Adventures / Summit Fever

Climb Mont Blanc (4810m)

Tackle the mountaineer's mountain and highest peak in the Alps and gain bragging rights that will last a lifetime

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Trip Ref #10527

Adventures / Summit Fever

Climb Mont Blanc (4810m)

Tackle the mountaineer's mountain and highest peak in the Alps and gain bragging rights that will last a lifetime

DURATION

7 nights

LOCATION

France, Italy

ANNUAL LEAVE

1 week off work

SEASON

Jun-Sep

GROUP SIZE

Up to 4 people

MEETING POINT

Chamonix, France

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel · Mountain hut

DIFFICULTY

Tough

Mont Blanc is a serious challenge and not to be underestimated, so be sure to pack your determination (you’ll need it).

Face-off against the highest peaks in France and Italy, culminating in the mountaineer’s mountain itself – Mont Blanc

Climb in a group of just four people (1:4 guide ratio, 1:2 for summit day) and summit Mont Blanc on a Monday, the quietest and most peaceful day to tackle this legendary peak

Test your tenacity and determination to the limits and accomplish something that you’ll be talking about for years

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

Included

Guides

Expert, qualified mountaineering guides

Accommodation

4 nights in mountain huts and 3 nights in a hotel in Chamonix

Meals

Hearty mountain hut meals

Transfers

All transport between locations

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Some meals as described

Some equipment

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Central Chamonix

18:00 on Day 1

Ends

Central Chamonix

17:00 onwards on Day 7, or any time on Day 8

Transfers

Your host will meet you at your hotel in Chamonix on Day 1. They can arrange a private transfer from Geneva Airport (see Optional Extras section for prices). Alternatively, you can get a choice of buses from airport or central bus station to Chamonix.

Travel options

You can fly into Geneva Airport (GVA) which is approximately one hour from Chamonix. Alternatively, you can fly into Milan Airport (LIN) or Zurich Airport (ZRH) and travel on to Chamonix from there.

For those who wish to avoid flying, Chamonix is also accessible by train via the St. Gervais-les-Bains (Le Fayet) station at the base of the valley which connects to Chamonix Mont Blanc train station. For example, take the Eurostar from London to Paris and then connect to a number of direct lines or an overnight sleeper train from Paris to St. Gervais-les-Bains, then on to Chamonix Mont Blanc station.

You can also travel to Geneva by various train routes from other parts of Europe and travel on to Chamonix from there by bus. Geneva bus station is a 5 minute walk or short taxi ride from the central train station. There are various bus services from Geneva bus station to Chamonix, the quickest option taking 1 hour and 8 minutes.

Your return leg at the end of the trip can begin at Chamonix Mont Blanc train station for various onward train travel routes throughout Europe, or you can take the bus from Chamonix to Geneva and travel on by train from Geneva train station.

For those wanting to arrive a day early or extend their trip - your host is happy to help arrange pre or post trip accommodation on your behalf, with the price and style depending on availability and your budget.

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 3

Mountain hut · Mixed dorm

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5 – Day 6

Mountain hut · Mixed dorm

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

The food in the mountain huts is basic but tasty (3-course in the evening, hot drink and bread/jam/cereal for breakfast.) You can also buy tea, coffee, wine, beer, soft drinks, chocolate bars and snacks as well as warm lunches in the huts.

Vegetarians can be catered for but please let your host know in advance. Vegan and other dietary requirements can also be catered for but it will be basic and we recommend that you bring snacks to bulk out the meals. Whilst in Chamonix, breakfasts can cater for vegan / gluten free and dairy free.

What is the accommodation like?

Chamonix

You'll stay in a twin-share, en-suite room at a 3 star hotel in central Chamonix. It’s close to rental shops, restaurants and bars.

The Alps

You'll stay in mountain huts in a mixed dorm with bunk beds where you can expect a good atmosphere and a stunning view. Blankets or duvets are provided, so no sleeping bags are needed, but we recommend that you bring a thin sleeping liner. There is no running water in the huts on Mont Blanc so you have to buy water to drink and wash with (no showers). In Gran Paradiso the huts have running water and hot showers are available.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for the three nights in the hotel in Chamonix, for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

It is not possible to have private accommodation in the mountain huts.

