting a programme of running, cycling and/or hill walking in the months leading up to your climb you will greatly increase your chance of success. Build up your training until you are able to hike on consecutive days for at least 8hrs whilst carrying a 10kg/22lbs pack, incorporating the elevation gain of over 1500m/5000ft which is required on summit day. Your guide will be attuned to your fitness levels and will regulate the pace accordingly; however, it is essential that you arrive physically prepared to succeed on this mountain.
For more information visit our Fitness Training Programs page and check out our Training Peaks Uphill Athlete 8 Week Mont Blanc Training Plan.
Pre-Course & Acclimatisation Programme
It is preferable to spend a few days at altitude prior to your scheduled climb to assist with your acclimatisation. Climbers regularly attend our Pre-Course and Acclimatisation Programme in Chamonix prior to partaking in the ascent. This two-day acclimatisation and re-familiarisation programme takes you on day climbs to high elevations on peaks that are easily accessible from Chamonix to kick-start your acclimatisation and get you out climbing before the main programme begins. By enhancing your acclimatisation and fine tuning your skills before the Mont Blanc programme begins you experience more enjoyment from the climb and enjoy a greater success rate.
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. We also advise getting trip cancellation insurance to cover you should you be forced to cancel your participation prior to the trip starting.
Mont Blanc, the 'White Mountain' is the highest mountain in the European Alps, and the second highest in Europe after Mount Elbrus. The first recorded ascent was by Jacques Balmat and Michel Paccard in 1786. The first woman, Maire Paradis reached the summit in 1808.
Mont Blanc is symbolic in that it is considered the birthplace of modern mountaineering. Today, some 20,000 people summit Mont Blanc each year via several now classic climbing routes.
Adventure Consultants will provide breakfasts for the duration of the trip 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 from the arrival evening on day 0 through to and including the night of day 5. Accommodation in the mountains is in alpine huts in shared bunk rooms or dormitory rooms. Blankets are provided and no sleeping bag will be required although you will require a sleeping bag liner for personal hygiene under the provided blankets. There are no single supplement or private rooms available in the mountain huts but we can arrange this for you in Chamonix. We can also arrange an upgrade to four or five star hotel accommodation – ask about the hotel options if interested.
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.
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 an attempt on the summit of Mont Blanc in the time allotted. However, due to the length of the trip and our focus on the forecasts, we can often change our itinerary to work around frontal systems. Should the weather not allow a summit attempt within the time frame, it is sometimes possible to engage the guide for additional days depending on their availability.