JULIA VIRAT

MOUNTAIN GUIDE

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MONT BLANC

Anyone walking in the street of Chamonix can not pass by the statues of Balmat and Paccard, the first ascensionists of the Mont Blanc in 1786, proudly facing the summit.

From its 4810 meters high, it is the highest peak in the Alps, on the border between France and Italy.

Mont Blanc seems within reach, accessible, but it is a real alpine climb, long and demanding, that requires a proper physical and technical preparation.

People also need to be guided there.

MONT BLANC TRAINING COURSE

FROM 3 TO 6 DAYS

This is the best way to succeed.

We will take time to buid together our "Mont Blanc project".

You will learn how to handle a rope, how to hike with crampons on a glacier and how to use ice axes.

We will spend a night in an altitude hut and you will step by step get your body used to the lack of oxygen when doing one or two acclimatization alpine climbs.

We could also try to reach another smaller summit before trying to go to Mont Blanc.

Above all, it is a time of exchanging and learning.

At the end of the week, we will feel ready and prepared to attempt the ascent of Mont Blanc.

There are two different normal routes :

- Goûter Dôme and Bosses ridge with a start from les Houches.

- 3 Monts (Mont Tacul, Mont Maudit, Mont Blanc) with a start from Aiguille du Midi.

 

It is also possible that I suggest you an alternative if your chances to reach the summit are too low this time, for example the ascent of Grand Paradis, 4 061m.

 

Participants :

1 or 2 for the summit.

At the beginning of the week, the group can be bigger to reduce the costs.

 

Technical requirements :

People in good shape and used to efforts.

 

Dates :

From june to september (best time is june and july).

 

Departure :

Chamonix.

 

Guide price:

From 1 400 € to 2 400 € divided among participants.

 

NOT included in the price:

Lifts passes.

Accomodation in the valley.

Nights in mountain huts.

Food and drinks.

Shuttles.

 

The costs for the guide (hut, food...) must be shared between participants.

DIFFERENT OPTIONS...

MONT BLANC

2 OR 3 DAYS

You can consider the ascent of Mont Blanc in two or three days if you took time to get prepared and if you are fit and acclimatized.

It is preferable that I know you and your skills, having already shared an experience of mountaineering together.

There are two different normal routes :

- Goûter Dôme and Bosses ridge with a start from les Houches.

- 3 Monts (Mont Tacul, Mont Maudit, Mont Blanc) with a start from Aiguille du Midi.

Participants :

1 or 2.

 

Technical requirements :

People in good shape and well prepared.

 

Dates :

From june to september (best time is june and july).

 

Departure :

Les Houches (Bellevue gondola) or Chamonix (Aiguille du Midi gondola).

 

Guide price :

From 1 100 € for the ascent (2 days).

 

NOT included in the price :

Lifts passes.

Nights in mountain huts.

Food and drinks.

 

The costs for the guide (hut, food...) must be shared between participants.

Mont Blanc par les 3 Monts
Mont Blanc par les 3 Monts
Mont Blanc par les 3 Monts

 

GOOD TO KNOW

BEFORE TRYING THE ASCENT

SPECIFIC DIFFICULTIES

 

Altitude :

We usually feel the lack of oxygen above 3 000 meters high.

Above 4 000 meters, it usually is a fight for every body.

We are facing unequal adaptation to low oxygen (genetic factor). For some of us, this can lead very quickly to serious medical problems (AMS : Acute Mountain Sickness).

It is very important to manage a prior period of acclimatization (Mont Blanc training course for example)

 

Weather conditions :

At an altitude of almost 5 000 meters, it's always like winter.

Expect cold and windy conditions, even during sunny days in summer.

The weather at this altitude can change very quickly.

 

Effort lenghth :

The D day, we will have to climb up between 1 000 and  1 600 meters regarding the option. Most of this will be above 4 000 meters high.

It is a long and demanding effort that it is important not to minimize ant to prepare in advance (endurance the months before).

Once on the summit, the long descent is not to be underestimated : this is the beginning of another day.

Moreover, a large part of the ascent is done by night with headlamps. This is impressive when not used to it.

 

Objective risks :

Both normal routes up the Mont blanc are exposed to risks of rock falls (Goûter gully) or serac falls (3 Monts). These risks are always present, but they can be higher sometimes. We should talk about it together.

 

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

 

Renunciation :

Around 50 % of guided ascension attempts do not lead to the summit.

The guide does his best to help you achieve your goal, but many parameters may prevent you from continuing the ascent (weather, tiredness, altitude...)

His decision is the one from an expert who knows the environment and its dangers.

When hiring him, you must accept to rely on his judgment at any time, and eventually to accept the possibility that you could have to make several attemps before reaching the summit of Mont blanc.

 

Huts :

Overcrowds are very specific to Mont Blanc and it is highly recommended to anticipate the ascent several months in advance to be able to book a night at the mountain hut.

Julia VIRAT     I      Guide de Haute Montagne     I     Chamonix Mont Blanc / Écrins     I     +33 6 70 52 56 34