Chamonix may be the classic starting point to climb Mont Blanc but there is a lesser known way that goes all the way from Val Veny in Italy to the summit of Monte Bianco, without using any uplifts at all.
Starting in the beautiful valley of Val Veny near Courmayeur, you will hike up to the Gonella Hut at 3071m where you will spend the night before striking out for the summit of Mont Blanc via the Piton des Italiens route. Spectacular scenery and breathtaking views will surround you as you reach the top of Western Europe’s highest glacier at 4809m.
The descent is via the Gouter refuge, back down to Chamonix along the more traditional route to the Nid d’Aigle above Les Houches, so on this trip you get to experience both sides of this iconic mountain.
The beauty of the Italian itinerary is that it is a lot less frequented than the classic Mont Blanc route, so you will cross paths with far fewer people along the way. It is also a longer and more technical route, which is not suitable for beginners to mountaineering, but perfect for anyone looking for more of a challenge in an authentic alpine environment.
Our climb Mont Blanc course is a 6 day trip that includes 3 days of acclimatisation and mountain skills training in and around the Chamonix valley. You will summit some of the smaller but classic peaks such as Aiguille du Tour (3544m), practise glacier safety techniques on the Vallee Blanche and spend a night at the Albert 1er mountain hut. These preparation days will be challenging but a lot of fun, and you’ll get to explore a lot of the famous Mont Blanc Massif.
The final 3 days will be spent climbing Mont Blanc, with a guide ratio of 1:1, to ensure greater safety and enjoyment. The Italian route is considered something of a “purists” route due to the lack of lift assistance, the solitude of the ascent and the fact that it is somewhat longer than the classic route in terms of daily altitude gain and the length of the summit day. If you’re looking for a dose of authentic alpinism, this is it.
There is one reason above all others why people fail in their attempts to summit Mont Blanc and it has nothing to do with weather or snow conditions - it is fitness. We cannot emphasise enough the difference that your physical fitness will make to your chances of success. The air at altitude is thin and lacking in oxygen - however fit you are at sea level, you’ll feel a lot less fitter above 2000m altitude!
In the months leading up to your Mont Blanc course we recommend that you train yourself with regular long hikes, preferably uphill carrying a 8-10kg backpack. Cardio work such as running, cycling and swimming will help you get your breath back at high altitude; while strength training such as circuits and weights will give you the stamina you need to complete long and tiring days in the mountains. Alpine climbing experience on routes PD+ will be an advantage.
The course is based at Yeti Lodge; comfortable recently renovated chalets located in the lovely village of Argentiere at the northern end of the Chamonix valley. Yeti Lodge offers beautiful views and a real alpine experience as well as a hot tub, sauna, wifi connection and secure parking.
The Mont Blanc course accommodation is on a shared basis in twin/double rooms with shared bathrooms. The accommodation price includes a continental breakfast (freshly baked croissants, pain au chocolate, bread, fruit, cereals, yoghurt, fruit juices and tea/coffee), afternoon tea and a three course evening dinner.
Yeti Lodge is the best accommodation option for our Mont Blanc courses; we hold all of the course meetings with our guides there and you will be picked up and dropped off at the Yeti Lodge at the start and end of each day. Furthermore, Yeti lodge will keep your room reserved for you when you are staying in mountain huts so you will have the option of returning to it if bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances prevents you from staying overnight in the mountains. You will still only be charged for the nights you stay at the hotel - there is no other hotel/chalet in the valley which offers such flexibility.
Days 2-4 1:4
Days 5-7 1:1
Price for minimum 2 and maximum 4 participant. The price is per person excluding the Yeti Lodge accommodation. The course + Yeti Lodge is 3090€.