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Mont Blanc Guides | IFMGA Mountain Guides
Climb Mont Blanc with a group or as a private trip with one of our experienced IFMGA Mountain Guides. Mont Blanc is on our doorstep from our Chamonix Alpine base and our tried and tested program will prepare you for the ascent whilst giving you the best chance of reaching the summit.
It is important to acclimitise before attempting Mont Blanc. Spending a night or two in a high mountain hut and reaching a summit above 3700m is pretty crucial preperation for success. For our trips we generally head through to Italy to climb the Grand Paradiso which is one of Italy's favorite mountains and is a great peaks in it's own right, with a summit of just over 4000m.
Over the course of the week we aim to prepare you technically for Mont Blanc as well as getting everyone acclimatised. We use crampons and an Ice axe, as well as being roped up at all times on the glacier. We also aim to get some scrambling/climbing practice before the Mont Blanc ascent, in preparation for the Gouter ridge.
People have to abort their Mont Blanc ascents for a number of reasons, weather, altitude sickness, conditions for example, but the overriding reason for having to turn around is fitness.
The summit day will typically take around twelve hours with up to 1700m of ascent and descent, all done at altitude. You will need a good level of hill fitness to have a successful and enjoyable week.
Although no prior mountaineering experience is required toclimb Mont Blanc, you will need to be physically and mentallyfit. Some good long days out in the UK hills is goodpreparation, especially getting in some vertical ascentsimilar to Mont Blanc.
How technical is the route?
Mont Blanc certainly isn’t just a walk. Taking the Gouter route as an example, there is some rock and snowy mixed ground to scramble up for about 600m from the Tete Rousse hut, which would be about a grade II scramble in the UK. Often we wear crampons for this section.
Higher up on the Bosses ridge, there are some narrow sections, and here you will need good crampon skills and a head for heights. It’s not nearly as exposed as some alpine ridges, but you will need to be happy on a reasonably narrow ridge.
What equipment do I need?
Please see our Kit List...
Do I need to hire a guide to climb Mont Blanc?
There is no requirement to hire a Mountain Guide to climb Mont Blanc, and you will see many groups heading up without a guide. There are of course many advantages to hiring a guide even if you have done some mountaineering ascents before such as further training & mountain education as well as safety. Our Mountain Guides are all fully qualified and know Mont Blanc intimately. We have a good handle on mountain conditions and weather and use a conservative approach to maintain good safety standards, often turning around before other teams if conditions are becoming unsafe.
Example itinerary for a six day Mont Blanc ascent:
Our programme is tried and tested and is designed to provide you with crucial training and acclimatisation whilst arriving at the foot of Mont Blanc with energy and motivation for the final ascent. If you have previously climbed the Grand Paradiso, then sign up to one of our private trips, where the schedule is bespoke and we can climb elsewhere for the first three days.
0800 meeting with guides in Chamonix. Equipment check. There is time to buy snacks for the mountain and a packed lunch. We then head to the excellent rock climbing venue near Chamonix called Les Gaillands. We spend a couple of hours here climbing easy rock routes in big boots which is good practice for mountaineering and scrambling. It’s also an opportunity to use the harnesses and practice your knots.We then drive through the tunnel into Italy and into the Grand Paradiso National Park (1 1/2 hour drive). The ascent to the hut takes around two and a half hours, and is a stunning alpine walk through forests with ever changing views, and hopefully some wildlife spotting along the way.
Ascent of the excellent Grand Paradiso (4061m), second night in mountain hut, such as the Emmanuele refuge. Generally the ascent of the Paradiso takes 5-7 hours, with the return trip from the summit taking around 3 hours. More details of the Grand Paradiso trip. By spending a second night in a mountain refuge at 2800m we benefit from further acclimatisation.
From the refuge, we walk back down to the car and return to Chamonix, optional Rock Climbing training and scrambling in the Chamonix valley.
Ascent to Tete Rousse refuge. This is a deliberately easy day and should take around two and half hours. The aim is to arrive at the refuge feeling not too tired and ready for the long summit day ahead.
Ascent of Mont Blanc – starting from the Tete Rousse refuge we usually begin very early in the morning. The ascent to the summit usually takes six – eight hours including short stops. From there we descend to the Gouter refuge at 3800m in around two – three hours, where we spend the night.
Spare summit day/return to Chamonix. From the Gouter refuge it is a two hours descent to the Tete Roussse, and then an easy walk back to the tramway and lifts to Chamonix – time for a beer whatever the outcome of our summit bid!
We run two types of Mont Blanc courses…
Our open courses require a minimum of two bookings for the trip to run, and are run with a maximum of four climbers. A guiding ratio of 1:4 for the first three days and 1:2 for the Mont Blanc summit days.
We run scheduled Mont Blanc trips every month from May to October.
For private group bookings:
The first three days of the programme are bespoke, and there is opportunity to climb an alternative mountain to the Grand Paradiso.
Our prices includes:
It does not include:
Upon receipt of your deposit and medical form we will email your detailed joining instructions and equipment list. Our Mont Blanc FAQ’s page has the answer to most questions and you are welcome to email us any questions you may have : firstname.lastname@example.org
Estimation of Mont Blanc Expenses:
You will catch the lift at Les Houches and the train which is around 35€ for the return trip.
Sometimes we use a lift in Italy or the Aiguille du Midi which is 65€ per person.
Accommodation costs in Chamonix vary, but you will have three nights in the town. We can book you half board accommodation for 75€ per night.
You will need some cash for buying water (not included in the hut price) and snacks/lunch at the huts.