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Ski Mont Blanc and Grand Paradis

Mont Blanc - France

Period :

from March to June

Price :

From 1595 €

Difficulty :

Physical Condition :

Technical level :

Group :

From 2 to 2 personnes

Duration :

5 jours

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Ski Mont Blanc : Altitude 15,781 feet / 4,810 meters, the highest point of a Ski-Mountaineering season, with 8,200 feet downhill on North Face, from top of Mont Blanc to Plan de l'Aiguille. To train for and to succeed this challenge, you will first spend two days acclimatizing with the ascent of Grand Paradiso (13,323 feet). Then, after one night to rest in Chamonix, you will spend two other days to climb and ski the Mont-Blanc. This programme also includes one extra day to be used in case of bad weather conditions. 5 days Mont-Blanc ski tour: Meeting place at Chamonix at 09.30 am, transfer to Pont (6,430 feet), ascent to Vittorio-Emanuele II hut (8,963 feet) / Grand Paradiso (13,323 feet), Pont, transfer to Chamonix / cable car up to Plan de l'Aiguille (7,579 feet), Grands Mulets hut (10,006 feet) / Mont Blanc (15,781 feet), Plan de l’Aiguille, cable car down to Chamonix / extra day to be used in case of bad weather conditions. Separation at Chamonix around 3 pm.

* The Route - Meeting Place : Chamonix, SNCF train station (not to be confused with the Montenvers train station) at 09. 30 a.m. on day 1. As we will immediately drive to Italy and Gran Paradiso group, make all your purcharses (food for snacks) before the meeting time. - Separation at the same place, by mid-afternoon on day 4 or day 5. * The route : Day 1 ) Ascent up to Vittorio-Emanuele II mountain hut. Transfer from Chamonix to Pont (6,430 feet), in the Gran Paradiso valleys. From Pont, the track is quite flat for 10 minutes, and then begins to ascent gently through pine-trees forests. The pace is cool for this first day of the tour. The higher we go, the more beautiful is the wiew on Ciarforon and Becca di Monciair summits. After two hours of ascent, a strange human construction appears, looking like a half-barrel : Vittorio-Emanuele II mountain hut, 8,963 feet. It is a typical italian hut : pastas, minestrone, and small rooms with 4 or 5 berths. Duration of the stage : 2 hours. Difference of level : 2,369 feet up, 0 feet down. Day 2 ) with light backpack, ascent of Gran Paradiso (13,323 feet), and descent to Pont (6,430 feet). We have been to bed early, after the usual pastas dish. We leave the hut at dawn, up through moraines till we reach the Gran Paradiso glacier. In the distance, the first rays of the sun touch the Mont-Blanc group summits. The air is cool, and we climb up quite easily. After a good stop by the Becca di Moncorvé pass (12,549 feet), a short steep slope leads us to the summit plateau. A few last zigzags, and we leave our skis by 13,100 feet, just below a small snowy opening. We rope on, and we easily reach the short rocky crossing which gives access to the summit and to its Virgin Mary statue. Afterwards, a fantastic descent of 6,600 feet will bring us, after a short stop by Vittorio-Emanuele II mountain hut, to Pont. Maybe we will have the chance to see an ibex or a mountain goat. In the afternoon, transfer to Chamonix. Duration of the stage : 6 hours. Difference of level : 4,360 feet up, 6,893 feet down. Day 3 ) Ascent up to Grands Mulets mountain hut. By mid-morning, the Aiguille du Midi cable car lifts us up to Plan de l'Aiguille, far from the"dolce farniente" and spring-like atmosphere of Chamonix. At 7,579 feet asl, by Plan de l'Aiguille, at the bottom of Aiguille du Midi North Face, snow is still there. The track goes up smoothly below the North Face, through the easy Pelerins glacier, and joins up with the Bossons glacier near the "Jonction". After a very nice crossing of the Bossons glacier, the track goes up steeply till the Grands Mulets rocks. We leave our skis there and climb up the footpath which leads to the hut, height 10,006 feet. From the hut, we can see the first slopes we will climb nest night. During the afternoon, we relax in the hut, take a nap. Duration of the stage : 3 hours. Difference of level : 2,408 feet up, 0 feet down. Day 4 ) Ascent of Mont-Blanc We wake up in the middle of the night. After a quick breakfast (nobody is really hungry by 1 am ...), we put on our torch light, walk down the rocks till our skis, and here we go. Night is cold, and it is a pleasure to move one's muscles on the track going up to the "Petites Montées". On our left, scarcely visible in the moon light, are the peak Wilson and the "Heureux Retour" rocks, where Jacques Balmat and Auguste Paccard bivouaqued after their first successful ascent of Mont Blanc, year 1786, when they went down back to Chamonix. We climb the slopes of Dôme du Goûter, with, at moments, steepest slopes where we will have to use our crampons. At dawn, we pass near the peak of Dôme du Goûter, 14,121 feet, facing Mont Blanc. The seracs on the side are magnificent, touched by the first rays of the sun. The track is now easier till the Dôme pass and Vallot hut, 14,311 feet asl, the highest hut of the French Alps. Usually, we leave the skis near the hut, put on our crampons and rope up to climb the "Bosses" ridge till the summit. The body is tired, but as you are acclimated, your globules and your figthing spirit will give you energy to reach the Top of Europe, 15,781 feet, after 6 hours of ascent. Emotion will be deep in your heart, some mountaineers cry, other meditate, these moments are yours. In the distance, you can see Austria, and far away in the South direction, the Argentera Peak, just 40 miles from the Mediterranean Sea. All the main summits of French, Italian and Swiss Alps stand around you. We come back on the ridge down to Vallot hut, put on our skis for a fantastic descent of 6,500 feet till Plan de l'Aiguille. Some years, with perfect snow conditions, it is possible to ski down right from the summit of Mont Blanc, by the East and North slopes till the "Grand Plateau", and to ski down till the entrance of the Mont Blanc tunnel, 4,429 feet asl. Separation in Chamonix in the beginning of the afternoon. Duration of the stage : 9 to 10 hours. Difference of level : 5,905 feet up, 8,316 feet down. Day 5 ) one extra day to shift one day later the ascent in case of bad weather. If the ascent has been attempted on days 3 and 4, that day will be a day to rest in Chamonix. Your mountain guide will do everything possible to make a success of this training course. But, in high altitude, exceptional risks may exist : storms, avalanches, .... Your guide, responsible for your life, may change the program of this training course for your safety. If exceptional risks during days 3, 4 and 5 turn the ascent of Mont-Blanc to be unrealizable, you will ascend an other summit with your guide. No refundment will be made in that case, and the ascent of Mont-Blanc will not be postponed to any other date. The choice between trying to ascend Mont-Blanc or trying to ascend an other summit will be made by the Mountain Guide.

