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Mont Blanc

 

Mont Blanc 4807m is the Alps highest mountain. It dwarfs everything and dominates the Chamonix skyline. Its the top of many mountaineers tick list. But climbing Mont Blanc is no easy feet. There are no easy routes to the summit, its high altitude means acclimatisatiing to over 4000m first.Also it requires good mountaineering skills esp steady footwork walking crampons. Good training, experience and acclimatisation are the answer to an enjoyable and successful ascent.

Acclimatising on the Traverse of Done de Mirage

Dome de Mirage

Before planning a climb Mont Blanc consider 3 things:

  • Your fitness ( can you walk, scramble uphill for 8hrs and down for 4)
  • Have you the skills? (use of axe and crampons, ropes)
  • Are you acclimatised? (read about acclimstisation on the www.medex.org.uk)

Everybody is capable of climbing Mont Blanc and everybody needs to acclimatise. Its not possible to climb Mont Blanc safely without proper acclimatisation. If you are not acclimatised sufficiently your judgement and engery levels are such that you are a liability to yourself and a guide. So we take the approach train well, acclimatise as suggested by the medical advice and enjoy the summit.

As with any Mountain weather plays a major role. By offering a number of days to summit tge peak you vastly increase your chances of summit success. If you window to attempt is small your chances of a good weather window are slim. Another factor is that the booking pressure on the high huts like the Gouter hut are so great that unless you have a booking made in early April, when the bookings are first offered, you are unlikely to gain a booked bed in the hut. Pressure on huts is worst on a Thursday and Friday evenings.

Suggested Mont Blanc Programme
We suggest a programme to allow sufficient time to acclimatise, climb many other peaks and avoid the crowds.
Fly to the Alps and transfer by train 1hr to Twid’s Chalet. Meet for a full briefing and gear check.
Day 1 Skills training on a glacier then end thr day st a mountain hut.
Day 2 Climb to a summit at 3700m. Pigne D’ Arolla or Pigne de Le. Stay in another mountain hut 3200m for a second night.
Day 3 and 4 Climb a 4000m each day. (Weissmeis, Lagginhorn, Allalainhorn, Brithorn, Castor ,Pollux, Gran Paradiso, Vincent etc) Day 3 Stay 3rd night in another hut 3200m. End of day return to The Chalet.

I normally suggest a rest day which I do not charge for. Clients can head to the local thermal baths for a swim and sauna. For most people a rest day,  including for the Guide, it makes the whole trip alot more pleasent and realistically allowing the energy banks to be restocked. The added bonus is flexibility in   shifting of the programme if the weather is not great at the end of the trip. Offering more than one summit day.

Summit of Mont Blanc

Day 5 Climb to the hut on Mont Blanc. Goutier, Cosmic or Gonella hut.
Day 6 Climb Mont Blanc 4807m. Return to the Mountain hut.
Day 7 Return to the valley and Chalet or have another go for the summit.
Fly home.

Cost
1 to 2 ratio standard. £1300 per person plus Guides/client expenses.
Twid’s Chalet nights: Arrival, mid trip and final night included in Guides fees
Expenses inc: hut costs, fuel and cableways.

twid 2011 449Chalet Namnam et Glouglou (yum yum and glug glug!)
Twid’s 450 yr old Chalet (850m) is southfacing with views to the Mont Blanc range, Dents des Midi, Grand Mouvan, Mirrior Argentine. Its a perfect place to mellor out after a long day on the hill. Clients have a newly renovated floor with 3 bedrooms, shower room and small lounge kichenette. Twid has a large libary and climbing dvds. The Chalet is close to Switzerlands oldest ski resort and the thermal baths at Lavey are a short drive.