The Alps - Mont Blanc Climb
Walking Liguria is now very proud to offer you and your party a superb and exhilarating chance to stand on the legendary summit of Mt Blanc.
This classic of all mountains does not need any publicity. Since the legendary first ascent by Jacques Balmat and Paccard on the 8th August 1786 Mt. Blanc has been an icon and a much sought trophy for any budding mountaineer.
We will personally guide you to make sure you get the best chance to reach the summit of Mt Blanc and enjoy in all possible safety this exhilarating experience. We have been leading very successful expeditions on Blanc since 2007.
The chosen route is the Goutier one to try and give you the best chances of success but do not hesitate to ask for the Grands Mulets should you be more experienced and strong. The Goutier is however the most popular and we try and run it outside the very busiest periods to avoid unpleasant overcrowding.
Programme: Find below an outlined programme for a successful acclimatization and climbing approach.
|Day 1:||Arrival in Chamonix from your airport (normally Geneva, Zurich, Grenoble or Turin)
Transfer to your chalet accommodation in Le Mont. Rest of day/evening relaxing and evening meal in surrounding area.
|Day 2:||Equipment check and a leisurely trip into Chamonix. You can purchase any last minute items here from a range of very good outdoor stores. Stroll through the town, and we can take one of the nearby trails to make some ascent and enjoy the views (optional)|
|Day 3:||Acclimatization hike to the Bossons Glacier conveniently placed on your doorstep from the chalet accommodation. A steady and slow hike from Le Mont at approx 1200m will take you through spectacular changing scenery to a place called Jonction where the true glacier approach begins at approx 2600m and close to the Grands Mulets Refuge. Here we can practice our ice skills and brush up rope techniques for the climbing route. The ascent can take up to 4-5 hours with a good steady pace.|
|Day 4:||Rest day and acclimitazion to the Aiguilles du Midi (3800m) optional but highly recommended. The cable lift is a marvel of engineering and the eagle's nest position of the Midi is truly unique in the World. The day can be taken at leisure on the snowfields below, which leads to the "Cosmique" refuge and the trail to the Three Monts Route. It is vital to relax and not overdo things on this interim day which leads us to some more physically demanding ones ahead.|
|Day 5:||Drive to les Houches and take cable car lift to Bellevue at approx 1800m. We take the rack-and-pinion tramway to Nid d'Aigle at 2372m. This is where the trek begins towards the base of the mountain; we bypass the Tete Rousse Hut after a couple of hours hike on rock screed to get to one of the cruxs of the climb, bypass the Grand Colouir which is a rope length and avoid the frequent rock falls. We then take the steep 600m ascent to the Gouter hut which is protected on the steepest parts by steel cables that you can clip on to. 2-3 hours steady climbing will take you to the Gouter hut where you should arrive by midday or very early afternoon. Relax, rehydrate with plenty of hot drinks and enjoy the atmosphere of this altitude hut. Total climb time: 5-6 hours.|
|Day 6:||Summit day, weather permitting and early start 2.30 3.00 am from Gouter hut. The climb is not technical but goes over some exposed ridges. It can take anything from 3 to 5 hours to reach the summit. You will be roped on summit day and you will definitely feel the altitude which will slow you down for sure. We should arrive on the top of Europe by early morning as light has broken through and if totally clear, the views are just awesome of all three countries: France, Italy and Switzerland. We make a steady and rapid descent back to the hut where we can restore our energies and enjoy the exhilarating feel of the summit success. We then rapidly descend to Nid d'Aigle and les Houches.
If weather conditions are fine we should arrive to our chalet by mid afternoon and enjoy creature comforts again.
|Day 7:||Departure day, or keep this as an extra day to allow this for a weather window (optional but recommended)|
|Important Notes:||We try to run our trips mid week for the ascent of Mt Blanc, weekends tend to be very busy at the huts and therefore Tuesday-Wednesday tend to be better.
You must have a good overall cardiovascular fitness for this climb. We do not recommend gym preparation alone - you must get out on the fields and trails irrespective of weather conditions, months before in your area and do some long distance treks and runs; fell running is particularly good for this. You will definitely reap the benefits from this when you get to the Alps. Mt Blanc can be very demanding fitness-wise, although you do not need to be technically experienced.
Altitude sickness (Ams) is always a concern. There is no magic cure for this when coming from the lowlands, however, we try and give you the best acclimatizing possible on our programme, but if you feel you would like some extra time for this, we will happily customize your trip to guarantee you the best success. For more information relating to altitude mountain sickness please go to: www.basecampmd.com - you can read about Diamox which many people commonly take.
A detailed gear list will be forwarded upon your enrolment to the trip.
We welcome small groups, who know each other, and for these we provide a discount as we find they work together well as a team. The guiding ratio is 2-3 clients to one Guide. Maximum group size: 4-6
Flights to Geneva are the best, for example via easyjet, however you can also fly to Zurich, Grenoble or Turin. There is a good shuttle minibus service from Geneva airport to Chamonix - visit: www.chamonixshuttles.com
Arrival and Departure times at the Chalet: Generally 16:00 and departure by 10:00 (unless otherwise stated)
|Booking and Payment Terms||Please book through our formand read the conditions. Contact
Payment of your deposit via UK debit or credit card is now possible via a secure connection to PayPal (this method attracts a 5% surcharge).
Personal cheques are also perfectly acceptable, or bank transfers can be arranged at no charge - contact us for details.
After you have signed and returned the booking form with your cheque or credit card authorisation in respect of the 20% deposit, you undertake to pay the remaining balance within 4 weeks of departure date. As soon as we have your booking we will forward to you our confirmation invoice with full details of the holiday that has been booked.
If you are resident outside the EEC countries, we reserve the right to add a reasonable administrative charge to cover expenses incurred for overseas communications or correspondence (ie: visas or couriers).