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Adventures / Summit Fever

Climb Mont Blanc (4810m)

The mountaineer's mountain. From Chamonix, climb the highest peak in the Alps in a week.

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Trip Ref #9460

Adventures / Summit Fever

Climb Mont Blanc (4810m)

The mountaineer's mountain. From Chamonix, climb the highest peak in the Alps in a week.

DURATION
7 nights
LOCATION
France
FLY TO
Geneva Cointrin International Airport
DIFFICULTY
Tough

Test your tenacity and climb the highest peaks in France and Italy in this challenging week-long adventure to the summit of Mont Blanc and Gran Paradiso. Your hassle-free adventure includes:

  • 4 nights half board in mountain huts
  • 3 nights B&B Chamonix accommodation
  • 3 training days
  • Summit of Mont Blanc via Gouter route (4810m)
  • Summit of Gran Paradiso (4061m)
  • Expert local guides
  • All transport between locations

Perfect for: Anyone with a good level of physical fitness who wants to conquer Mont Blanc. That said, Mont Blanc is not to be underestimated; it will be challenging whatever your physical fitness, so be sure to pack your determination (you’ll need it).

If you want more training before the climb, there’s an option to add a 3-day Alpine Skills Short Break course to your trip, which you’d complete prior to your climb.

Included

Accommodation

Guide

Local transport

Meals as described

Wednesday: Arrival in Chamonix

Fly into Geneva, make your own way to Chamonix and be greeted by your guides at the Chalet Pele at 18:00. Meet your fellow explorers and get debriefed for the week ahead.

Thursday: Travel to refuge and training

Sort out any last minute rental in Chamonix before setting out for Rifugio Chabod in Gran Paradiso (1.5h drive). Park and walk up to the hut. Once at the refuge, eat lunch and complete an outdoor training session.

Approx 3 hours hiking / Ascent 900m

Friday: Gran Paradiso and the first taste of mountaineering

Wake up bright and early to make the 1,300m ascent of the Gran Paradiso, Italy’s highest peak. The journey to the summit will mainly be on snow, minus a final rocky section where you’ll need to scramble. Then it’s back down to the huts for dinner and rest.

Approx 9 hours trekking / Ascent 1300m / Descent 1300m

Saturday: Hike through the valleys

After you’ve recovered from the previous day’s climb, set out for 08:30 and make the gradual descent to the valley for two hours. Stop for a snack and one of Italy’s famous coffees, then drive back to Chamonix (1.5h drive).

Approx 2 hours trekking / Descent 900m

Sunday: Travelling between peaks

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

Approx 2.5 hours trekking / Ascent 800m

Monday: Summit Mont Blanc

Up early, it's time for the eight-to-12-hour hike to the peak. You’ll set out by scrambling up past the refuge de Gouter, then ascending the Dome de Gouter and finally the Bosses ridge to the summit. Made it! Once you’ve sucked in the view from the summit, descend to the Gouter hut for a well earned rest and chance to share stories from the day.

Approx 11-14 hours trekking / Ascent 1600m / Descent 1000m

Tuesday: Return to the chalet for a well-deserved dinner, drinks and rest

Make your way back down from Gouter to the Refuge du Nid d’Aigle. Take the Tramway du Mont Blanc, followed by the Bellevue cable car to Les Houches. You’ll then drive back to the chalet to unwind after the climb.

You can leave as soon as you get back to the chalet (17:00), but you’re welcome to stay a final night at no additional cost. Usually, guides and guests go out for a meal to celebrate and reminisce about the week.

Approx 3-4 hours trekking / Descent 1400m

Wednesday: Departure day

Chow down on one last breakfast before checking out at 10:00 and making your own way back home, or on to your next adventure.

Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, and weather conditions and forecasts.

Please Note

All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.

Much of the trip will be based in Chalet Pele, a delightful, rustic B&B in the centre of Chamonix. It’s close to rental shops, restaurants and bars. Rooms are usually shared with your co-climbers, but have twin beds and come with an en-suite bathroom. The chalet has free WIFI, a lounge, dining area and a fun après-ski-like atmosphere. Chamonix’s main high street is a short 5 minute stroll away with plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes as well as mountaineering shops for any last minute rentals or purchases. Rooms are twin share, same sex.

Meanwhile, mountain huts are basic; expect mixed dorms with bunk beds: blankets or duvets provided. No sleeping bags are needed but we do recommend bringing 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.

You can always expect a good atmosphere and a stunning view.

Due to the nature of the trip - it is not possible to private rooms for solo travellers.

As western Europe’s highest peak, Mont Blanc has been a playground for adventurers since the Victorians first got a taste of mountaineering. It’s imposing and beautiful and straddles the Alps on both the border of France and Italy. Chamonix is a beautiful town, that’s easily accessed from Geneva International airport and has excellent nightlife.

