Climb Mont-Blanc course
Chamonix Mont-Blanc - France
Period :beginning each Sunday from mid-June till end of September
Price :From 1652 €
Physical Condition :
Technical level :
Group :From 4 to 4 personnes
Duration :6 jours
Climb Mont Blanc with a Mountain Guide, the dream of all mountaineers. During this Mont Blanc training course, created for complete beginners in mountaineering who wish to climb Mont Blanc with a Mountain Guide, you will prepare your ascent to the Top of Europe with three days to discover technics of mountaineering in the Mont Blanc group, and ascend the summits of Tête Blanche and Aiguille du Tour; you will sleep two nights in altitude to acclimatize carefully. Then, you will have one night and one complete day to recover energy in Chamonix, before to go up on day 4, by cable-car + mountain train + footpath, to Tête Rousse mountain hut, 10,390 feet asl. After a short night in the hut, you will start your ascent to the Mont-Blanc on the classic route, on day 5, first climbing Aiguille du Goûter, 12,674 feet, then passing near Dôme du Goûter, 14,114 feet, Vallot hut, 14,311 feet, and finally reaching the summit of Mont-Blanc. During the descent you will spend a second night at Tête Rousse, to relax more. Arrival at Chamonix on day 6 morning.
Our experience of these training courses has led us to choose the classic route by Le Goûter, which is more often passable than the Cosmiques route (Three Mont Blanc route).
The ascent of Mont Blanc will take place on the fifth or on the sixth day of the training course, according to the best weather period.
- Safety : to climb Mont-Blanc via the classic route, according to the safety rules of the National Trade Union of French Mountain Guides (Syndicat National des Guides de Haute Montagne), we have chosen to post one mountain guide for two climbers. This choice has been made for your safety; it is also much more efficient for this long ascent to create homogeneous roped parties of two climbers with similar ages, rhythm or technic. During all the ascent, and during all the coming down till the end of the glaciers, you will be roped with your guide.
- Success rate, Mont-Blanc ascent statistics : by nice weather, more than 90 % of the mountaineers who followed these training courses since they were founded have reached the summit of Mont Blanc.
This remarkable rate of success to climb Mont Blanc (statistics show an average rate of success of only 70 % for roped parties on the Mont-Blanc ascent) is due to thirty years of experience of this ascent. This training course has been created to surmount the five main causes of failures on the Mont-Blanc route :
1) insufficient equipment : bring all the gloves and under-gloves that we ask you to carry, adjust your crampons to your mountaineering shoes (crampons not perfectly adjusted will tire you out walking on the ice), make sure your mountaineering shoes are warm and confortable, and don't forget your Thermos flask.
2) lack of practice in ice climbing: you will spend two and a half hours training during the ice climbing school, on the first day of the course, this is vital to success during your ascent of Mont-Blanc. This ice climbing school will be completed by a training to safety technics to be used in case of a fall on a snow slope, and a study of rescue technics in crevasses.
3) insufficient training: you must train seriously during the three months before the training course : run one hour three times a week, bike eight hours a week, or hike ten hours each week-end, on routes with a few steep hills. If you do not train seriously, you have very low chances to reach Mont-Blanc summit.
4 ) some programs do not include one extra day to shift one day later the ascent in case of bad weather : our program includes one extra day. This extra day gives maximum flexibility in case of bad weather.
5) the main cause of failure : insufficient acclimatation. If you spend all your training course sleeping in Chamonix (height :3,445 feet over sea level), you will not be acclimatized, even if you ascent high summits each day. The goal of this course is to get you to sleep high (one night in " Albert 1er " hut, 8,865 feet high, one night in " Trient " hut, 10,400 feet high), to bring you to a perfect acclimatement. After three days and two nights in altitude, you will spend one night and one complete day in Chamonix to recover energy, and then you will ascend Mont-Blanc with the best chances of success.
Meeting point at Le Tour cable-car, in Chamonix valley, at 8.30 a.m., ascent by cable-car + footpath to Albert 1er hut, ice climbing school on the Tour glacier, Albert 1er hut / " Tête Blanche " (11,250 feet), training to safety technics in case of a fall on a snow slope, Trient hut / " Aiguille du Tour " (11,621 feet), Tour pass (10,791 feet), footpath and cable-car down to Le Tour. Afternoon rest and night in Chamonix / Morning rest in Chamonix. In the afternoon, cable-car + mountain train + footpath up to Tête Rousse hut /during the night, ascent to "Aiguille du Goûter" (12,674 feet), and then to Mont-Blanc (15,781 feet) ,descent by the ascent route, second night in Tête Rousse hut / footpath, mountain train and cable-car to Chamonix valley. End of the programme in the morning /
* 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, first-aid kit, survival blanket, ropes, maps, compass, GPS, altimeter
- the loan of a mountaineering harness and of a mountaineering helmet
- transfers by car, train or cable car related to the normal course of the program (in case of an ascent of Dômes de Miage on days 5 and 6, or days 6 and 7, the transfer from Chamonix to Les Contamines, and back, is not included in the price)
- the reservation of the places in the mountain huts
- lodging and half-board in the mountain huts during four 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
- lodging and half-board for the nights in the valley (see, further, paragraph " Lodging ")
- your personal expenses
- the transfer from Chamonix to Les Contamines, and back, in case of an ascent of Dômes de Miage on days 5 and 6, or days 6 and 7
- additional transfers related to a modification of the program
- generally speaking, all the expenses not indicated in the paragraph " the price includes "
During all the Mont Blanc training course, Le Pays d'En Haut will loan you freely a mountaineering sit-harness and a helmet. Please, take care of these safety equipments, and, when you do not use them, store them in your mountaineering backpack.
