Mont Blanc Ascent (8 days)

Let us invite you to these 8 days climbing the renowned Mont Blanc. Located on the French-Italian border, it is one of the most beautiful mountains in the world and the highest one in the Alps. Its peak soars over its surroundings at 4810m. 

Climbing the highest peak in Western Europe is a demanding challenge that requires a high fitness level. Thus, we have planned this itinerary to include a three-days mountaineering training section and acclimatising to the conditions and altitude. This allows you time to capture the breath taking surroundings whilst learning techniques that you’ll need to ascend Mont Blanc the following days.  

Acclimation is essential over 3000m. We’ll take you to the Glacier du Tour (2 702m) and start our preparation by learning the use of ice axe, crampons, ropes, etc. Your body will get used to the altitude and conditions within two days. We then spend one well-deserved night in Le Prieuré 3-star Hotel in Chamonix before the big climb.  

The beginning of the ascent starts by mounting to the Tête Rousse refuge (3 167m) where we’ll spend the night. Our final walk will start early in the morning, when the sun rises, and we will reach the top of Europe a few hours later. The jaw dropping view of Mont Blanc peak looming over the spectacular mountain landscape to the horizon will be engraved in your memory forever. The next day, we’ll head down to the Refuge du Goûter (3 835m) for a night, and then come back to Chamonix.

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Meet at the group's hôtel in the Chamonix Valley

    Meet at the group's hôtel in the Chamonix Valley You’ll fly to Geneva airport and we’ll send a driver to pick you and your luggage up at 2pm and take you to your 3-star hotel for the night in the bustling heart of Chamonix. Meals in town as you please. It’s your first opportunity to try out some of the best Alpine specialities accompanied with some famous Savoie wine.

  • Day 2 Meeting and training in the snow, ice climbing on the Tour glacier

    Meeting and training in the snow, ice climbing on the Tour glacier Lying beneath the stunning north face of Mont Blanc, the views are awesome from the start!
    We meet the guide at the rental equipment shop and chat about the days ahead. He also checks our personal equipment (possible to rent). We then lace up our walking boots and hop on a minibus to the village of Le Tour, and take a small two-stage cable car to the Col de Balme, where we begin our walk to the Albert Premier refuge (2702m, on Glacier du Tour). Here, we spend the afternoon training in the snow and ice climbing on the glacier.

    Walking time : 4h to 5hours / Ascent : about 500m / Max Alt : 2702m / Accommodation : evening meal and night in the Albert Premier refuge

  • Day 3 Tête Blanche ascent (3429m)

    Tête Blanche ascent (3429m) Day three, and our second day in the mountain, we will see us ascend from the Albert Premier Refuge towards La Tête Blanche (3 429m). There might be some steep steps to climb on this path, but the view is worth the effort.
    Heading downhill afterwards, we will spend the night in the Trient refuge.

    Walking time : 6h to 7 hours / Ascent: about 850m / Descent: about 850m / Max Alt. : 3429m / Accommodation : evening meal and night in the Trient refuge

  • Day 4 Col Supérieur du Tour

    Col Supérieur du Tour Starting our route from the Trient refuge, we climb the Col Supérieur du Tour. We then head down the slope, passing the Albert Premier refuge (where we offer ourselves a little but well deserved break). Once we are back in the village of Le Tour, the guide will tell us more about the following days program regarding weather conditions in the mountains and he will form the duets for the Mont Blanc ascent (depending on who you’re travelling with and on your level). Rest for the night in a nice and cosy 3-star Hotel Le Prieuré in Chamonix. Diner in town.

    Walking time : 6h to 7 hours / Ascent : about 400m / Descent: about 1000m / Max Alt. : 3235m / Accommodation : Chamonix hôtel 3*

  • Day 5 Taking the Mont Blanc train to the Nid d'Aigle, and walking to the Tête Rousse refuge (3167m).

    Taking the Mont Blanc train to the Nid d'Aigle, and walking to the Tête Rousse refuge (3167m). The Mont Blanc ascent starts pretty easily. We start from Les Houches where we take the Bellevue cable car to reach the Bellevue train station. From there, we catch the Victorian Rack railway train "Tramway du Mont Blanc", France’s highest railway train rack, to the Nid d'Aigle (2372 m).

    We walk up on a winding track offering a stunning view over the Chamonix valley. After a short time walking on the North face, we arrive on a snow-covered area leading to the brand new Tête Rousse refuge (3167 m). We spend the whole afternoon relaxing, acclimatising, and contemplating the wonderful panorama on the Aiguille de Bionnassay's North face, giving us the chance to prepare for the summit tomorrow.

