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Mont Blanc

We Offer Two Different Length Programs in Climbing Mont Blanc

The 10 day Mont Blanc climbing program is our most popular trip and recommended by our guides. This trip builds in time to learn and review climbing skills during the beginning of the program. Prior to making an ascent on Mont Blanc the team climbs Gran Paradiso (the highest peak in Italy), allowing for increased acclimatizing while also offering a chance for the climber to see a different area of the Alps.

The 8 day Mont Blanc climbing program is for the experienced climber that has significant prior mountaineering experience. We will spend two days acclimatizing and climbing in the Mont Blanc Massif before making an ascent of Mont Blanc.

Please note: the 10 day program includes 7 days of climbing and the 8 day program has 5 days of climbing; we include the start and end travel dates for those traveling from outside of Europe.

Alpine Ascents provides a one-of-a kind experience on climbing Mont Blanc regardless of the length of the program. Our guides are highly trained and all are certified by the American Mountain Guides Association in skiing, rock climbing and alpine climbing. Guides have experience working all over the globe but typically they spend the majority of the season working in the Alps, so they are up to date on mountain conditions and weather.

We have been running Alps trips since 2011 and are the only American company with an all-inclusive trip so that you don’t have to worry about booking your hotels, huts and tram fees. The nature of the Alps allows for maximum flexibility, so if conditions are not suited for our intended objective we have many options to experience a different summit or area of the alps.

Climbing Mont Blanc 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 due to the trams and lifts that begin in the Chamonix valley. Alpine Ascents provides training and acclimatizing prior to our summit attempt on Mt. Blanc.  The 10 day program will climb the Gran Paradiso (highest peak in Italy) prior to climbing the Mont Blanc.

Highlights

• Highest peak in Western Europe
• Only American company with an all-inclusive trip (hotels, trams, lifts, etc.), making our prices highly competitive
• Includes nights in French/Italian huts with breakfast and dinner
• Welcome dinner in Chamonix.
• Includes all trams/lifts/gondolas
• Includes all transportation once trip has started in Chamonix
• Pre-climb training
• Climb of Gran Paradiso (Highest Peak in Italy) only on 7 day program
• Fully certified IFMGA mountain guides
• All hotels included during the trip are at a three-star hotel in downtown Chamonix, France
• 2:1 climber-to-guide ratio on Mt. Blanc portion
• Alpine Ascents logo item

Loved, loved, loved the Mt. Blanc trip!!!!!!! Thank you so much for everything. Peter and Jonathon are absolutely amazing! I will be climbing with Alpine Ascents again – hopefully soon. Oh my gosh!!!! I don’t think there are words to adequately describe my expedition. It was WAY beyond just enjoying it. It was absolutely spectacular!!! It far exceeded my expectations. The guides were amazing, the country is simply breathtaking, the huts in the Swiss Alps are incredible, the team of clients were awesome, the schedule was perfect, everything was perfectly scheduled and coordinated, the food was to die for, etc. I just have nothing but praise and excitement for the Mt. Blanc trip, Alpine Ascents and Peter and Jonathon in particular. Even though the conditions of Mt. Blanc itself did not allow us to climb that route, the guides worked really hard to come up with an amazing back up plan that was a perfect substitute for the original goal. Absolutely first rate, class act that went far beyond my expectations. A+++++++. 2 thumbs way up. On a scale of 1-10, I’d give the whole experience a 50!

Climbing Mont Blanc

Our overall success rate on climbing Mont Blanc is near 80%. Climbers are typically challenged by the physical nature of the climb. Weather and objective hazards are also a consideration when planning our summit bid and sometimes we will attempt another 4000 meter peak when conditions on the Mont Blanc are sub-optimal. Climbers still find these alternate objectives equally challenging and rewarding. Our Alps program director, Jonathon Spitzer made some itinerary and logistics improvements in our continued efforts to fine-tune our program. In 2014, we had 15 climbers reach the summit of Mont Blanc and we look forward to improving conditions in the 2016 season.

We begin our Mont Blanc 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 up to the Aiguilles Rouges for some alpine rock and snow climbing training.

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.

Training and summit attempt of Gran Paradiso: Highest Peak in Italy

We begin our Mont Blanc program by climbing the Crouches traverse and the 4,061 meter Gran Paradiso.  The Crouches traverse is the perfect objective for our first climbing day, because it provides climbers with a chance to practice alpine rock and snow climbing skills.  Plus it is a relatively short day and allows us to work off the jet-lag haze in a beautiful but not entirely committing setting.

