6-Day Climb Mont Blanc Expedition

Join us on a Mont Blanc expedition and summit the highest peak of the Alps in the company of our experienced and professional guides.

Duration
6 days
PRICE
2550€
Climb two 4000ers in a span of 6 days
First 3 days for a Gran Paradiso acclimatization climb
Last 3 days for climbing Mont Blanc
This program gives you the best odds for reaching the Mont Blanc summit
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Included

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Half-board accommodation in a Chamonix hotel
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4 nights in mountain huts (half-board)
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Professional guides
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Tickets for the Bellevue cable car and the mountain railway to Nid d'Aigle
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All transfers during the expedition
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All program changes (if conditions require it)

First evening - Arrival and introductory meeting

The hotel staff will welcome you on your arrival to the hotel, which should preferably be in the early evening at the latest. After everyone is there, the course director will lead the introductory meeting. We’ll go over the details of the 6-day program and answer your questions. If not everybody arrives until evening, we’ll reschedule the meeting to tomorrow morning.

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Highlights
Introductory meeting
Group-5
Accomodations
Chamonix Hotel

Day 1 - Hiking to the hut under Gran Paradiso

After the morning breakfast, our guides will check all of your equipment to make sure you have everything you need and that you leave all the unnecessary weight behind. Don’t worry if you have forgotten something. You will be able to rent the basic winter climbing gear from us or buy the rest on our quick shopping tour around Chamonix. Our guides will advise you on what to get. So before we head off, everybody will have all the necessary equipment.

At 11:00, we start our drive across the border to Italy, with a lunch stop in between. After arriving in Pont, the three-day training tour to Gran Paradiso starts. Keeping a steady pace, we’ll hike up to the Chabod Hut (2,710 m). After a short rest there, we’ll have a quick course on using your winter equipment, how to move with it, and the basics of glacier travel and short rope technique. If we have time, we’ll also do a quick simulation ascent up the ridge above the hut. At 19:00, we’ll have dinner and discuss the last things about the next day’s summit. After that, get a good night’s sleep. Or at least try to, since the first night at altitude is usually a little tough.

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Highlights
Equipment check
Hiking to the Chabod Hut
Delicious dinner

Day 2 - Climbing the Gran Paradiso Summit

The morning alarms will wake us up at 4:00. It might not be the most comfortable to wake up after a restless night, but that is the time at which you need to start hikes in high mountains for a comfortable margin of safety. We’ll have breakfast, put on our gear, and organize ourselves for the climb ahead of us.

This will be the second toughest day of the week, where we’ll see who is ready for Mont Blanc. The climb takes from 4 to 5 hours with 1,350 meters of ascent. The first hour and a half is a regular hike. After that, we put on our crampons, switch the hiking poles for the ice-axe, and rope up for the traverse of the glacier. There is some exposed but fairly easy climbing traverse of the ridge at the end. If you’re okay with that part, you won’t have any problem with vertigo or scrambling on the Mont Blanc climb.

After congratulating each other at the top, we start our 2 hours and a half descent. Because of the elevation, you’ll probably be quite tired, so don’t underestimate it. At the hut, you’ll have the rest of the day to bask in the sun (don’t forget sunscreen), relax until dinner, and have a good night’s sleep after that.

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Highlights
Climbing Gran Paradiso, the highest peak of Italy
Afternoon rest in the Chabod Hut

Day 3 - Rest day in Chamonix

After a late breakfast, we’ll descend from the Chabod Hut through the scenic Gran Paradiso National Park. Before we leave Italy, we’ll be sure to stop for a cappuccino, croissants or ice cream in the café at the picturesque alpine village of Morgex.

After arriving back in Chamonix, we will have to make the final decision on the Mont Blanc hut reservations, depending on the upcoming weather. You should also sort out any problems with gear or anything else that might have shown itself on the Gran Paradiso tour. If there aren’t any, then the rest of the day is free for rest and exploration of Chamonix.

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Highlights
Descent through the scenic Gran Paradiso National Park
Free day in Chamonix

Day 4 - First day of the Mont Blanc climb

The day for the start of your Mont Blanc climb has finally arrived. The schedule of days 4, 5, and 6 can change depending on the weather and the huts we have chosen. But if the conditions are perfect, this is what these next three days will look like.

After a short drive from Chamonix to Les Houches, we will take the cable car up to Bellevue. There, we will hop on Tramway du Mont-Blanc, the highest mountain railway line in France. After arriving at its highest station of Nid d’Aigle (2,362 m), we'll leave the tourists behind and start our up to 3-hour long hike towards the Tête Rousse Hut (3,167 m).