    Walking time : 3h to 4h / Ascent: about 1300m / Max Alt. : 3167m / Accommodation : evening meal and night in the Tête Rousse refuge

  • Day 6 Mont Blanc ascent

    Mont Blanc ascent Today is the day you will reach the top of Europe! We start climbing very early in the morning through the rocky tracks of the Aiguille du Gouter. A wide passage in the lower slope is exposed to rock fall: it is very important to follow the guide’s instructions. The rest of the rise is affected by a bit marked spur and some passages comparable to climbing walls. We’ll reach the Refuge du Goûter (3 815m) for a refreshment stop around 9am.
    We then start to climb up for a few hours, finding ourselves between sky and ground walking on a magnificent, sometimes aerial, slope. Finally, the peak appears. Here we are, standing stock-still at an altitude of 4 810 meter, open-mouthed and agog.

    After absorbing the breath taking view of the 360° panorama, it’s time to come back down to the Refuge du Goûter following our tracks. We spend the night celebrating our victory.

    If weather conditions cannot allow our ascent on day 6, we’ll do it in 2 days, climbing to the Refuge du Goûter on the first day and spending the rest of the day there, and ascend and descend Mont Blanc on the second day, but this itinerary is a lot more demanding than the first one. Let’s wish for sunshine!

    Walking time : 9 to 12 hours / Ascent : about 1700m / Descent: about 1000m / Max Alt: 4810m / Accommodation : evening meal and night in the Refuge du Goûter

  • Day 7 Going back to Chamonix

    Going back to Chamonix We descend on the same road until we reach the Nid d'Aigle, where we hop back on the Tramway du Mont Blanc. A final round of cable car and here we are back in Les Houches.
    We’ll check-in to our hotel in Chamonix and have a farewell dinner at your own charge. Treat yourself, you deserve it!

    Walking time : 4 to 6 hours / Descent : about 1300m / Max Alt. : 3167m

  • Day 8 Departure day

    Our wonderful week comes to an end. You can spend your final morning exploring the shops, museums, and have a last taste of local food specialties found in Chamonix.
    Land Only package services ends after breakfast.
    We’ll take you back to Geneva airport for your return flight around 9am.

Please note that although the itinerary presented here is the one we intend to follow, there are chances that changes may be necessary. Many factors can affect climbing in high mountains. Mountain adventures depend on weather and conditions, individual member's abilities vary, as well as their ability to assimilate the skills needed. The guide's main focus will be to ensure your safety and the success of the trip. Please use this outline itinerary as a guide to the types of route and activities that you will experience.If we find ourselves unable to attempt the Mont Blanc ascent, we will organize an alternative program according to the conditions (Monte Rosa peaks, The Bishorn, The Grand Paradis...). Except in special cases, the main goal of this trip is to share and to commit to the excursion, which excludes any possibility of postponement or cancellation on probation. For security reasons and to ensure a uniform level corresponding to the one announced, organizers gets the right to cancel your participation if your technical and/or physical form do not match those required. In no case the interruption shall give rise to a refund or compensation payments.

Dates & prices

Departures for English-speaking groups:

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Trip code: ADMBA

Included

  • A deposit of 30% of the trip’s price will be needed during the registration.
  • The whole price must be paid at least 30 days before departure. ·      
  • The technical organization of the stay ·      
  • 6 days of mountaineering with high mountain guides ·      
  • 7 nights accommodation (full board: all breakfasts, packed lunches and evening meals except in Chamonix days 1, 3 and7) ·      
  • All cable cars (needed for the normal program), except for the 2 first departures of June when cable cars are not opened yet ·      
  • Safety equipment (ropes…) ·      
  • Transport in the valley of Chamonix

Not included

  •  All the drinks and personal expenses (one bottle of water costs 5 to 10 euros in shelters)
  • Snacks: dried fruits, chocolate bars, energy bars (in case of loosening) etc..
  •  Individual equipment: mountaineering shoes, crampons, helmet, harness, ice axe, sticks, backpack, etc... (possible to rent)
  • Insurance and assistance
  • Application fees (18 €)
  • Anything that is not mentioned in the "price includes"
  • Diner day 1, 3 and 7 in Chamonix

Notes

Since the summer 2019, all reservations in the Mont Blanc huts - normal route (Tête Rousse and Goûter hut) - are nominative. We must provide the full identity (surname, first name, date of birth and nationality) of each participant when making the reservation request. We set up dates very early so that each participant can position itself on a departure date. We register participants subject to availability in Tête Rousse hut and Goûter hut.