On day 4 of the trip, we will head to the Gran Paradiso in Italy via private taxi.  The Gran Paradiso is the tallest peak in Italy and a great introduction to mountaineering in the Alps.  We will spend two nights in the beautiful Chabod mountain hut where they serve delicious Italian cuisine.   The hut is located at 9,022 feet and offers climbers a great chance to acclimatize to higher elevations.  Learning and reviewing skills is the major goal during this portion of the trip.  During our summit attempt, our guides will continue to offer coaching as it relates to cramponing, ice axe use and glacier travel.  Our summit day often takes around 8 – 10 hours round trip from the hut and provides our climbers with a chance to test out their skills and fitness on a 4000 meter peak.  On our third day of the Gran Paradiso trip, we will descend back to town where we will re-fuel with gelato and Italian treats.  Our goal is to be back in Chamonix by mid-day so that we have plenty of time to rest and recover and get ready for the Mont Blanc portion of the climb.

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, where we enjoy an early dinner before going to bed. We wake for an alpine start on our ascent of Mont Blanc by a traverse across the Grand Couloir. Once on the other side of the couloir, we encounter some moderate and steep scrambling over rocks to reach the Gouter Hut (12,500ft). At the Gouter hut we will be able to take a nice break inside, before continuing towards the summit. From the Gouter Hut, the climbing route changes character and becomes a snow and glacier climb. After climbing for about 2 hours on snow with our crampons and ascending the Dome d’Gouter, we reach the famous Vallot emergency refuge at 14,400ft. From the Vallot, the climbing route follows a steep and stunning ridgeline until reaching the spectacular summit ridge of Mont Blanc at 15,782ft. We attempt to reach the summit in the early morning, then retrace our route back to the Gouter Hut for a break. Then we descend to the Tete Rousse Hut, where we spend the night.

10 Day Program

This is a new addition to our Alps program in the summer of 2017.   This program will have an additional day of skills and training around Chamonix.  In preparation of our ascent on Mont Blanc the team will climb Gran Paradiso (4061m/13,323ft), which is the highest peak in Italy.  This ascent will not only help our team acclimate but increase our chance of summiting by utilizing our newly learned mountaineering skills on a similar technical mountaineering objective.

Highlights:

  • Four nights at mountain huts in the French and Italian Alps allows us to leave our sleeping bags and pads at home.
  • Breakfast and dinner provided at huts causing lighter weight packs while traveling in the mountains.
  • Prior to Mont Blanc, ascent of highest peak it Italy, Gran Paradiso
  • Our trips are guided by an IFMGA/AMGA certified mountain guide
  • Program pace allows climbers to adjust to time zone.
  • Two possible days to summit Mont Blanc

Best for:  Novice climbers to seasoned veteran climbers will enjoy the 10 day Mont Blanc climbing program.  Technical mountaineering skills will be taught to all abilities before making an ascent of Mont Blanc.  The Mont Blanc climb is challenging and excellent physical condition is required.  Prior use of crampons or glacier travel is helpful but not required.

Acclimatization: Four days of climbing prior to heading to the Mont Blanc helps climbers properly acclimate.  Our teams spend two nights over 9,000ft at mountain huts in the Gran Paradiso National Park.  Climbing Gran Paradiso (4061m/13,323ft) will ensure our team having the proper time to acclimate before Mont Blanc.

8 Day Program

This 8 Day itinerary is geared toward the very fit climber with prior mountaineering experience. This is a more demanding itinerary.

Highlights:

  • Four nights at mountain huts in the French and Italian Alps allows us to leave our sleeping bags and pads at home.
  • Breakfast and dinner provided at huts causing lighter weight packs while traveling in the mountains
  • Two days climbing off the famous Aig d’ Midi tram in Chamonix above 12,000ft prior to Mont Blanc ascent.
  • Our trips are guided by an IFMGA/AMGA certified mountain guide.
  • Trip is scheduled Sunday-Sunday including flight time from North America
  • Two possible days to summit Mont Blanc

Best for:  Climbers with prior significant mountaineering experience.  Rainier (Emmons, Kautz, Muir), Denali, and Ecuador are examples of prior technical mountaineering.  The 8 day program requires climbers to have comfortable working knowledge of their ice axe, crampons, and harness prior to joining this trip.  The Mont Blanc is a challenging summit and excellent physical conditions is required.

Acclimatization: Prior to Mont Blanc the team will spend two full days climbing above 12,000ft and one night at the Torino Hut (3450m/ 11,318ft) on the France Italian border.

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.

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