Even if Mont Blanc is one of the most sought after peaks of the Alps, climbing the highest mountain of the Alps remains a great physical challenge. The vertical gain and length of the climb make this a very worthwhile achievement.
The local old timers have a saying that “MONT BLANC must be earned”. A statement which is indeed very true. It is therefore essential to allow adequate time to acclimate and practice your climbing skills.
My 7 day program achieves just that. We spend the week learning how to crampon and use an ice axe correctly and at the same time acclimate. There is also work on safe glacier travel, route finding and planning and orientation. We will do practice climbs on nearby peaks to acclimatize and get better familiarized with the MONT BLANC range. This course is sure to get you on “top”!
Typically we will choose between three different possible routes to the summit. The most classic is via the Gouter Ridge, followed by the slightly more difficult 3 Mont Blanc traverse and finally the longest but most astounding via the Aiguilles Grises from the Italian side.
The final decision of which route we take will depend on conditions/weather/hut availability/climber fitness. We will discuss the choice together during the first few days of the course.
This is the typical 7 day Mont Blanc program.
Day 1 – Aiguilles du Midi – Italian border
The order of the day is to acclimate and get your first look at Mont Blanc from up close. We will meet at the Aiguille du Midi cable car station and then head off down the narrow summit ridge to the glacier plateau below. From here we traverse across the infamous Vallée blanche to practice glacier travel and use crampons to reach the Italian border. Night at the Torino hut.
Day 2 – Aiguille d’Entreves or Tour Ronde
Your first alpine start of the week. We leave the hut and head out onto the glacier for a stunning ascent up to the Aiguile d’Entreves. This peak offers a stunning thin ridge and spectacular views to the impressive south side of Mont Blanc. In the afternoon we will catch the amazing tram back across the Vallée Blanche to the Aiguille du Midi. Night in Chamonix.
Day 3 – Rifugio Chabod
Today we head to Italy for another beautiful excursion to the Gran Paradiso national park located in the Aosta valley. Our day brings forth yet another stunning hike through larch forests and alpine meadows to reach the friendly Chabod hut. From here the views are absolutely panoramic with Mont Blanc to the north and the Gran Paradiso looming to the south. Night at the Chabod hut.
Day 4 – Gran Paradiso
Another alpine start brings us up steep moraine ridges to the glacier below the Gran Paradiso and eventually the striking rocky summit and your first 4000m peak of the week. Afternoon return drive to Chamonix. Night in Chamonix.
Day 5 – Skills day
We will spend the day recuperating from the Gran Paradiso and preparing for Mont Blanc. We will learn some rope and rescue skills. The setting is at Les Gaillands – a friendly set of cliffs located just outside of town from Chamonix. It is the perfect opportunity to see Mont Blanc from a different view as well. Evening in Chamonix.
Day 6 – Gouter hut
Today gets under way with a ride in the Bellevue cable car in the town of les Houches to catch the TMB, a cog wheel train and finally its destination of Nid d’Aigle or “Eagle’s Nest” at 2373 m (7,783′). From this lofty perch we will hike along a good trail, which will gradually get steeper and more rugged to reach the Tete Rousse hut 3150 m (10,332′), where we will have a quick lunch.
We then push on and traverse the infamous gully that lies below the Gouter hut. From here the real climbing starts, we move roped together on a steep, exposed shoulder of the Aiguille du Gouter to finally reach the hut. It generally takes about 5 hours to reach the hut which will give us the afternoon to rest and prepare for the following days big ascent. Night at the Gouter hut. Altitude 3818 m (12,523′).
Day 7 – Mont Blanc
This is it, the big day. We get up very early – 2 am and quickly put on harnesses and crampons. Upon leaving the hut and climbing up to a ridge behind the Gouter Hut, the light spectacle is quite amazing. It is pitch black all around us except for the headlamps of those in front and in back of us. Looking over the edge of the ridge, you can see the 7000+ vertical feet back into town and the glimmering lights of Chamonix.
But for now, we must concentrate on finding a steady pace. One that will carry us throughout the long day. We begin by climbing up to the pass of the Dome du Gouter 4305m (14,121 ft), then across the plateau and up to the Vallot emergency shelter 4363m (14,311 ft). Here we stop to replenish our energy and maybe add a layer of clothes – sometimes the wind can be fierce and the temperature well below zero.
Now it’s off to the final push, up several steep ridges, the famous Arête des Bosses, past the Tournette rocks and along the fine ridge which is equally the border separating France from Italy.
Finally the summit – MONT BLANC – the highest mountain of the Alps 4810m. It’s time to celebrate, snap some pictures and look off into the distance at the other giant peaks of the Alps – that surround us – the Grand Paradis, Grandes Jorasses, Matterhorn, Mont Rose, Dent Blanche, Grand Combin, La Verte, the Oberland Bernese mountains of Central Switzerland, the Aiguilles Rouges, the Fiz, the Aravis, Belledone, the Ecrins, the Tarentaise, etc….
An ascent that will give you memories for a lifetime. If you are interested in this unique adventure, contact me. Let’s earn the Mont Blanc together!
Light is right
Being light means being able to move quickly, therefore with a greater safety margin – and with more pleasure. Select your clothing and gear with this in mind. Buy items that offer a double function – such as a windproof vest. By simply taking two extra everything and overloading your pack, you are going to slow yourself down – and that doesn’t make you a safer or better climber…
Let’s discuss together about your equipment, what you need to wear and have in your backpack.
– Personal equipment
– Lift passes
– Lunches or drinks
– Travel to or from the course departure point.
– Guide fees
– Lodging on a half board basis
– Lift services
– Group equipment
– Local transportation
2,395 € pp
– Maximum group size is 4 : 1
– If more than 2 participants sign, each group will climb with their own private guide
– Level PD to AD
– Some steep snow and rock
Excellent base fitness – prior experience helpful but not necessary
Geneva Intl Airport, Switzerland – GVA
Trip meeting point
7 days, 6 nights
This course is available on a custom basis from June through September. You can choose your dates. Please inquire for availability.
Spots of interest
Most important point
Even if Mont Blanc is one of the most sought after peaks of the Alps, climbing the highest mountain of the Alps remains a great physical challenge. The vertical gain and length of the climb make this a very worth while achievement.
Price per person
|Group of 2||2395EUR|
|Group of 3||2395EUR|
|Group of 4||2395EUR|
- Guiding fee
- Transport during the trip
- Group equipment
|Mountain huts during the ascent.|
|If more than 2 participants sign, each group will climb with their own private guide.You need excellent level of fitness. Previous experience is helpful but not necessary.Climbing grade: - Level PD to AD - Some steep snow and rockGroup equipment is included, personal equipment is not included.Half board is included. Lunch and drinks are not included.Being light means being able to move quickly, therefore with a greater safety margin - and with more pleasure. Select your clothing and gear with this in mind. Buy items that offer a double function – such as a windproof vest. By simply taking two extra everything and overloading your pack, you are going to slow yourself down - and that doesn't make you a safer or better climber...|