International flights

We can book your international flight to Geneva. Feel free to ask !

Terms and conditions

Subscription


Subscribe to one of our activities or travels means accepting general sales conditions. Each client must fill a subscription form, which will be accepted only after the payment of a deposit accounting for 30% of the travel’s price and according to the availability. If you subscribe less than 30 days before the trip, you must pay the whole price during the subscription. You can pay by bank transfer (SWIFT/IBAN) or with your credit card directly through our website (available soon). A booking confirmation will be sent to you be e-mail very soon.

Invoice procedure


Once your booking is registered, we will send you an email containing the invoice. Full payment is required at least 30 days before your arrival. If the customer does not settle the payment of the travel price within the period agreed upon, Altaï Alpes has the right to cancel the booking free of charge. 

Cancellation policy


If for any reason, you decide to withdraw from a journey, the amount already paid will be refunded subject to the following exceptions:
  • More than 30 days before departure, you will be charged for the amount of 50€
  • From 30 to 21 days before departure, you will be charged for the amount of the deposit (30% of the trip’s price)
  • From 20 to 14 days before departure,  you will be charged for 50% of the trip’s price
  • From 13 to 7 days before departure,  you will be charged for 75% of the trip’s price
  • Less than 7 days before departure,  you will be charged for the whole trip’s price 

Particular case :

Whatever the cancellation or contract change date, the following fees will be added to the charges above: ·      
Airline fixed costs: plane tickets are bought in advance to avoid too high airline prices, however they are non refundable in case of cancellation or plan changes. In that case, the charges above apply to the price of your trip without the plane ticket’s price ·      
Ground fixed costs: you will be charged for the fees that were paid early ·      
Insurance fees: Insurance fees will not be refunded if you have subscribed to a multi-risk or cancellation insurance. The specific conditions will be written on your subscription confirmation
If you have no choice but to cancel your trip before departure, you must inform Altaï Alpes and your insurance provider with a written statement as soon as possible, you will get a receipt.

The receipt date will be taken as the cancellation date to charge cancellation fees.  

If Altaï Alpes has no choice but to cancel a group travel due to an insufficient number of participants, the decision will be taken and the clients informed at least 31 days before departure. Altaï Alpes can also cancel a departure due to exceptional events threatening participants safety (social events, strikes, weather conditions). In that case, the trip’s price will be fully refunded but the participants will not get any compensation.

Changes to travel contract


If any change in travel contract is made at the customer’s request, the customer shall pay any fee that might arise from this change. In any case, every request for changes shall be notified in writing. In case of external events that could not be foreseen, Altaï Alpes might change some aspects of the travel contract. We will inform you of any changes as quickly as possible.

Pricing


All group travel prices on our website have been calculated for the indicated number of participants for each trip. The price list is confirmed after the booking. If the number of participants is lower than expected, an additional payment charge might be applied. For each travel and program, we mention the price per person – valid for the minimum number of participants – and we provide you with detailed explanations about the services included or not. Any change in the exchange rates or in the price of travel services in particular regarding the cost of the fuel, might entail price revision.

Contract transfer


In case of contract transfer by the customer to an assignee, modification and cancellation conditions apply.

Insurance

We recommend you to get your personal insurance before your departure to cover the activities undertaken by Altaï Alpes. If you have not purchased any of our insurances, we ask you to email us your insurance contract information (company, contract name, contract number, phone number) and bring those information with you on your trip. 

Practical info

Staff

A highly qualified mountain guide, whose main objective is to train you in basic technics and to enable you to complete a safe and successful ascent of Mont Blanc, supervises this group of 4 to 6 people. The guide may need to change some parts of the program due to weather conditions or participants physical complications, in order to ensure everyone’s safety. One guide for 2 participants during the Mont Blanc ascent on days 4 to 6. 

Food

Meals
  • Breakfast and diner will be traditional and copious, made by refuges' keepers
  • Lunch: home made packed lunch made by your guide (please inform us about any food requirements or allergies)
  • Take some snacks according to your own tastes (cereals bars, chocolate, dried fruits…)

Drinks
  • Water is very expensive in refuges (from 5 to 10 euros one bottle).
  • Don't forget to bring euros and Swiss francs for the Trient refuge on day 2.
  • Personal drinks are not included in the trip’s price.

