This mountaineering course is the real deal, big mountains and big glaciers make this area world famous for it's challenging mountaineering. This course is for mountaineers with previous experience wanting to experience climbing 4000 + meter peaks of Europe including the iconic Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe. Throughout the course climbers will get to prepare for more demanding routes and summits whilst climbing at high altitudes.
If you are experienced and interested to climb Mont Blanc via the advanced route - Innominata Ridge (Italian side), it will be 1:1 ratio.
Arrive in Courmayeur and meet Andrea, your guide for an evening brief at the friendly farm stay cottage near Courmayeur. Review the plan for the trip, check gear and there will be time for last minute shopping and supplies.
Stay: Agritur Le Reve farm stay cottage in Courmayeur
2-3 days will be spent on Acclimatisation with a few options to choose from.
Travel just outside of Courmayeur where we take the cable car into the mountains of the Mont Blanc massif to the Rifugio Torino (3375m). This area is an excellent location for training with a variety of summits easily accessible from the rifugio.
Stay: Rifugio Torino
Transfer to Gran Paradiso National Park. We begin by trekking up the Valsavarenche, this is the narrowest and most wild of the Aosta valleys. It's paths provide access around the famous Gran Paradiso Massif and to the Rifugio Chabod (2750m) or the Rifugio Emanuele II (2735m). Tonight we prepare ourselves for our ascent of Grand Paradiso (4061m).
Stay: Rifugio Chabod or the Rifugio Emanuele II
We make our way to the Rifugio Gonella (3071m). The approach ascends 1500m from the village of La Visaille and will take approximately 5-6h to reach the rifugio.
Mont Blanc (4808 m) summit day! We begin with an alpine start around 1am. From the rifugio the route picks its way across the Dome Glacier then easily along the Piton des Italien. From here we must ascend the Dome Ridge which then leads to the final stage of the climb along the Bosses Ridge. At dawn you will be on the top of your dream just as the sun is hitting the top of the surrounding mountains.
Depending on safety conditions we will descend the same route or there is also the option to descend the French side through the Mont Maudit and Mont Blanc du Tacul to The Cosmiques Hut near the Aiguille du Midi.
Elevation profile- 1800 m to the summit
Style- mostly snow ascent and easy mix climbing. There are sections on sharp ridges in some parts.
Note-If conditions are not optimal on the Italian side, we can attempt from the French side via the Goûter Route.
Stay: Rifugio Gonella or Cosmiques Hut or Goûter Hut (French descent route)
We make our way slowly from the Rifugio Gonella to our farm stay base at Courmayeur. Or, if descended via the French route and rested at the Cosmiques Hut there will be a final glacier to cross of the Vallee blanche to the Rifugio Torino. From here we can descend by gondola back to Courmayeur. If we climb the Goûter route we will descend to Les Houches and then take a train/taxi through Chamonix back to Courmayeur.
Elevation profile- 1500m descent from Gonella
Stay: Agritur Le Reve farm stay cottage
Rest day, Rock Climbing in Courmayeur or additional weather contingency day - If the weather necessitates, waiting one extra day in the hut or in town may be necessary. We spend this final evening celebrating the completion of the course before saying goodbye
Sample Itinerary Only. Every endeavour will be made to keep to this itinerary, but with all high mountain activities, inclement weather or unsuitable mountain conditions may require a change of route or itinerary. All such changes will be made in consultation with participants, but no refunds will be given due to necessary itinerary changes.