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Climb Gran Paradiso
Climb Gran Paradiso
Climb Gran Paradiso

Climb Gran Paradiso

Kandoo's View

A five-day trip to reach the Italian summit of Gran Paradiso.

A fantastic short break trekking in the high Alps, culminating in the opportunity to climb over 4000m, summiting Gran Paradiso. From the Valsavarenche Valley in Italy, we will hike slowly to the first refuge, Chabod. Then comes the big day of the Gran Paradiso ascent. We follow a beautiful glacier route with a rocky finish before reaching the white statue of the Virgin Mary at the summit. We then head down to the Victor Emmanuele II refuge for our final night in the mountains. On the last day, we will go back down the valley to Pont, a beautiful descent through flower and larch fields. We will admire the Gran Paradiso massif from an easily accessible peak, La Tresenta, before heading back to Chamonix. 

Trip dossier, route maps and profile

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Detailed itinerary

Day 1Arrival Day

The Kandoo team will meet you at Geneva airport and transfer you to your pre-climb hotel in Chamonix. Later you will attend a pre-climb briefing with your Guide to prepare you for your climb. There are many typical Savoyard restaurants close to your hotel where you can sample some alpine specialities.

  • Overnight: Hotel
Day 2Chamonix to Chabod refuge

We will spend the morning in Chamonix with our guide, reviewing the itinerary, checking kit and assisting with any equipment rental that may be required. We will then depart for the Valsavarenche Valley in Italy, a 70km drive from Chamonix. We will arrive at Pravieux and begin our trek to Chabod refuge (2750m) using a well-marked path.

  • Elevation: From 1035 metres to 2750 metres
  • Trekking time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Overnight: Mountain Refuge
Day 3Ascent of Gran Paradiso

An early departure is required this morning for the Gran Paradiso ascent. This is one of the highest vantage points in the Alps with views of Mont Viso, Monte Rosa, the Mont Blanc massif and many other peaks. You won’t be disappointed by the spectacular panoramas! On the trail we will follow varied glacial slopes, the beautiful ice ridge and finally the craggy finale, which takes us to the Virgin’s peak. We’ll take time for a photo stop to capture this magic moment before descending on an easy and quiet path to the Vittorio Emmanuele II refuge.

  • Elevation: From 2750 metres to 2735 metres
  • Highest point: 4061 metres (Gran Paradiso summit)
  • Trekking time: 10 to 12 hours
  • Overnight: Mountain Refuge
Day 4La Tresenta to Chamonix

Today we can ice climb on the Moncorvé Glacier’s gentle slopes, with a wonderful view from La Tresenta (3609m) across to the Gran Paradiso massif. At the end of the afternoon, we return to the Vittorio Emmanuele II refuge and descend to the Valsavarenche Valley. We will return to Chamonix where we’ll spend our last night at the hotel and you can enjoy a leisurely evening in town.

  • Elevation: From 2735 metres to 1035 metres
  • Highest point: 3609 metres (La Tresenta)
  • Trekking time: 6 to 7 hours
  • Overnight: Hotel
Day 5Departure Day

We will collect you from your hotel and transfer you to Geneva airport

Availability and prices

Last Updated December 9 2019
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Route
Arrival
Days
Price
Comment
 
 
Arrival: June 25 2020
Days: 5
Price: £949 $1249 €0
Comment: Guaranteed departure
Arrival: July 2 2020
Days: 5
Price: £949 $1249 €0
Comment: Guaranteed departure
Arrival: July 9 2020
Days: 5
Price: £949 $1249 €0
Comment: Guaranteed departure
Arrival: July 16 2020
Days: 5
Price: £949 $1249 €0
Comment: Guaranteed departure
Arrival: July 23 2020
Days: 5
Price: £949 $1249 €0
Comment: Guaranteed departure
Arrival: July 30 2020
Days: 5
Price: £949 $1249 €0
Comment: Guaranteed departure
Arrival: August 6 2020
Days: 5
Price: £949 $1249 €0
Comment: Guaranteed departure
Arrival: August 13 2020
Days: 5
Price: £949 $1249 €0
Comment: Guaranteed departure
Arrival: August 20 2020
Days: 5
Price: £949 $1249 €0
Comment: Guaranteed departure
Included
  • Full supervision by an experienced mountain guide
  • 4 nights' accommodation
  • Full board: all breakfasts, packed lunches and evening meals except in Chamonix on days 1 and 4
  • Group safety equipment
  • Airport transfers
  • All local transport needed for the itinerary
Not Included
  • Drinks, snacks and personal expenses
  • Flights
  • Individual safety equipment
  • Travel insurance and assistance
  • Evening meals on days 1 and 4 in Chamonix
  • Tips

Accommodation

On the first and last nights, you will spend the night in a 3-star hotel in Chamonix in private twin rooms. Single rooms are available on request for a supplementary fee (subject to availability).

For your ascent of Gran Paradiso you will spend the nights in mountain refuges where you will sleep in shared dormitories. Blankets and pillows are provided but you will need to bring your own sleeping bag liner. 

Examples of hotels in Chamonix  : 

https://www.alpinachamonix.com/en/ 

https://www.prieurechamonix.com/en/ 

For the Grand Paradis 

 

Food and drink

 Staying hydrated and well-fed on your climb is absolutely vital, especially when conditions are such that you might not want to eat or drink as much as you should.

If you have special dietary requirements or are a vegetarian then just let us know when you book so that we can be sure to have a suitable menu planned. 