Accommodation

You will spend nights in refuges' dorm rooms: blankets are provided but you will need to bring your sleeping bag. Please only bring very basic toiletry. You will spend the first, the 3rd and the last night in a 3*** Hotel in Chamonix.

Transportation

You will leave twice for three days of hiking: plan to bring a 40 to 50L bag to carry your equipment. One bag with replacement clothes will stay at the hotel from Monday morning to Wednesday evening when you will come back to spend the night. On Thursday morning, you will leave with your backpack ready for three days of ascent.

Budget & exchange

France is in the Eurozone. Therefore, the unit of the currency is the Euro.

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances (but don’t forget to bring your PIN number!).
ATMs are available in most of the towns you will cross during your stay, but there are no guarantees that your credit card will actually work in France. Also, refuges often don’t have EPT (Electronic Payment Terminal): it is best to bring cash.
Be aware of the fees usually applied when purchasing products or services on a credit card. 

Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spend your trip constantly feeling short on funds. 

As currency exchange rates can often fluctuate, we recommend to check the following website for daily exchange rates: https://www.xe.com/

Tips

Clients usually pay for the guides’ drinks : you might find it practical to make a group kitty at the beginning of your stay (no obligation). 

Supplied equipment

  • Collective equipment (ropes, compass ...)
  • Slippers and blankets while in refuges

Material

Technical equipment

  •  Mountaineering boots that you can fit crampons onto (with rigid soles) ·      
  • A comfortable mountaineering backpack (40/50L) with locks for crampons, ice axe and helmet ·      
  • Ice axe, crampons, helmet, harness with locking carabineers (you cannot rent locking carabineers, you must buy your own) ·      
  • One or two collapsible walking poles (depending on what you are used to), it is highly recommended for descents in particular·      
  • A water bottle or thermos (1.5L)

Individual equipment

  • A warm hat
  • A sun hat and/or a scarf
  • Sun glasses for glacier (category 4)  + ski goggle
  • A pair of warm gloves or mittens
  • A pair of fleece or wool gloves or mittens
  • A pair of silk gloves or mittens
  • 2 or 3 breathable undershirts, preferably long sleeves (e.g. Capilene or polypro)
  • Fleece or heavy jacket
  • Down jacket (optional but highly appreciated during the peak day if the weather is very cold)
  • Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Goretex or similar)
  • A pair of comfortable mountaineering pants
  • Wind and waterproof over pants (Goretex or similar)
  • Long underwear or running tights (e.g. Capilene or polypro)
  • 2 pairs of socks : a warm one and a lighter one
  • Gaiters
  • Light-weight sleeping bag liner, preferably silk (wool covers are provided by the refuge)
  • Toiletries : only tooth-brush and tooth-paste, usually no running water in the refuges so bring some wipes if you need
  • Sun cream (face and lips) and after sun
  • A head lamp with spare batteries and bulb
  • Pocket knife
  • A rain cover for your backpack (optional)

Luggage

During the training and the climb, you will carry your own personal equipment and packed lunch in your backpack (40-45L).

Medicine

  • Analgesic·      
  • Anti-inflammatory (pills and cream)
  • Bandages and second skin
  • Elastoplast (excellent to prevent blisters)
  • Sunscreen
  • Biafine cream (for sunburns)
  • Pills to clean water (e.g. Aquatabs): water in bottles is VERY expensive in refuges (5 to 10 euros a bottle)
  • Light sleeping pills (if you need some) and/or ear plugs
  • Your own medicine...

Passport

Please make sure your passport and travel documents are valid.

Visa

  • Up to 90 days visit in France : citizens from most countries do not need a visa to visit France.
  • Over 90 days visit in France : non-EU or non-EFTA citizens must have a visa to visit France over 90 days.

For further information, please check the following website : https://france-visas.gouv.fr/

Identity card

For EU citizens, you can use your identity card to travel to France. 

Mandatory vaccines

No required vaccination. 

Health information & recommendations

For this trip, you must be fit : you can train with other sports such as running, cycling, swimming or sportive walk. To have a reasonable chance of success, a high degree of fitness and stamina, and some previous experience of altitude is highly recommended. For more information about our trips' levels, please go to the "Level" section of our website.  

Training advices, to confirm with your general practionner : six months before departure, plan to do 1 to 2 sport sessions of at least one hour every week, and do a 6 hours trekking during the week end with an ascent of 400m per hour during three hours. Three months before departure, do 2 to 3 sessions per week and increase your trekking time to 7 to 8 hours. Please quickly notify the agency of medical information about you: food allergies, diabetes, recent and old heart attacks, asthma, etc ... 

