Mont Blanc, at 4,810m is the highest mountain in the Alps. Reach its summit, and you’ll be standing on the top of Europe. The mountain’s iconic domed peak is impossible not to notice when arriving in the Chamonix Valley, but its beauty belies the considerable physical challenges of achieving summit
Closely entwined with the traditions of Alpine climbing, Mont Blanc has been a sought-after prize by climbers for centuries. We strive to enhance your chance of personal triumph by providing a state-of-the-art ascent program. Under the dedicated tuition of professional, experienced mountain guides you’ll first learn the skills needed to climb a mountain of this calibre. To aid acclimatisation and introduce you to the magical world of Alpine climbing you will ascend a 4,000m peak prior to tackling the big one. The climb itself starts
below the Gouter Refuge and serious alpine terrain needs to be negotiated to reach this starting point. Summit day combines all the best elements of climbing in the European Alps and many consider scaling Mont Blanc a highlight of their climbing careers.
Previous mountaineering experience is desirable but it’s not essential. We provide the best training, the best acclimatisation programme, fully qualified Mountain Guides and luxurious down time lodging and meals. The rest is up to you.
DAY 1 : Depart UK
We’ll meet at the Chalet/hotel in the evening. Hire equipment will then be distributed as required. Over dinner there will be an informal discussion about the week to come.
DAY 2 : Acclimatisation: Orney Hut (2,831m)
We’ll try and depart for a local store to collect hire boots around 8.45am. After that we’ll drive to a drop off point (usually Champex in Switzerland (1 hr 15). From there we take a lift up and make the two hour walk to the Orny Hut (altitude 2,831m). We will take a good break there and then spend the afternoon rock climbing near the refuge.
DAY 3 : Acclimatisation: Trient Hut (3,170)
We usually make an early start from the hut (8am) to spend the morning training on the glacier with crampons and axes. After that we’ll take in a local peak of around 3,500m high. We’ll then head across the glacier to the Trient Hut (3,170m) where we’ll relax for the evening.
DAY 4 : Descent back to Chamonix
Following an early breakfast (5am) we’ll cross the border back into France, usually taking in another 3,500m peak (e.g. Tete Blanche, Petite Fourche or Aiguille du Tour) before descending past the Albert Premier Refuge. We’ll then take the lift down to Le Tour where we’ll be collected and driven back to Chamonix for lunch. You’ll be collected again a little later and taken back to the chalet.
DAY 5-7 : Summit Bid
Depending on the weather and conditions we may spend either one or two nights in mountain huts to maximise our chances of success. The hut we use most often is the Tete Rousse Refuge (3,167m), but sometimes we use the Refuge Gouter (3,817m) or the Refuge Cosmiques (3,613m). All huts have their advantages and disadvantages (see FAQs).
Summit day: Expect to have breakfast very early morning (1.30 am is quite standard), before setting off using head- torches. After a few of hours it is usually light enough to see clearly. The pace on summit day is not fast, but should be steady and constant. Approximate timings for each route are in the FAQs section. Once back in the valley we will drive back to the chalet/hotel where you can enjoy a hot shower and a soak.
DAY 8 : Depart to UK
The day is yours to relax, and pack up your things before departing. You will have to vacate your room by 10am, however the chalet can store your belongings if not departing until later.
- Half Board Accommodation in a central large chalet styled hotel in Chamonix valley
- Half Board accommodation in mountain refuges
- Transport to and from training venues
- All guiding and guides expenses
- Celebratory reception on return to chalet
- 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor
- Personal equipment for each person: ice axe, crampons, helmet, harness, boots, (Equipment hire can be provided for those that need at additional cost, paid locally)
- Airport transfers Geneva airport to Chamonix return
- Mountain cable car/Chamonix mountain trains. If used allow €75-€125 for cable car and local train fees
- Any additional costs associated with leaving expedition early