Duration11 Days Door to Door
Activity Level Challenging
Elevation4810m | 15,771 ft.
Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in Western Europe – an impressive 4810m above sea level. While previous mountaineering experience is a plus, it is not a prerequisite, as time will be spent learning and practicing the necessary skills before the summit.
Mont Blanc (which literally means White Mountain), stays completely white all year round. Around 20,000 mountaineers from around the world are believed to attempt to summit each year to test their fitness and mountaineering skills in this magnificent part of the world.
Climbing Mt Blanc is a strenuous undertaking and previous mountaineering experience will be a great help, but it is not an absolute necessity. Our highly experienced guide will spend time with you on your technical climbing skills to prepare you for the more challenging sections on the mountain. You will need to be in good physical condition and be able to hike and climb for 6-8 hours over steep terrain with a harness, climbing boots, crampons and an overnight pack.
- Professional guide and Western leader/facilitator
- All accommodation costs in St Gervais les Bains
- All airport transfers
- All nights in the mountain huts on Mt Blanc
- All Chamonix lifts and tramway rides
- All meals in St Gervais and in the mountain huts
- International airfares
- Visa costs
- Items of a personal nature ie personal gear, laundry costs, personal shopping etc.
- Personal travel and Medical rescue insurance
- Staff/ guide gratuities
- Any costs arising from flight cancellations, delays, political disturbance or natural disasters
- Gear rental
Arrive in Geneva and transfer to St Gervais les Bains (890m). Settle into your own private apartment that is centrally located within the heart of the village. Depending on the time of your arrival, you can secure the rental of the necessary Alpine equipment (boots, harness, crampons, ice axe and helmet), unless you have your own.
St Gervais les Bains (890m)
Leisurely walks in the area enjoying the spectacular views of Mt Blanc etc.
St Gervais les Bains (890m)
Another day of walking/ touring and acclimatizing.
Mt Blanc du Tacul (4248mtrs)
Take the Aiguille du Midi telecabine up to the starting point. Spend the day learning mountaineering basics such as rope work, crampons, ice ropes on the glacier and ice axes.
Overnight: Cosmique hut (3613m)
Summit Mt Blanc du Tacul (4248m)
Experience crevasse crossings/ aluminum ladders (which are very similar to the Khumbu Icefall on Everest, but in smaller sections). Descend back to St Gervais (890m).
Rest and recover
Target Mt Blanc (4810m)
Tramway up to Nid d’aigle (2372m) and walk up to Tete Rousse hut (3167mtrs).
Trekking Time: 5 hours walk.
Overnight: Tete Rousse hut
Climb from Tete Rousse hut to Gouter hut (3815m)
Rock scrambling – use of head torches required.
Trekking Time: 5-6 hours
Overnight: Gouter hut
Summit Mt Blanc (4810m)
Experience Lhotse Face conditions plus summit ridge exposure. Descend to Tete Rousse.
Total time: Maximum 10 hours
Overnight: Tete Rousse hut
Return to St Gervais via the tramway.
This list is designed to help you choose the right gear for the demands for this trek and is the minimum requirement. These items are mandatory for survival in the mountains, so ensure you have everything on the list.
The emphasis on equipment necessary for mountain travel follows two simple tenets: lightweight and functional. The items you choose to take should be lightweight, dependable, and adaptable to a variety of extreme conditions. The quality of the equipment you choose has a lot to do with how warm, dry, and safe you will remain, so be critical of quality and the proper fit of clothing. Comfort lends itself to a more enjoyable experience!
The layering system outlined below is usually sufficient for most people, but if you tend to be colder, bring one extra medium layer (such as a vest), which will be ideal for extra warmth around camp. When making the final decision as to what goes into your pack, remember that it’s a fine art of taking just enough clothes and accessories to do the job, while not over-burdening yourself with items you probably will not use.
Cotton clothing must be avoided because it dries very slowly and is a poor insulator when wet. Instead, choose wool or synthetic fabrics that “wick” the sweat and moisture away from your skin to keep you much warmer.