The Mont Blanc peak is almost 5000m high. Your body will need a previous acclimatation. It would be best to plan 4 to 8 days to go up steadily from 2500 to 3500 meters. Avoid brutal hikes up to 4000m, they can engender acute mountain sickness. A good acclimatation can change everything the day of the ascent.  

Weather

The weather in the French Alps varies up and down the mountain chain. It is a mountainous region between 800 and 4000 meters, so altitude plays a big part in the local weather.
As you climb higher into the mountains it gets 1 degree cooler every 100 meters. It is the case all year around but other factors such as temperature inversions and winds influence the climate.  The sun plays a very important role too. In the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky, some lower or north facing valleys are blocked from the sun by mountains for a large part of the day and are colder.  

Spring can be a bit unpredictable : rain, sometimes even some snow interspersed with hot sunny days. 
It can be quite hot in summer: around 20 to 30 degrees, but the fresh mountain air cools you down during your hike. 
In autumn, temperatures start to cool down, but it is still perfect conditions for a walking holiday.  
During winter time, the higher you get, the more snow you will see. Snow usually starts to fall in November and stays until April. 

Keep in mind that weather conditions are unpredictable. Therefore, the trip organization can me modified for your safety.

Electricity

There will be electricity in most places you will stay. If you are scared to run low on battery, we advise to bring an external battery charger.  

Power plugs in France have the particularity of being male and female at the same time : they have 2 prongs and a receptacle. If you need an adapter, please purchase if before departure.

In France the power plugs and sockets are of type E. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

Local time

France is in the Central European Time Zone. Central European Standard Time (CET) is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1).

Like most states in Europe, Summer Time (Daylight-Saving) is observed in France, where the time is shifted forward by 1 hour; 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2).
After the summer months, the time in France is shifted back by 1 hour to Central European Time (CET or GMT+1).

Sustainable tourism

We do our best to offer trips subscribed to the principles of responsible and sustainable tourism. Our aim is to allow visitors to discover the many facets of France by taking you off the beaten path and getting you in touch with its nature and residents, while ensuring that your visits do not have a negative effect on its natural environment and people.

  • Most of our accommodations are run by locals, thus ensuring that the largest part of the revenue generated through your trip will stay within the region.
  • France is known for its exquisite cuisine. The art of cooking and the joy of eating are part of everyday life. Each region has its particular foods and flavors which we would like you to explore and appreciate.
  • Water is a precious and rare good. Our team and those travelling with us are thus advised to use it with consideration and avoid excessive water use where possible.
  • Please try to recycle your waste whenever possible, even though recycling may not be a well-known concept in all areas.
  • Be cautious and respectful when hiking. Make sure to wear suitable footwear and avoid picking flowers, moving stones or lighting fires.  
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Sandra Carrier

My local agent
Sandra Carrier

  • Technical advisor
  • Mountain and ski touring lover. She will advise you on Mont Blanc tours, trekking, hiking and multi-activities.
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Region
France
Activity
Alpinism Summer
Duration
8 days
Group
4 to 6 people
Code
ADMBA
Price
From €2,600
Level
3/5
Comfort
3/5
Language(s)
English

Strengths

  • This the "Royal" Mont Blanc ascent.
  • A three-days training in snow and ice-climbing on glaciers, during which you will learn how to use ice axe and crampon, ropework etc ...
  • You will spend a lot of time with your high mountain guide who will assess your abilities.

Guide's advice

This really is the best way to climb Mont Blanc if you do not have a big experience of alpinism. With a great three-days training, you will be given lots of opportunities to practice the skills learned (ice-axe and crampon skills, ropework ...) and to be acclimatized.

Required level

Technical experience


You don't need to be technically experienced as all of this is taught during the week. The main difficulties will appear during the ascent to the Goûter refuge : sometimes you will have to use your hands to go up (cables will help you). The "Arête des Bosses" is exposed and you will endure short steeper sections that require a good exeprience in walking with crampons. 

Training level


A very good level of fitness is required : the ascent of Mont Blanc is very demanding because of its length and its high altitude (over 4000m). Some previous experience of altitude is recommended. 


Involvement / risks


From the altitude of 4000m, some risks appear due to isolation and altitude itself. The Couloir du Goûter (Aiguille du Goûter) is really exposed (possible rock fall). But your guide will look after you all the time. It is really important to do what he tells you to in any circumstances 
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