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Climb Gran Paradiso

Train in Chamonix & climb your first 4000m on the highest peak in Italy

Gran Paradiso is a beautiful 4061m peak, and is the only 4000m peak which is entirely within Italian territory. The Gran Paradiso could be therefore considered as the highest peak in Italy.

Located in the Gran Paradiso national park, it offers a challenging but beautiful ascent through picturesque landscapes rich in alpine flora and wildlife. You will also enjoy views of the majestic Mont Blanc range.

Although high, the ascent of the Gran Paradiso is not technically very demanding, making this peak the perfect introduction to high alpine climbing. On this course, you will learn the essential skills of high mountain climbing; crampon and ice axe techniques, glacier travel safety technique and rope work skills.

Prior to climbing Gran Paradiso we will take you up to two major glaciers of the Mont Blanc range; Vallee Blanche and Glacier du Trient. As part of the course you will climb two alpine peaks, Aiguille du Tour (3544m) and Gran Paradiso (4016m), and you will spent two nights in mountain huts where you can enjoy the spectacular sunsets over the snow covered alpine peaks.

Description

Level Requirements

You don’t need to have any previous experience in alpine climbing to join our Gran Paradiso course. However, it is essential that you are in a good physical shape, you should be able to complete a 5 hour hill hike without difficulty. Regular running, swimming or hill walking are the best forms of training for this course. If you need further advice on how to prepare for the climb, please contact us on info@chamex.com.

There will be maximum 4 climbers for one guide and we accept groups of maximum 8 clients on this course.

Price

1370€

Price per person; groups of minimum 3 and maximum 8 climbers

Course Dates

2017
Start Date End Date Spaces
Jun 12 Jun 17 8
Jun 19 Jun 24 8
Jun 26 Jul 01 8
Jul 03 Jul 08 8
Jul 10 Jul 15 8
Jul 17 Jul 22 8
Jul 24 Jul 29 8
Jul 31 Aug 05 8
Aug 07 Aug 12 8
Aug 14 Aug 19 8
Aug 21 Aug 26 8
Aug 28 Sep 02 8
Sep 04 Sep 09 8

G
  The Course is guaranteed to run


Included

Mountain Guide Fees

Our course includes 6 days of guiding and instruction by experienced UIAGM qualified mountain guide.

All our guides have been chosen for their lovely personality and high standard of skills.

Accommodation (half-board)

2 nights accommodation in mountain huts with breakfast and dinner included.

Transport

Return transport from Chamonix to Italy.

Lift passes

The cost of any lift access that is required during the course for the itinerary described above. 

Group Equipment

Ropes, safety equipment, etc will be provided when needed by your guide.

Office Support

Our team is based at the foot of the Aiguillle du Midi cable car and will be happy to help you with any questions you may have before, during or after your trip to Chamonix.

Not Included

Equipment

Please see the "Equipment" tab to find out what you will need. Anything that you do not already have can be rented here in Chamonix, if there is anything you need then please contact us and we will be happy to organise it for you.

For private customised guiding, please contact us directly to confirm your perdoanlised kit list.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you take our Search and Rescue mountain insurance - we can organise this for you on request.

Food & Drink

The price does not include lunch or snacks. You can bring your own food and we can stop for a picnic, or there may be the option to buy lunch at a mountain hut. Please make sure that you are carrying sufficient water and snacks as we will be in the mountains for a number of hours.

Accommodation

Accommodation in Chamonix is not included in the price but we would be happy to advise or organise it on request.

Travel to Chamonix

The price does not include flights, airport transfers or any other travel to/from Chamonix. However, we can organise airport transfers for you on request, please contact us for details.

Arrival Day

We meet up the day before the course begins at the Yeti Lodge in Argentiere with your mountain guide and the rest of the group.

Your guide will check your equipment, discuss the itinerary, weather forecast & conditions and answer any questions you have.

Day 1 : Glacier Training at Mer de Glace

Today is dedicated to crampon and ice axe training on glacial terrain.

The Mer de Glace glacier offers the perfect terrain with many easily accessible crevasses to practice on.