After arriving at our home for the night, we still have a lot of time to prepare and organize ourselves for the next day, the most important one of the tour. Together, we’ll discuss the summit day plan, look at the terrain ahead, and see what the Grand Couloir looks like. After everyone knows the plan, we head to all-too much needed early sleep.

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Highlights
Cable car & Tramway du Mont-Blanc
Hike to the Tête Rousse Hut
Plan summit day

Day 5 - Reaching the summit of Mont Blanc

This is it. It’s the day the whole tour has been leading up to.

We’ll wake up for breakfast in the middle of the night, at 4:00. At 4:30, fully geared up, we start our way scrambling across the Grand Couloir. At around 7 in the morning, we arrive at the highest staffed mountain refuge in France, the Goûter Hut (3,835 m). On this short break, you’ll have the last chance to use an indoor toilet and an opportunity to buy additional drinks. We’ll leave everything we don’t need for the summit push in the hut, rope up for glacial travel and continue our way to the peak.

After crossing the vast glacier of Dôme du Goûter, you’ll reach the Vallot emergency cabin. There you’ll change to short rope and continue your way up the Bosses ridge to the summit of Mont Blanc. The climb from the Goûter Hut to the summit takes somewhere between 5 and 6 hours, depending on the weather conditions and any other considerations.

Going back down the same path to the Goûter Hut will be much faster, but you still have to stay focused to not trip. It’s easy to get distracted and catch your pants with a crampon spike. We’ll arrive at the hut just in time for a late lunch. Everyone then deserves an afternoon rest until dinner at 18:00 and an even more well-deserved sleep after.

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Highlights
Summit day - reaching the peak of Mont Blanc
Descend and sleep at the Goûter Hut

Day 6 - Descent to the valley

After a good night’s sleep, we usually take the breakfast for the way down and try to catch the first train from Nid d'Aigle to the valley. The descent again takes us through the more challenging part between the Goûter and the Tête Rousse hut, where we are fully equipped and roped up. After around 1500 meters of elevation loss and a ride on the Tramway du Mont-Blanc, we reach the valley somewhere after mid-day.

After a farewell drink with the whole team, we drive you to Chamonix, where we say goodbye. The afternoon and evening are free for you to celebrate your successful summit of Mont Blanc. Rejoice, you did it!

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Highlights
Descend down to Nid d'Aigle
Mountain railway and cable car down to Chamonix

Last morning - Farewell

After the final breakfast with us, most clients catch their airports transfer and return home. Some stay and spend extra days in Chamonix, enjoying many outdoor activities that the surroundings of this wonderful alpine resort offer — Everything from tandem paragliding to visiting the Mer de Glace glacier.

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Highlights
Time for exploring the Chamonix Valley

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need 6 days to climb Mont Blanc?

Without proper pre-acclimatization, most people do not reach the peak of Mont Blanc. We designed the program so that you have the highest chance of reaching the summit.

Although it is not as high as the peaks in the Himalayas, and some people can summit without prior acclimatization, it is highly unlikely. Therefore you would be risking a lot of time and preparation and then turn back at the end when developing high altitude sickness. That’s why we also include the acclimatization climb to Gran Paradiso in the first three days.

In the first three days of the expedition, we will teach you all the skills you need to reach the Mont Blanc summit. You will also use these days to acclimatize yourself in a high mountain hut under Gran Paradiso and then climb the peak the next day. All the skills and the experience you get from these first few days are necessary for the climb to Mont Blanc.

Do I need a guide to climb Mont Blanc?

No. But you have to be aware that climbing Mont Blanc is proper alpinism. And to do proper alpinism, you have to be a proper alpinist.

You have to have a lot of previous experience with winter hiking and climbing. You have to be skilled in walking with crampons, know how to self-arrest with an ice axe, the basics of glacier travel, be familiar with different rope techniques, and more.

If you don’t, trying out the climb without a guide could put you in serious and even life-threatening danger. That’s why we strongly advise all those without the necessary skills and experience to book a guide for their Mont Blanc climb.

You will not only avoid any dangerous situations but also make your climb much less stressful and much more enjoyable. Those who climb with a guide also have a higher chance of making it to the summit on their Mont Blanc expedition.

Our guides are all IFMGA licensed, guaranteeing the highest standard of safety and professionalism in the mountain guiding world. They also have years of experience leading Mont Blanc expedition teams, so you can be sure they will safely guide you all the way to the summit and back down to the valley.