Day 1

Chamonix

Fly into Geneva and make your way to your hotel in Chamonix, where you host will be waiting. Meet your fellow explorers, get briefed on the adventure ahead and head out in search of dinner.

Day 2

Training

Hiking

3hrs · 8km · 900m up

Sort out any last-minute kit rentals in Chamonix and then head for Rifugio Chabod in Gran Paradiso. Eat lunch surrounded by a classic alpine view and then complete an outdoor training session to prepare you for the challenge ahead.

Day 3

First taste of mountaineering

Hiking

9hrs · 12km · 1300m up · 1300m down

Wake up bright and early and make the 1,300m ascent of Gran Paradiso, Italy’s highest peak. The journey to the summit will mainly be over snow, with a final rocky section where you’ll need to scramble. Head back down to the hut in time for dinner and a well-deserved rest.

Day 4

Through the valleys

Hiking

2hrs · 8km · 900m down

Set out early once again, this time on a gradual descent to a gorgeous mountain valley. Stop for a snack and one of Italy’s famous coffees and then drive back to Chamonix one step closer to the big one.

Day 5

Travel between peaks

Hiking

2.5hrs · 4km · 800m up

Drive to Les Houches (10min) and ride the Bellevue cable car and Tramway du Mont Blanc to Refuge du Nid d’Aigle. Hike to the Tete Rousse Hut and rest up for the night, ready for tomorrow’s ascent of Mont Blanc.

Day 6

Mont Blanc

Hiking

11-14hrs · 10km · 1600m up · 1000m down

Time to test your determination to the full. Rise early and begin your ascent on the best day of the week to summit this spectacular mountain. Scramble past the Refuge de Gouter and ascend the Dome de Gouter before tackling the Bosses Ridge, ending on top of Europe’s highest peak. Once you’ve sucked in that incredible view, descend to the Gouter Hut for a well-earned rest and the chance to share stories from the day.

Day 7

Return to Chamonix

Hiking

3-4hrs · 5km · 1400m down

Continue your descent and ride the train and cable car down to Les Houches where your driver will be waiting to take you back to Chamonix. You can either leave as soon as you get back (around 17:00,) or you’re welcome to stay a final night in the hotel at no additional cost. Usually, guides and guests go for a meal to celebrate and talk about what they've just achieved.

Day 8

Head for home

Chow down on one last breakfast before checking out and making your way back home, or on to your next adventure.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's available to hire?

  • Ice axes, hard hats, harnesses and crampons are available to hire locally. See Optional Extras for prices.

What do I need to bring?

Equipment

  • Ice axe for general mountaineering (between 50 and 70cm depending on your height)
  • Standard, steel mountaineering crampons
  • Helmet – standard, hard plastic climbing helmet
  • Climbing Harness (adjustable so that it is comfortable over all your layers), with 2 screw gate carabiners
  • Trekking Poles – Foldable
  • Rucksack – Mountaineering specific 30-50L. It must have an ice axe strap to stash your ice axe when you are not using it, and a rain-proof cover.

Clothing

  • Mountaineering B2 or B3 Boots and gaiters (if you're not sure whether your boots are crampon compatible, check out this handy guide
  • 3 sets of socks and thermal tops
  • Lightweight hardshell hooded top and bottoms
  • Warm hat and 2 pairs of gloves. One pair should be thick mountaineering gloves and the second a thinner pair suitable for mid-mountain conditions.
  • Insulating layers. We suggest a thin lightweight fleece and a synthetic or down jacket.
  • Mountaineering trousers
  • Shorts, hiking shoes and trainers - nice to wear around town and on the approach to climbing days

