France

Climb Mont Blanc (4,808m) - Summit Expedition

Climb Mont Blanc (4,808m), the highest mountain in the Alps, as well as Gran Paradiso (4,061m). This is an extreme week of mountaineering that requires a high level of fitness and reliance on good conditions.

Itinerary

Day 1: Travel to Vert Lodge

Travel to Chamonix and meet the rest of the group at the Vert Lodge Hotel. You will likely be in a group of 4 in two twin rooms. Enjoy dinner and get to know each other.

Note: We will ensure you are all in contact before the trip and provide you with all the detailed information you need.

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You'll meet your guide after breakfast in Chamonix. We have several options for our first day depending on conditions and it is important to realise that with any high mountain itinerary, we have to be flexible. Normally, after a kit check, we may start the traverse into the Chadbod hut to get a start on an ascent of Gran Paradiso. Either way, you will spend quality time with your guide, learning what it takes to climb the highest mountain in Western Europe.

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You'll be up early today, and after a hearty breakfast, you'll head out onto the glacier to climb your first 4000m peak. Today you'll be looking at rope skills, as you cross the glacier and have a final rocky summit scramble. In the afternoon you'll return to Chabod Refugio - a mountain hut famous for its stunning views and huge bowls of pasta. You sleep here at altitude to aid your acclimatisation.

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Having already climbed a peak and benefited from sleeping at altitude today is more of a gentle day as you return to Chamonix for some rest and recuperation. You'll be back at the Vert Lodge that night.

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You'll start the day by taking the Bellevue cable car followed by the Tramway du Mont Blanc train to Refuge du Nid d’Aigle which sits at 2372m. From here, you'll hike to the Tete Rousse hut (3,167m) where you'll spend the evening and prepare for the summit the following day.

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A 2 AM start to ascend to the Mont Blanc summit! It can take between 8 - 12 hours depending on the conditions, and your fitness levels. The aim is to arrive on the top of Western Europe's highest mountain by lunchtime. You'll descend back down to Gouter Refuge (3,813m). You'll spend the night here, to allow you to cross the Grand Couloir early the following day.

This is a big day that demands fitness, acclimatisation, and a good weather window. You must trust your guides to make the correct decisions for you.

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You'll continue your descent to the Refuge du Nid d'Aigle (2,372m), where you can enjoy a coffee before taking the tramway du Mont Blanc down to Les Houches. From here, you'll return to Chamonix where your trip comes to an end with some celebratory beers.

You can choose to spend longer in Chamonix looking up at the peak you've sumitted or return home on a flight that evening.

What's Included

Included
  • UIAGM guides with a guest to guide ratio of 4:1 (Gran Paradiso) and 2:1 (Mont Blanc).
  • Attempt to climb Gran Paradiso (4,056m).
  • Accommodation: 2 x hotel nights in Chamonix, 4 x mountain hut nights.
  • Attempt to climb Mont Blanc (4808m).
  • Dinner and breakfast on the mountain and breakfast at the hotel.
Not Included
  • Flights and travel to Chamonix.
  • Travel insurance (mandatory).
  • Cable cars and train tickets.
  • Visa (if applicable).
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Lunches, snacks, and drinks.
Have a question?

If you have any questions about this trip or want to speak with an expert, get in touch.

We're ready to help.

Team Images
Team Images
Team Images

FAQs

Before you go

You do not need any prior mountaineering experience to summit Mont Blanc, but we would recommend it. You'll also need a good level of fitness, as Mont Blanc has some long days of hiking and mountaineering. If you are fit and determined, though and used to walking/ scrambling, then you can be successful on this trip. You must also be prepared for the guide to turn you around if you do not have the relevant fitness or the conditions do not allow.

Personal equipment: - Mountaineering boots (WARM B2 rated minimum, but we recommend B3, which you can rent in Chamonix centre, Snell Sports). If you buy boots for this trip please contact your guide to discuss. - Backpack 40L or similar - with a good waist belt - Harness (available to rent) - Slings or daisy-chain (available to rent) - Screw carabiner (available to rent) - Ice-axe (available to rent) - Semi-automatic crampons (available to rent) - Helmet (available to rent) - Trekking poles (available to rent and optional) - Sleeping bag liner (available to buy) - Water bottle (2L minimum) Clothing: - Wool cap/beanie or fleece-lined hat - Buff - 4 x hiking socks (minimum) - Sun hat - 2 x mid-layers - Gaiters - Waterproof shell jacket - Light backup gloves - Heavily insulated gloves - Windproof jacket - Mountaineering/glacier sunglasses AND Ski Goggles - Softshell trousers - Down jacket (optional) - Waterproof overtrousers - Thermal leggings or tights - 4 x breathable t-shirts Other: - Snacks - Energy tablets - Sunscreen (at least SPF 30) and UV protection lip balm - Personal first aid kit - Headlamp (with new batteries plus spares as backup) - Toiletries (toothbrush and toothpaste, paper tissues, wet wipes) - Camera PLEASE PACK ALL THE ITEMS ON THIS LIST. You have the ability to leave things at the hotel that you do not need on the mountain.

How much spending money you take, very much depends on your spending habits. Drinks, lunches and snacks are NOT covered by your fee. You also need approximately 100 EUR to cover any uplifts that are used. You will pay for these as and when you buy the tickets.