You can rent in any sports shop in Chamonix the following technical equipment: mountaineering shoes, ice axe, crampons. Ask the shop assistant to show you how to put on your crampons, and ask him to adjust them perfectly to your shoes.
Caution: please, respect exactly this list of equipment : there are significant risks of frosts or accidents due to unsufficient equipements above the height of 4000 meters (13000 feet). In summer, on top of Mont-Blanc, if the wind is blowing, the temperature may drop to - 15 Fahrenheit degrees.
Your clothes :
* for your head :
- a scarf
- a balaclava or a high quality woollen hat
- a cap for the sun
- a pair of high quality sun glasses
- ski goggles (to be used in case of bad weather or fog)
* for your bust :
- warm underclothing (wool, or light polar fur)
- a warm long sleeve shirt: on a glacier, the underarms must be protected from the sun rays
- 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, with a hood (you may use a high quality windproof and waterproof skiing jacket)
* for your legs :
- a warm cleaving
- light cotton mountaineering trousers (to wear in a hut, or while walking on the footpaths)
- windproof and waterproof Goretex trousers (you may use high quality windproof and waterproof skiing trousers)
* for your feet :
- two pairs of woollen socks, a pair of cotton socks
- a pair of mountaineering gaiters
* for your hands :
- a pair of leather gloves (to be used only during the ice-climbing school)
- a pair of silk undergloves
- 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
- a pair of Goretex or waterproof mitts
In your mountaineering backpack :
- additional underwear, and an additional pair of woollen socks
- a few toilet paper sheets
- tooth paste, tooth brush, light razor
- large plastic bags to store your clothes in your bag pack in case of rain (no bag pack is perfectly hermetic)
- a head lamp. Place a new alkaline battery in your torch light, and bring with you an additional battery and an additional bulb.
- to sleep in the huts, do not bring a sleeping bag. The hutkeeper will deliver you woollen blankets. Bring a silk sheet (compulsory in Trient hut)
- 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, memory cards and batteries, films
Technical equipment :
- a mountaineering backpack with a volume between 40 and 55 liters. For your comfort, your bacpack should have broad and comfortable straps to carry it, and small straps on its back to fix your ice-axe when you will be walkikng on footpaths.
- a light ice axe (length between 60 and 70 cms). Do not choose a technical ice axe, choose a ice axe designed for beginners.
- a pair of crampons with automatic bindings. Your crampons must be perfectly adjusted to your shoes (this is the job of your shop-assistant). Choose crampons of category C 2 : semi-flexible crampons that can be used for both walking and climbing at harder grades, suitable for most alpine routes.
Your crampons must imperatively be equipped with "Anti-balling plates" (plastic sheets placed under the crampons, in contact with the snow when you walk and climb). These "Anti-balling plates" will prevent the wet snow from sticking to your crampons, and will avoid accidents due to this hoof of wet snow covering the pins of the crampons, transforming them into skis ... All the good mountain sports shops hire only crampons with "Anti-balling plates".
- a pair of mountaineering boots, with Vibram stiff soles. We advise you to test your boots before your training course, and to protect the zones of friction on your feet with "Compeed". Choose boots of category B 2 : stiff 4-season boots with a supportive upper, having facility for heel clip bindings to be fitted.
Boots designed for hiking, even expensive hiking boots, are inefficient and dangerous when climbing or walking on glaciers.
- telescopic walking sticks, if you are used to bring them when you go hiking.
A participant in this training course not equipped with mountaineering boots, or not equipped with "Anti-balling plates" on his crampons will not be authorized to attend the course. In this event, no refund will be made by Le Pays d'En Haut.
4 nights in comfortable mountain huts, in dormitories.
Lodgings in the valley of Chamonix are not included in the price of the training course.
You are a complete beginner in mountaineering ( but you are used to hike through hills and low-altitude mountains ) or you have a little experience in this sport. You wish to put all the chances on your side to achieve the ascent of Mont-Blanc.
You practise twice a week long distance running (10 miles) or biking (50 miles). During the three months before this training course, you must either run one hour 3 times a week, bike 8 hours a week, or hike 10 hours each week-end, on routes with a few steep hills.
A good test to know if you are fit for this course : you are able to walk up 3,300 vertical feet in 2 hours on good footpaths, with a 5 kilos backpack, without being dead tired.
You do not suffer from vertigo.