You'll learn how to traverse glaciers as well as crevasse rescue and other important safety skills.

Day 2 : Vallee Blanche Traverse

Today we take the cable car to the Aiguille du Midi (3842m) to do the Vallee Blanche traverse. This alpine classic route crosses the glacier from the Aiguille du Midi station in France to the Helbronner station in Italy. You will hike beneath stunning peaks such as the Mont Blanc du Tacul, Tour Ronde and Grand Capucin. We will return to Chamonix by the Helbronner gondola and the Aiguille du Midi lift.

Day 3 : Refuge Albert 1er

From Le Tour we hike to the Albert Premier hut at 2702m where we will have a lunch break. The hut sits right beside Glacier du Tour and is perfect for an afternoon dedicated to crevasse rescue training. We will spend the night at the refuge, which is excellent for acclimatisation.

Day 4 : Aiguille du Tour

After an early breakfast on the hut, you will start to ascent the Glacier du Trient up to the summit of the Aiguille du Tour (3544 m). From the summit, you will descent back to your chalet in Argentiere.

Day 5 : Rock Climbing at Les Gaillands

This morning will be dedicated to rope skills and rock climbing training at Les Gaillands in Chamonix. After lunch we will drive through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy and the Grand Paradiso national park, where we will hike up to the Vittorio Emanuele II or the Chabod Refuge. The hike takes 2-3 hours and then we spend the night at either of the two mountain huts.

Day 6 : Climb Gran Paradiso

The big day! An early start (3am) awaits us and we set out to climb the Grand Paradiso (4016m) before dawn. The climb is varied over easy snow slopes, glacier and rocky ridge; it takes around 4-5 hours from the refuge to the summit. We'll see the sun rising along the way and the view from the top will be something special. The descent is by the same path and takes about 3 hours. You will return to Chamonix to celebrate your first 4000m peak ascent and then back to Yeti Lodge for a final dinner with your group.

Leaving Day

The course package ends after breakfast at Yeti Lodge.

Climb Gran Paradiso, the highest mountain in Italy, with Chamex mountain guides

Clothing

Mountaineering boots

Mountaineering boots

Warm hat

Warm hat

Thermal underwear

Thermal underwear

Fleece or woollen layers

Fleece or woollen layers

Light puffer jacket

Light puffer jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Warm gloves

Warm gloves

Thin gloves

Thin gloves

Gaiters

Gaiters

Sun hat

Sun hat

Climbing shoes

Climbing shoes

Technical gear

Ice Axe

Ice Axe

Harness

Harness

Telescopic poles

Telescopic poles

Ski goggles

Ski goggles

Screwgate carabiner

Screwgate carabiner

Belay device

Belay device

Climbing helmet

Climbing helmet

35 - 45 litres rucksack

35 - 45 litres rucksack

Crampons

Crampons

Extras

Sunglasses

Sunglasses

Water bottle (1 litre minimum)

Water bottle (1 litre minimum)

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Headlamp with fresh batteries

Headlamp with fresh batteries

Sleeping bag liner

Sleeping bag liner

Refuge Albert 1er

Aiguille-chardonnet-eperon-migot-02

The Albert 1er hut is one of the most easily accessible mountain refuges in Chamonix, making it popular with hikers as well as climbers and mountaineers.

Access is via the gondola lift from Le Tour up to Charmillon; if it is low season and the lift is not running there is a short hiking trail that you can take instead.

Refuge Albert 1er is clearly signposted from the bottom of the Charmillon chairlift, bear right and follow the trail through wide meadows where you will often see marmots hiding amongst the rocks.

The path climbs steadily up, getting more rocky as it progresses. The last section up to the hut is a bit of a scramble over boulders, with the jagged crevasses of the glacier close by on your right.

Vallée Blanche Traverse

Vallee-blanche-traverse-02

The Vallée Blanche traverse is one of the most spectacular glacier walks in the Alps, offering stunning views of the Chamonix valley and the majestic Mont Blanc.

It is a relatively easy high altitude trek involving approximately 600m of descent and 200m of ascent, taking you through the spectacular glaciated terrain of the Glacier de Geant surrounded by towering alpine peaks.