Yes absolutely! Here is a list of available equipment for rent for the duration of your trip:   - Ice Axe - 20 EUR - Crampons - 25 EUR - Harness - 10 EUR - Helmet - 10 EUR - Screw Gate Karabiner and Sling - 10 EUR - Walking poles - 10 EUR - Sheet Sleeping bag - 25 Euros to keep. We don't rent boots. Before a trip like this, you must purchase and wear in your boots, WARM B2 minimum, B3 preferable. You can rent from Chamonix, Snell Sports, if you have to, but take time to choose them. You will need to pay cash for your rental items on the first morning to the guide.

It is the highest mountain in western Europe - so it's steep. The climb involves a fair bit of ascent and descent on a mix of trails. This includes – rocky terrain, forest trails, untracked routes, snow, and sometimes gravel tracks. There are snowy ridges and peaks. You can expect short scrambles throughout. However, we also use plenty of cable cars to reduce the amount we walk up and save our legs for the interesting bits. 

- Crampon and Ice Axe use - Ropework for Glacial travel - Hut etiquette - Avalanche awareness - Emergency techniques - Flora and Fauna of the Alps - Geology - Alpine Customs and Culture - How to make the most of a trip in the high mountains.

Yes, and ensure you are covered all the way up to the summit. Please record the details on the dashboard.

Euros - have plenty of cash with you and you can always change it back at the airport.

The catering is done by the huts, and they certainly do their best. However, do not expect London restaurant experiences. Dinner on days 1 and 3 are not included so you have freedom of choice to fuel up.

On your trip

Yes - your full bag should be no more than 8kg (we recommend aiming for 5kg). Pack as light as possible but bring all the items on the packing list. You can leave items in our hotel base in Chamonix.

On the Mont Blanc ascent 1 guide to 2 climbers. Gran Paradiso 1 guide to 4 climbers maximim. Bring a friend or we will match you with someone to make a new one.

You'll stay in basic mountain huts in remote locations in the French and Italian Alps. You can expect dormitory-style accommodation, with no access to wifi. The huts have shared bathrooms and some will have access to a shower. You'll stay in the following huts: Day 1: Vert Lodge, Chamonix - twin room Day 2: Chabod Rifugio Day 3: Chabod Rifugio Day 4: Vert Lodge, Chamonix - twin room Day 5: Tete Rousse Refuge Day 6: Gouter Refuge Day 7: Go home or book your own extension The huts are not basic though by any means. They have restaurants and bars, world-class food and the best locations for any mountaineer. Iconic is the only word best to describe them. The rooms are shared and in real estate agent speak "compact". You are on the side of a mountain though!

The quickest way is to fly to Geneva and then get a bus/ transfer direct to Chamonix. www.mountaindropoffs.com offer a discount to Skyhook customers with discount code AlpAdCH

YES - Tips are not compulsory but always appreciated. They will have earned it. You can also buy them drinks whilst out.

When adventuring in the mountains, you need to prepare for any eventuality. The weather can change at any given moment, which is why it is important to follow the equipment list provided. You should prepare for a potential itinerary change should the weather conditions become unsafe during a section of your trip. The weather at 4800m is very different to Chamonix too.

Start: You'll meet the group on night one and then the guide in Chamonix at 9:00 AM on day 2. Vert Lodge Hotel. End: Your trip will end on day 7 in Chamonix. Expect to arrive around 2:00 to 3:00 PM.

Mont Blanc is a temperamental mountain. If this itinerary can not be followed, the guides will provide another, similar one. Whilst the provided itinerary is typically followed, there are sometimes changes that need to be implemented. Your guides may, at their discretion, change the itinerary for safety reasons (e.g. with adverse weather). This can include changing the order of the days, summitting by a different route, or hiking on a different mountain entirely.

Other FAQs

Fitness, positive attitude, excitement. Take the pressure off yourself by arriving in Chamonix early on day 1. You can then have the first night to relax and enjoy the town. You have time to get an evening flight after the course if you are in a rush or return to your hotel if you are not. You will need to book that hotel night yourself. Get fit - climbing Mont Blanc is the equivalent of a marathon. With less Oxygen available, too. The fitter you are, the more you will enjoy it and the more chance of success. You can then leave anything you don't need in that Chamonix hotel.

18 years.

You need to have warm, stiff boots. Boots are rated and the rating you need is B2 or B3. But they must be warm. B3 is by far the best idea. If you are buying boots expect to pay at least £350plus for suitable boots. Alternatively, you can rent boots for the week in Chamonix from Snell Sports. This costs about 75 Euros for the week. We would recommend buying boots and wearing them in. All other equipment you can rent from AlpsAdventures, your guide. If you are buying boots then feel free to contact us for advice but it is an investment so probably mainly if you plan to do more of this sort of thing and telling the shop that they are for climbing Mont Blanc. Remember you have discount codes available from your dashboard.

Your head guides are Louise and Tom

All trips on Skyhook are run by small, hand-picked local guiding companies. For this trip your guides run AlpsAdventures, based in Collombey Muraz.

By booking through Skyhook you'll be joining a small-group trip. This can make it nice and sociable (you'll be added to a group chat after booking), and guarantees great value for money!

Louise
Tom