Mont Blanc

(15,782ft/4,808m), France

I found the Mont Blanc climb to be very well organized and executed, as I have with the many other AAI trips I have taken in the past. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and felt I got a lot of great, individual instruction to help move my ability levels ahead. Jonathon did a great job of gauging the experience and comfort levels of the team and making appropriate adjustments to ensure everyone got something out of it. The climb itself was definitely a highlight of my climbing career, having never been to the Alps. The terrain is breathtaking and challenging and the progression of the climb from acclimatization/training to summit day was perfect. - 2013 Climber

Highlights:
• Highest peak in Western Europe
• Only American company with an all-inclusive trip (hotels, trams, lifts, etc.), making our prices highly competitive 
• Includes four nights in French/Swiss huts with breakfast and dinner (about $600 US value per/person)
• Includes six tram rides in France (about $200 US value per/person)
• Pre-climb training
• Climb of Aiguille Du Tour prior to Mt. Blanc
• Fully certified IFMGA mountain guides
• All hotels included during the trip (three nights at a three-star hotel in downtown Chamonix, France)
• 2:1 climber-to-guide ratio on Mt. Blanc portion 
• Nine-day program
• Alpine Ascents logo jacket

Overview
As the highest peak in Western Europe, Mt. Blanc is perhaps the most famed ascent in the Alps, and considered the birthplace of climbing. First climbed in 1786, Mt. Blanc maintains the same allure today given the peaks stunning beauty, pristine villages and its prominence as the Alps' high point. The peak has relatively easy access and Alpine Ascents will provide training prior to the climb and take on the summit of Aiguille Du Tour (3540m), before we attempt Mt. Blanc.

Climbing Mont Blanc with Alpine Ascents:
In 2013, 14 climbers, led by Jonathon Spitzer, summited. Jonathon is an American IFGMA guide who has been integral to the success of this program and lives in Chamonix in the summer months. Jonathon, with his staff of world-class certified guides, provides a high-quality experience through the French Alps.

Had a fabulous experience. Jonathon is a very competent guide and instructor. - 2013 Climber

Very much enjoyed this expedition. Very well structured to ameliorate jet lag and altitude issues. Very high quality. Very much enjoyed this expedition. Very well structured to ameliorate jet lag and altitude issues. Very high quality. - 2013 Climber

We begin our climb in beautiful Chamonix, meeting at the hotel in the evening for a group dinner. The following morning our guides complete a full detailed gear check after our morning breakfast and we head to the nearby village of Le Tour (part of the Mt. Blanc Massif) to begin our glacier training.

Training and summit attempt of Aguille Du Tour (3540 meters/11,614 feet)  
Spending our first three climbing days above the beautiful village of Le Tour helps prepare us for Mont Blanc. We spend two nights at stunning huts located in the French and Swiss Alps. Acclimatizing while learning/reviewing skills is a major component of this program. Our practical climbing experience on Aiguille Du Tour also helps to prepare us for our ascent of Mont Blanc. After our summit attempt of Aiguille Du Tour, we return to Chamonix. That gives us a chance to dine, shower, change clothes and have a restful night before attempting Mont Blanc.

On to Mont  Blanc
Rested from our night in Chamonix, we begin our Mont Blanc ascent by boarding the Bellevue Tram and the Mont Blanc tramway car to 7,800 feet. We then travel by trail to the Tete Rouse hut at 10,400 feet. We enjoy an early dinner before going to bed. We wake for an alpine start to begin our ascent of the Grand Couloir, followed by some rock scrambling. From the top of the Couloir, we travel to the Gouter Hut (12,500 feet) for a rest break and hot beverages. Then we are on glaciated terrain and a spectacular ridge en route to the summit at 15,782 feet. We attempt to reach the summit in the early morning, then retrace our route back to the Gouter Hut for lunch and a long break. Then we descend rest of the way to the Tete Rousse Hut, where we spend the night.

History
The first recorded ascent of Mont Blanc was on Aug. 8, 1786 by Jacques Balmat and Michel Paccard. Nearby Chamonix. Chamonix hosted the first Winter Olympics in 1924. In 1965, the 7.25-mile long tunnel that goes under the Mont Blanc Massif was completed. This tunnel connects Italy with France, and is a major transportation route in the Alps.

Our guide did a great job of adapting/adjusting the program to suit the skill and experience of the climbers who showed up for this trip, and knows all the variations available in the locale to make that possible.

Prerequisites
This climb is challenging, and Excellent Pysical Condition is required. Some Prior climbing experience is helpful, but not required. (Mt. Rainier or Mt. Baker).

Physical Conditioning
Mont Blanc stands at 15,782ft and is considered a high altitude climb. Due to its proximity to the local towns and the luxurious hut system in place, there is a tendency to underestimate it. Climbers should be aware the summit day is over 5,000 vertical feet of elevation gain. In the best interests of personal safety, success and team compatibility, adequate training and excellent physical condition are required. Climbers must be able to carry an average of 30lbs or more. Climbers need to be in excellent physical condition for both personal enjoyment and to be an integral team member. We encourage you to contact us so that we may assist you in developing a training program that meets your particular needs.

Great program, really enjoyed the first three days of training/acclimatization hike around the glaciers and the impressive hut system found in the Alps. The extensive rock climbing was unexpected but all of the guides did a great job getting us prepared to handle challenges of the first portion of the summit day on the grand couloir.

Environmental Responsibility
Alpine Ascents is deeply committed to maintaining ecosystems at home and around the world. With each expedition, trek and course, we not only attempt to leave the environment as we found it, but strive to assist the local population in protecting the land and people indigenous to that region. Alpine Ascents reaches for the highest ethical business practices at home and abroad. Each staff member is dedicated to environmentally sound alpine ascents.

Environmental stewardship remains one of our core values, and we take Leave No Trace ethics and practices seriously. The mountains are our home and we are unwilling to sacrifice their preservation for human objectives. On every one of our courses and climbs, we teach and follow the environmentally appropriate Leave No Trace principles and practices.

Our commitment to environmental stewardship can be seen on our programs around the world. Over the years, with the assistance of our Sherpa teams, we have stepped up efforts to clean Mt. Everest. Our Wag Bag® program made a pioneering step in human waste management for the National Park System and Forest Service in the North Cascades. On Aconcagua and Mount Vinson, we pioneered a waste removal system on our climbs, utilizing the WAG Bag® system. And we continue our maintenance and minimal impact plans wherever we guide. We believe that given the proper information, most people will do all they can to help protect and maintain the environment.

Alpine Ascents is committed to developing safe, self-reliant and environmentally conscious mountaineers.

Private Groups
We regularly organize private climbs for individuals, corporate groups, families and friends. We encourage you to book these climbs early, to help us be better able to fit these climbs to group-specific desires. Contact us to further discuss the benefits of private courses.

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