How far in advance do I need to book?

You should book at least 6 months in advance. The Mont Blanc hut bookings for the following season go online at the beginning of each year. The earlier we book, the more open spaces we’ll have.

Yes, you will still be able to find some spaces later on in the year, but if you are very limited in when you can come, you should book as early as possible.

How many guides will we have?

The number of guides depends on the number of people in the group and the peak we are climbing. This is important to keep the safety of clients as high as possible.

On Gran Paradiso, the groups will have 1 guide for every 4 clients. When climbing Mont Blanc, the number of guides will increase to 1 guide per 2 clients.

What are the sufficient conditions for climbing Mont Blanc?

Weather, good conditions, and good clients — are three main aspects we are looking at when deciding if we should attempt to climb Mont Blanc.

In the case of bad weather or awful snow conditions (high risk of snow avalanche or increased rockfall in the Grand Couloir), we don’t go risking your lives on the climb to it.

Good clients are those who are well prepared physically and have passed the test climb to Gran Paradiso. For those who didn’t, the climb to the summit of Mont Blanc might not be possible. That means they would probably only join us on the hike to some of the huts below the peak and not further on.

What happens if conditions prevent us to follow the normal program?

Then we find alternatives. Our goal is always to fill this week full of exciting mountaineering activities. If Mont Blanc isn’t possible, we will find alternatives that are.

Those may be located farther away (like Monte Rosa), so that the conditions may be better, or be lower in altitude (like Aiguilles d'Entrèves or Arête des Cosmiques) but more technically demanding.

In the end, the week should be no less fun than it would have been otherwise.

Is Mont Blanc really that dangerous?

Mont Blanc has the highest fatality rate of any mountain in Europe. But it’s not because it is a highly difficult mountain to climb which requires a lot of previous experience and climbing skills. It is because tons of people attempt it each year. And out of those people who do, a lot of them are inexperienced or even novice mountain climbers. They are not ready for the most basic mountaineering challenges.

That’s why many of them perish. They are relying on being lucky because they do neither know the mountain nor are skilled enough in winter mountain climbing. That’s why a guide beside you is so valuable, it significantly lowers the chances of a dangerous situation arising.

How technical is the Mont Blanc climb?

Compared to some other mountaineering ascents in the vicinity, Mont Blanc is a relatively non-technical mountain. It doesn’t involve any technical climbing, which is why some of us describe it almost as a “long walk”.

The most difficult part is the scrambling above the Grand Couloir between the Tete Rousse Hut and the Gouter Hut. It isn’t climbing, but it involves using your hands and stepping quite high. The snowy ridge towards the summit is quite exposed, but you just have to walk straight on it and watch out not to trip on your crampons. And don’t worry — on every exposed part like this you will be roped up to our guides.

How dangerous is the stonefall in the Grand Couloir?

The Grand Couloir is located between the Tete Rousse and Gouter Huts on the Normal Route to Mont Blanc. It is known for its stonefall in dry conditions when there is not enough snow to hold the loose rocks from tumbling down the couloir.

We traverse it at about the third of the way between the two huts. Only there, a relative danger of stonefall that can seriously endanger climbers. Crossing it in the early morning is usually the safest, but it depends on the season. If there is very little snow, it might not even be worth risking it. Most of the time, the danger is minimal. We still take this decision seriously and will only decide to go on with the climb if the conditions are good enough.

Will I have my own room in the mountain huts?

No. High-altitude mountain huts have to be frugal with space, so their sleeping spaces are mostly dormitories. That’s why we also recommend you take earplugs for a night of easier sleep.

What meals are included?

When we are staying in Chamonix in one of our partner hotels, the meals include breakfast, lunch and dinner. But when we are staying in the huts, we are booking only for half-board, as most of the huts offer only that. There is still a possibility to buy lunch packets in some hut, otherwise, we have to bring the food throughout the day with us.

I have food restrictions. Will there be options for me?

Because the huts are at a high altitude, their food options are limited. Still, if you are a vegetarian or have food allergies, it’s possible to accommodate your needs if we message the hut in advance. Please inform us of any of your food restrictions at the reservation so we can try to find the best option for you and inform the huts.

What do I have to take with me to the huts?

Besides everything you need for the climb, be sure to take a sleeping bag liner (a lighter version of a sleeping bag), and if restrictions are still in place, a mask and antibacterial hand cleaner. You should also take some cash because most mountain huts are not able to accept cards because of the lack of internet connection.

Read more about all that you need to take on our Mont Blanc expedition here.

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