A typical day's meals when climbing Gran Paradiso

Breakfasts and evening meals will be traditional and copious, produced by the refuge keepers. Drinks are not included with dinner, so please make sure you have some Euros with you.

Packed lunches will be produced by your guide and include local meats and cheeses, crusty bread and fresh seasonal vegetables. The lunch items will be shared between all of the group for carrying.

Don't forget to take your own snacks for when you need a little extra boost - cereal bars, energy bars, nuts and dry fruits are all good options. And feel free to bring some local specialities from home to share with the group!

Drinking water

Tap water is typically safe to drink in France so you can fill up your water bottle at the hotel in Chamonix. Unfortunately not all of the refuges have running water, and where water is available it is not drinkable. You will need to bring purification tablets to treat the water for drinking, and when running water is not available you will need to buy bottled water which is very expensive (5 to 10 euros for one bottle). 

Meals in Chamonix

Your hotel in Chamonix at the beginning and end of your trip is booked on a bed and breakfast basis only, and does not include any other meals. There are plenty of typical Savoyard restaurants in Chamonix where you can sample some local alpine delicacies, such as cheese fondue, tartiflette or raclette.

Fitness and training for the Gran Paradiso ascent

One question we often get asked is 'how fit do I need to be to climb Gran Paradiso?' While a high level of fitness will make the climb a lot easier, it by no means  requires you to be a super-human. That being said, a solid training plan will help you to better prepare for the climb and will make your time on the mountain far more enjoyable.

What all successful climbers share though is a real Kandoo attitude and that means high levels of grit and determination. 

If you are comfortable walking for 6-7 hours with an ascent of 1000m then you are certainly fit enough to succeed on Mont Blanc. Similarly if you can do a full hour spinning, a vigorous aerobics class or can jog at a decent pace for 45 minutes then there is no reason why you can't make the entire Gran Paradiso ascent. 

Practice Hiking

The best training to start with for the Gran Paradiso ascent is get your walking boots on and cover some serious miles. Whether this is two to three hours walking locally or full days away on your nearest hills, you just need to clock up plenty of hours on your feet. Above all else it is just walking every day for 6 days that people find tiring. And the best cure for this is to have spent lots of hours just walking.

Hiking practice allows you to get used to the stress your joints will be put under and to understand how well you can cope with this. It also allows you ensure that your boots are well worn in. Start with a distance that you can comfortably achieve and slowly try to work your way up to a 5 or 6 hour trek. If you can do this several times then you'll be in good stead to climb Gran Paradiso.

Aerobic Training

Aerobic (or cardio) training will be a key factor in successfully climbing Gran Paradiso. Aerobic literally means 'requiring free oxygen' and refers to the use of oxygen to adequately meet energy demands during exercise via aerobic metabolism. Aerobic exercise will build up your cardiovascular system allowing you to process more effectively the limited amount of oxygen available at higher altitudes. Aerobic exercise, unlike anaerobic exercise, requires oxygen for elongated periods of time. Examples of aerobic exercise you could try include long distance jogging, cycling, lane swimming and walking.

One crucial thing we tell our customers is don't rush up the mountain! Trying to ascend too quickly is a huge mistake as it does not allow you to acclimatise well. Having a good cardiovascular system will help with this, but it wont prevent it. Your guide will set a pace for the group that is suitable for all participants.

Depending on your current fitness levels, we recommend a training plan of around 3 to 6 months. Your hiking practice will help, but we also suggest running 6-12km three times a week. If you're using a treadmill remember to set a slight incline.

Strength Training

Any training plan for climbing Gran Paradiso should also include some strength training. Although not as important as your aerobic training, strengthening your upper body, core and, in particular, your legs, will greatly increase your chances of success. You'll be walking for at least 7 hours on most days, and up to 12 hours on summit day. You therefore need your legs to be strong enough to take the punishment.

We recommend the following exercises to strengthen your legs. When doing these exercises, keep an eye on your technique. Exercises done badly are likely to cause you more harm than good.

  • Squats
  • Front and reverse leg curls
  • Lunges
  • Step aerobics

Building upper body and core strength is also crucial as you'll not only be trekking for hours, but you'll also be carrying gear in your rucksack. To strengthen your upper body and core we recommend the following exercises:

  • Shoulder presses
  • Back and shoulder flyes
  • Sit-ups
  • Kettle-bell rows / swings

Remember to stretch every time you exercise. Improved flexibility will help your body to recover overnight after you've been trekking all day. It's no fun trekking for 7 hours if you have woken up with stiff joints!

The importance of stretching

Poor stretching is the cause of many sporting injuries. This is particularly true when climbing mountains, as repetitive movements across rough terrain can place a lot of stress on joint and muscles. We recommend spending around 10 minutes every morning working on your main muscle groups to loosen your muscles before you undertake any serious exercise.

Climbing Gran Paradiso is an incredible experience and, with a good training plan, can be achieved by most, regardless of age or physical condition. Once you have your cardiovascular system up and running then all you need is a positive attitude and a willingness to push yourself. More important than this is allowing your body to acclimatize to the altitude.

Speak with an expert Start planning your next adventure by contacting one of our team.
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Rachael Bode

Adventure Travel Consultant

Phone: + 44 1283 499982

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Sharon King

Adventure Travel Consultant

Phone: +44 1283 499981

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Victoria Hoddy

Adventure Travel Consultant

Phone: +44 (0)1283 205478

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