Start Point

Chalet Pele in Chamonix at 18:00

Your adventure begins when you meet your host at Chalet Pele in Chamonix at 18:00 on Day 1. We recommend you get any flight in and out of Geneva, which is the nearest airport to Chamonix (just under 60 miles away). Make sure you book flights that align with arrival and departure times. Your host can arrange a private airport transfer upon request which will take you straight to your B&B for around €35 per person each way. Alternatively you can get the EasyBus, which runs on a fixed timetable and costs around €20 per person.

Finish Point

Chalet Pele in Chamonix at 10:00

Your adventure will end after breakfast at Chalet Pele in Chamonix at 10:00 on the final day. If returning home at this point, make your way back to Chamonix - again your host can arrange an airport transfer upon request.

Your host recommends bringing the following:

  1. Ice axe* – for general mountaineering (between 50 and 70cm depending on your height)
  2. Standard steel mountaineering Crampons*
  3. Helmet – standard hard plastic climbing helmet*.
  4. Climbing Harness* (adjustable so that it is comfortable over all your layers), with 2 screw gate carabiners.
  5. Trekking Poles – Foldable
  6. Mountaineering B2 or B3 Boots and Gaiters
  7. Rucksack – Mountaineering specific 30-40L
  8. Water bottles up to 2L
  9. Sun protection including: sunglasses (category 4), goggles, sun hat, Factor 30-50 High Mountain sunscreen, lip salve/block.
  10. 3 sets of socks and thermal tops.
  11. Lightweight hardshell hooded top and bottoms
  12. Warm hat and 2 pairs of gloves. One pair should be warm, thick mountaineering gloves. The second pair should be a thinner pair suitable for mid mountain conditions.
  13. Insulating layers. We suggest a thin lightweight fleece and a synthetic or down jacket.
  14. Mountaineering trousers
  15. Personal first aid – blister kit, aspirin, or Paracetamol.
  16. Head torch and spare batteries.
  17. Earplugs
  18. Sleeping bag silk liner (you don’t need a sleeping bag itself as blankets/duvets are provided in the huts)
  19. Cash for extra drinks / snacks in huts as well as any costs not included in the course price
  20. ID
  21. Shorts, hiking shoes or trainers Nice to have to wear around town and on approaches to climbing days.

*These items can all rented locally but please do request this from your host in advance when you book. Prices are shown in the Optional Extras Section.

Yes. From when you arrive till when you depart you are allocated a room in the Chamonix chalet and this will not be occupied by anyone else during that period.

All of our guides are highly experienced and friendly people. They have all been hand picked over the many years we’ve been 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 along the way 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 the route on Mont Blanc like the back of their hands and this is the most important thing when it comes down to making key decisions in the mountains and providing the safest experience for our clients.

We climb with 4:1 climber:guide ratio on training days, 2:1 on summit days

  • Transport to/from Chamonix (the start point)
  • Technical Climbing Equipment (which you can rent)
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals as described

Alpine and prone to change – prepare for all weathers and dress in layers. Put it this way – it’s called the ‘white mountain’ for a 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 different months. If the weather shuts us down, we will endeavour to find the closest mountain in the area with better weather, and thanks to our location we are generally able to find an equally beautiful alternative within driving distance in France, Italy or Switzerland.

Anyone with a good level of endurance fitness and a sense of adventure is welcome to come. You don’t need any previous experience either as training will be provided. However, you will need to be in good physical shape and have a good, can-do attitude! Determination is key.

You need to be able to hike comfortably with a heavy pack for up to 10 hours at a moderate pace. Mountaineering is all about having good cardiovascular endurance to be able to continue being active for long periods. As well as this you will need to have a good head for heights and good overall body balance and awareness.

If you want more training before the climb, there’s an option to add a 3-day Alpine Skills Short Break course to your trip, which you’d complete prior to your climb. However this is not essential.

Of course – there is space available for single travellers.

The food in the mountain huts is basic (3-course in the evening, hot drink and bread/jam/cereal for breakfast), but tasty. Vegetarians can be catered for but please let the hosts know in advance. Vegan and other dietary requirements can be catered for but it is very basic. We recommend people with such dietary requirements to bring some of their own snacks / bread etc to bulk out the meals. Whilst in Chamonix, breakfasts can cater for vegan / gluten free and dairy free.

You can buy tea, coffee, wine, beer, soft drinks, chocolate bars and snacks as well as warm lunches in the huts.

Meal inclusions are as follows: Day 1: Dinner not included Day 2: Breakfast & Dinner included. L - not included Day 3: Breakfast & Dinner included. L - not included Day 4: Breakfast included. L & D - not included Day 5: Breakfast & Dinner included. L - not included Day 6: Breakfast & Dinner included. L - not included Day 7: Breakfast. L & D - not included Day 8: Breakfast only.

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