- 3 pairs sock liners
- 3 pairs warm socks
- 1 pair climbing boots
- 1 pair running shoes
- 1 Gortex jacket
- 1 pair Gortex longs
- 1 warm down jacket
- 1 pair trekking longs
- 2 trekking shirts/ fleece tops
- 1 pair thermal underwear
- 1 pair fleece trousers
- 1 fleece sweater or jacket
- 3 pairs underwear
- 1 pair mitts
- 1 pair fleece gloves
- I fleece or wool hat
- 1 balaclava
- 1 beanie
- 1 sunhat or cap
- 1 bandana, buff or scarf
- 1 pair ski goggles
- 1 sunglasses
- Day pack (45 litres)
- Sleeping bag (rated at least -15 C)
- Sleeping bag inner with stuff sack
- Blow up cushion or small pillow
- 1 headlamp
- 2 water bottles (wide-mouth Nalgene) with insulators
- 1 Thermos or flask for summit day
- 1 camp towel
- 1 medical kit
- 1 toiletry kit
- Lip balm
- Wet wipes
- Favourite snack foods (optional)
- Stuff sacks for food and gear storage – large Ziplock bags are also useful
- Water purification tablets (optional)
- Spare batteries and bulbs
PRE & POST TREK:
- Travelling clothes
- Large waterproof duffel bag x1
- Mobile phone and charger
- Passport and travel documents
- Proof of evacuation insurance
- 4 Passport photos
- Certified copies of all travel documentation
- Currency / credit cards
- Pens and pencils
- Camera equipment
- Battery chargers
- International adaptors
- Clean clothes for travelling home
Depending on the passport that you are travelling on, you may require a Schengen visa for your visit to the Alps. Please ensure that you arrange this well in advance of travelling.
You do not need any specific vaccinations, but it always best to chat to your local travel clinic for advice.
Climbing Mt Blanc is a strenuous undertaking and previous mountaineering experience will be a great help, but it is not an absolute necessity. Our highly experienced guide will spend time with you on your technical climbing skills and prepare you for the more challenging sections on the mountain. You will need to be in good physical condition and be able to hike and climb for 6-8 hours over steep terrain with a harness, climbing boots, crampons and an overnight pack.
Climbing big mountains requires cardiovascular endurance (via aerobic training), strength endurance (through strength conditioning) and climbing-specific training (i.e. hiking with a pack).
Being in strong physical shape is one of the most important aspects for a successful trek. You should be planning to progressively increase your aerobic training and speed of weekly training hikes to give you climbing-specific conditioning that cannot be matched by any other sort of training.
Suggested activities include running, cycling, mountain biking, swimming, walking on an inclined treadmill, doing stair stepping or stepmill training, trail running, walking up and down hills, or participating in step aerobic classes.
When first beginning a cardiovascular training program, begin with three workouts (i.e. Monday, Wednesday and Friday) of 30 minutes of sustained activity at a moderate intensity, and build up to 4-5 aerobic sessions of sustained effort for at least 45 – 60 minutes (taking Wednesday and Sunday as rest days, for example).
Be sure to include a 5-10 minute gentle warm-up before working at your target heart rate for the day. For most workouts, choose a level of exertion that allows you to connect a few words together in a phrase, but leaves you feeling comfortably tired at the end of the workout.
Remember to cool down with 5-10 minutes of appropriate stretching of the muscles you used most in your activity, including lower back, calves, hamstrings, hips and quadriceps.
Training with weights, backpacks and gym machines will help you build overall strength, particularly in the lower back, abdominals, upper back, shoulders and legs. Developing strength in your upper back and shoulders will help with carrying a pack and using trekking poles.
The calves, hips, quads, hamstrings and glutes are all involved in ascending and descending steep sections and scree slopes, which will be encountered on our trek.
Before embarking on any weight training, please consult with a qualified gym instructor so that you are well briefed in terms of using the equipment. Most important in strength training is to be sure that you maintain proper form at all times in order to prevent injury or strain.
This involves hiking steep outdoor trails, going up and down stairs or training on an inclined treadmill. In the months leading up to the expedition, it is important to do some long walks in the mountains.
Remember: All of your training is geared towards giving you the strength and endurance to complete the climb and enjoy every moment!
The route we take is open from the beginning of June until the end of September.