* The price includes : - guiding by a mountain Guide, and all his expenses (food, lodgings, transfers) - the following group equipment: radio linked to the relief organization, pharmacy, survival blanket, ropes, maps, compass, GPS, altimeter, rescue sledge - transfers by car or cable car related to the normal course of the program - the reservation of the places in the mountain huts - lodging and half-board in the mountain huts for two nights (dinner and breakfast are prepared and served by the hut-keepers) * The price does not include : - optional insurances EUROP ASSISTANCE - your lunchs - your drinks in the huts (by Grands Mulets hut, where water is not pure, you can buy mineral water or tea to fill your water bottle) - lodging and meals in the valley, before, between and after the ascents - your personal expenses - the personal equipment and the technical equipment required for this tour - additional transfers related to a modification of the program - transfer from your residence to Chamonix, and from Chamonix to your residence - generally speaking, all the expenses not indicated in the paragraph " the price includes "

* for your head : - a scarf - a balaclava or a high quality woollen hat - a cap for the sun - a pair of high quality ski glasses - ski goggles (to be used in case of bad weather or fog) * for your upper body : - warm underclothing (wool, or light polar fur) - a warm long sleeve shirt: on a glacier, the underarms must be protected from the sun ray - a thick and warm polar fur, or a high quality pullover sweater, or a down jacket - to protect you from the wind or from bad weather : a Goretex mountaineering jacket, also protecting your head (you may use a high quality windproof and waterproof skiing jacket) * for your legs : - warm sports skin-tights - light cotton mountaineering trousers (to wear in the huts) - windproof and waterproof Goretex trousers (you may use high quality windproof and waterproof skiing trousers) * for your feet : - two pairs of woollen socks, designed for skiers - a pair of gaiters if your trousers do not have gaiters included * for your hands : - a pair of leather gloves (to be used by cool weather) - and a pair of silk undergloves (or high quality polar fur undergloves) - and a pair of high quality mountaineering gloves (you may use high quality skiing gloves), waterproof and windproof, designed to endure a temperature of - 15 Fahrenheit degrees - and a pair of woollen gloves (to be used in case of emergency) _____________ In your mountaineering backpack : - additional underwear, and an additional pair of socks - tooth paste, tooth brush - large plastic bags to store your clothes in your backpack in case of rain (no backpack is perfectly hermetic) - a very light LED Head Lamp. Place a new alkaline battery in your head lamp, and bring with you an additional battery. - to sleep in the huts, do not bring a sleeping bag. The hutkeeper will deliver you woollen blankets. Some mountaineers appreciate to bring a silk sheet. - a pair of very light slippers for the hut (normally, each refuge provides slippers) - a water bottle ( 1.5 liter minimum ), light, isothermal (thermos) - a pocket knife - sun cream, lipstick - medicines : "Compeed" to prevent blisters, Aspirins, eye-drop lotion, earplugs (many people snore in the huts !), personal drugs, elastic adhesive wrap (3-Cut tape) - a survival blanket (made of aluminium) - a hermetic bag containing : your passport, Euros (for your drinks in the huts; most of the huts do not accept Visa or American Express Cards), your Alpine Club Card (if you are a member of this Club, tell it to your guide ) - camera and films _____________ Technical equipment : - a mountaineering backpack with a volume of 50 liters. For your comfort, your backpack must have broad and comfortable straps to carry it, and small straps on its back and on its sides to fix your ice-axe and your skis. - skis designed for Ski Touring, with ski touring bindings, and soles cleaned up (no traces of adhesive or glue) - synthetic seal skins, perfectly adjusted to your skis - small crampons fitting to the bindings, to be placed on the skis when going up with the skis on icy snow - telescopic ski poles - ski boots for ski touring, with Vibram sole. Before the departure of this tour, protect the friction zones of your feet with "Compeed" - a pair of mountaineering crampons with automatic fixations (category C2). Your crampons must be perfectly adjusted to your shoes (this is the job of your shop-assistant). - a light ice axe (length between 60 and 70 cms). Do not choose a technical ice axe, choose an ice axe designed for beginners. - some wax for your skis - a mountaineering sit-harness, a probe, a shovel, and a Avalanche Transceiver (DVA)

Half-board in altitude mountain huts.

- technical level : tour reserved to very good skiers, perfectly experienced in off-piste skiing and in Ski-Mountaineering. The tour includes steep slopes. You also practise mountaineering, as you will have to ascend Mont-Blanc using crampons and ice axe. - fitness level : you are in very good shape, practizing 3 times a week outdoor and endurance sports. The average pace is 1,300 feet of rise per hour below the altitude 13,000 feet, and 1,140 feet per hour above the height 13,000 feet. On Mont-Blanc ascent, one day with 5,905 feet to climb.