You will start early in the morning by taking the Aiguille di Midi cable car up to 3824m, before making your way through an tunnel of glistening ice and stepping out onto the famous arete - an exposed snowy ridge with vertiginous views dropping away on either side. Once you've made it across the arete you'll find yourself on the glacier, surrounded by jagged seracs and mighty peaks. Your mountain guide will lead you across the Glacier du Geant to Punta Helbronner at 3460m on the Italian side of Mont Blanc, or Monte Bianco.

Return to the Aiguille du Midi is via the Helbronner; an impressive cable car that spans the Vallée Blanche between Italy and France. This panoramic cable car trip offers amazing views of the Vallee Blanche, Glacier de Geant and the Mont Blanc range from above - you'll get an incredible bird's eye view of the route you've just hiked! 

Hiking the Vallée Blanche traverse is ideal for beginners as an introduction to glacier travel and high mountain climbing; you will be roped up where necessary and lead by a fully qualified and highly experienced mountain guide the whole time. This is a great opportunity to learn alpine skills such as basic rope work and crevasse rescue techniques.

This is a one day trek; starting early in the morning and finishing sometime in the afternoon. The Vallée Blanche traverse is a great outing suitable for both experienced alpinists and novices alike.

Aiguille du Tour

The Aiguille du Tour is a 3540m peak that lies between the glaciers of Le Tour and Trient on the Franco/Swiss border.

After sleeping overnight in the Refuge Albert 1er we will set off early in the morning to ascend the Glacier du Trient, approaching the Aiguille du Tour on the east face.

This is a technical but fairly easy climb during which you will navigate crevasses, moderately steep snow slopes and rocky sections. The final section to the summit involves about 150m of rock climbing on granite ledges.

The Aiguille du Tour is physically challenging but not technically difficult; it is the ideal training ground for practising basic crampon techniques, ice axe skills and roped glacier travel under the supervision of a mountain guide.

Gran Paradiso from Chabod Hut

Gran-paradiso-01

The Chabod hut, or Rifugio Chabod, is located at 2750m in the Gran Paradiso national park, an area abundant in alpine flowers wildlife such as ibex and marmots.

From the hut we follow a rocky path across meadows to the Laveciau glacier, where we rope up and attach our crampons. From here we head north-west to the ridge at 3300m. A climb towards the "schiena d’asino" (donkey’s back) brings us to where this route intersects with the alternative one coming up from the Vittorio Emanuele refuge.

Bearing left towards the Montcorvè pass, we climb up a steep slope, cross the last of the crevasses and scale the rock face to the exposed summit ridge of the Gran Paradiso where we will meet the "Madonnina" at 4061m.

The Gran Paradiso is the only 4000 metre peak in Italy, but it lies right on the border with France and Switzerland in the vicinity of the grand summits of the Mont Blanc massif. It is a great introductory route to high mountaineering in that it is moderately long and challenging but not technically too difficult when lead by an experienced mountain guide. The glacial terrain means that some training in safety techniques and crevasse rescue is required.

Gran Paradiso from Vittorio Emanuele II Hut

Gran-paradiso-05

Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele is a popular starting point for the ascent of the Gran Paradiso. Located at an altitude of 2735m in national park and on the shores of a lake, it is a beautiful place where you will often see Alpine wildlife. 

The normal route from Rifugio Victor Emanuelle to the summit of Gran Paradiso starts in Pont, at the end of Valsavaranche, where you'll find a good hiking trail leading up to the ridge. The ridge is exposed and involved some easy scrambling, the route is bolted in places and your guide will rope you up where necessary. 

The ascent up to Gran Paradiso is not technically difficult but is steep in places, you'll need basic but confident skills with crampons and ice axes, you will be roped up over some glacial sections for safety. The descent can be quite hard work on steep snowfields that require concentration and balance.

Along the way you'll pass impressive views of moraine, glaciers, columns of rock and ice fields - after around 4 to 5 hours you should reach the top at 4061m where you'll get to meet the famous Madonna who guards the summit.