Other

  • Earplugs
  • Water bottles up to 2L
  • Sun protection including: sunglasses (category 4), goggles, sun hat, Factor 30-50 High Mountain sunscreen, lip salve/block.
  • Head torch and spare batteries
  • Sleeping bag silk liner (you don’t need the sleeping bag itself as blankets/duvets are provided in the huts)
  • Personal first aid – blister kit, aspirin, or paracetamol
  • Cash for extra drinks / snacks in huts
  • ID

All items

Payable Before Departure

All items

Per Person

Climbing Harness

Payable Before Departure

Climbing Harness

Per Person

Crampons

Payable Before Departure

Crampons

Per Person

Hard Hat

Payable Before Departure

Hard Hat

Per Person

Ice Axe

Payable Before Departure

Ice Axe

Per Person

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 145kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

No previous mountaineering experience is required as full skills and training will be provided. However you do need a good level of cardiovascular endurance, fitness, a can-do attitude and plenty of determination.

You need to be able to hike comfortably with a heavy pack for up to 10 hours at a moderate pace, a good head for heights and good overall balance and awareness. We'll teach you the skills you need during the first 3 days of the trip - such as walking with crampons whilst attached to your guide with a rope.

If you want to develop training before the climb, you can add a 3-day Alpine Skills Short Break course to your trip, however, this is optional.

For the three training days at the beginning of the week we have a 4:1 climber / guide ratio. For your Mont Blanc attempt our ratio is 2:1.

In short, no. Whilst we will always strive to get you to the summit safely, sometimes the weather or the conditions of the mountain don’t play ball. When there is precipitation, high winds and low visibility for example, we cannot guarantee reaching the summit and will sometimes recommend an alternative. We fully trust and back the trip leader to make these final decisions based on their years of experience on the mountain, with safety as a top priority.

However the vast majority of people reach the summit successfully.

Sometimes the conditions on Mont Blanc are too dangerous to attempt a summit. If the weather or conditions on the mountain on the day of your summit mean that your guides need to make this call, the group will move to a different mountain range nearby to tackle a substitute ascent.

As the climate heats up and Europe experiences hotter temperatures at the height of summer, the conditions in the Alps are worsening, particularly on Mont Blanc. There have been increased rockfalls during August in recent years, leading to unavoidable accidents. In August 2022 the mayor of Saint-Gervais at the foot of Mont Blanc took the decision to close the mountain refuges at Goûter and Tête Rousse due to dangerous rockfalls. For this reason, we have taken the decision not to offer this trip during August in future years.

When you trek in the mountains, there's always the risk of getting altitude sickness, regardless of how old, young, fit or unfit you are. We would expect most trekkers to feel some mild symptoms of altitude sickness (headache, sleeplessness, heavy breathing) when over 3500m. Our guides are trained to identify the symptoms of altitude sickness so if any more serious symptoms are noted, there is a strict procedure regarding extra care or a rapid descent if needed. All of our trips have been designed with altitude best practice in mind so acclimatisation days have been built in and our experienced guides follow advice to ‘walk high and sleep low’.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

All of our guides are friendly, hand-picked and highly experienced, with many years in the guiding industry. They are of various nationalities but all speak a good level of English and are very attentive. Their primary role is to get you to the summit and back safely, but they also provide a high level of customer service and are very interesting people to spend time with. They like to share their knowledge of the mountains and their experiences, so don’t hesitate to ask questions and pick their brains. Lastly, they know Mont Blanc like the back of their hands and this is the most important thing when it comes to making key decisions in the mountains and providing the safest possible experience.

In short, alpine and prone to change, so you'll need to prepare for all weathers and dress in layers. Put it this way – it’s called the ‘white mountain’ for a good reason. The climbing season runs from mid-June to late September and between those dates there is no better or worse time to attempt the climb. The beginning and end of the season can be snowy/ cold, and the middle months can be busier and the hotter temperatures can cause afternoon storms.

Summit success varies from season to season but remains consistent throughout the months. If the weather shuts you down, your host will endeavour to find the closest mountain in the area with better weather and thanks to their base location they are generally able to find an equally beautiful alternative within driving distance in France, Italy or Switzerland.

Yes there will be a place to leave excess luggage at the hotel.

For current advice about travelling in France, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

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