Is This The Right Adventure For Me?
This programme includes an attempt on one of the best-known peaks in the European Alps. A couple of additional peaks above 3,500m will be attempted in the process of gradual acclimatisation, and some nights will be spent in high mountain huts. The course is not of a technical nature, but a good level of fitness is required – it is aimed at strong hillwalkers/scramblers. No previous alpine experience is necessary, but experience on snow/ice is preferred, although not essential as these skills are taught during the course.
What Will The Programme Look Like?
We design each course programme individually, but the itinerary below gives a good idea of what you can expect to achieve. Please be aware that we often have to adjust an itinerary because of weather, snow conditions, fitness, lack of acclimatisation, etc.
Day 0: Arrive in Chamonix. Meet in the evening for a gear check and a chat about the week
Day 1: Skills training on the Mer de Glace: movement on rock, snow & ice in boots & crampons; Alpine rope work. Return to valley
Day 2: Walk to the Albert Premier hut (2702m) from the Col de Balme cable car, with more glacier training, overnight in the hut
Day 3: Ascent of the Aiguille du Tour (3540m), descend to the Trient hut (3170m), overnight in the hut
Day 4: Ascent of the Tête Blanche (3710m), and return to the valley
Day 5: Walk to the Cosmiques hut (3613m) from the Aiguille du Midi cable car (3842m), overnight in the hut
Day 6: Ascent of Mont Blanc (4807m, Grade PD-), and return to the valley. Celebrate!
What Will I Have to Pay?
Here are some examples of what you can expect to pay in 2021, based on the programme above. Out of valley expenses have been calculated using a combination of 2019 and 2020 prices, and so are approximations.
With TWO clients with one guide for six days: Guiding fee per person: £700
In addition to the guiding fees you will need to pay for cable cars and overnights in mountain huts, and you will pay these same expenses for your guide. Prices in each hut vary, but in all but the most expensive huts, bed and half board is usually 60-85€ per person. This includes dinner and breakfast, but not drinks and snacks. Some huts do not have running water, so bottled water must be bought.
The Reciprocal Rights card gives reduced rates in huts managed by the Alpine Clubs of France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Holland, South Tyrol, Austria and Spain, and is available to BMC members. You have to pay for the card (£45 in 2019, and it runs January to December), but it will pay for itself in just a few hut nights. Members of the Alpine Club will also be given a reduced rate. Hut fees are paid in the local currency, and many huts accept credit cards. Cable cars cost between 29€ and 65€ for a return ticket.
You will also need to pay for travel to the Alps, insurance, and food and accommodation when in the valley.
So total out of valley costs should equate to about €435 + 154CHF
Recommended Accommodation in Chamonix
Fleur des Neiges – A gite in the Chamonix Valley.
What can I do to prepare?
The fitter you are, the more you will get out of your time with us, as all Alpine activities require considerable physical effort. Swimming, cycling, and hill-walking are all good preparation. We offer Alpine Preparation days in the Lake District, which offer training including crevasse rescue and essential ropework, or a few days rock climbing in the Lakes would give the opportunity to introduce some techniques and to chat through your aspirations for the Alps.
To book your space please book below;