Climbing Mont Blanc
8-day adventure

Climb Mont Blanc

France
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Code: FRMB

8 days
Challenging

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Established in Chamonix over 30 years ago, our local agency in the Alps provides a huge range of activities from high altitude summit climbs to gentle walks in the foot hills. Our experienced guides and quality equipment will provide you with everything you need to enjoy climbing, hiking and mountaineering in the heart of Europe's most iconic mountains. We share our offices with the equipment manufacturer Simond, who have been manufacturing...
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Kandoo's view

On this 8 day adventure in the western Alps we will have 3 days of acclimatisation on the Glacier du Tour including a warm up climb to the summit of La Tete Blanche at 3429m. Once you are accustomed to the altitude and the terrain, our ascent of the highest peak in western Europe begins!

Every year the summit of Mont Blanc becomes the ultimate objective for mountaineers from all over the world. Standing on the summit of this iconic peak is a massive achievement. The steep ground, and high altitude make for a challenging ascent but standing at the summit and gazing down at all the famous peaks of the Alps that surround you is simply incredible. This climb is not to be underestimated and we recommend you have prior experience of alpine climbing and a very high level of fitness before booking.

At Kandoo we take care of all the logistical details so you can focus on the task at hand. Private transfers from Geneva airport are included as standard as well as three nights comfortable ensuite accommodation at Hotel Prieure in Chamonix.

Trip highlights

  • Ascend Mont Blanc via the Gouter route
  • Warm up ascent of Tete Blanche
  • Private transfers from Geneva included
  • 3 nights accommodation at Hotel Prieure in Chamonix

Experiences

  • Trekking peaks
    Lake at Colamphulaptsa
    Head to the top of a real mountain summit for a real sense of achievement

Gallery

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrival

    Arrive at Geneva airport and transfer to the beautiful mountain town of Chamonix. We provide a private transfer vehicle at 2pm so if you would like to make use of our transfer service, please select a flight arriving before midday. The drive from the airport is roughly 90 mins and on arrival, you can check in at your hotel and spend some time exploring the town. 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, such as cheese fondue, tartiflette or raclette.

    • Transport: Private transfer (1.2 hours, 100 km)
    • Accomodation: Hotel
  • Day 2

    Training on the Glacier du Tour

    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 village of Le Tour, where we will take a small two-stage cable car to the Col de Balme (2204m). From here we will begin our trek to the Albert Premier refuge on the Glacier du Tour (2702m). Here we will spend the afternoon training in the snow and ice climbing on the glacier.

    • Ascent: 1667 m
    • Max. altitude: 2702 m
    • Accomodation: Refuge
    • Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
  • Day 3

    Ascent of La Tête Blanche

    Today we will climb the glacier from the refuge to La Tête Blanche (3429m). We will then cross the Col Supérieur du Tour to reach the Trient refuge.

    • Hiking time: 6 - 7 hours
    • Ascent: 727 m
    • Descent: 259 m
    • Max. altitude: 3429 m
    • Accomodation: Refuge
    • Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
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Please note

Please note that this itinerary is indicative. If conditions make an ascent of Mont Blanc impossible, this will not result in any refund or payment of compensation. Many factors can affect climbing in high mountains including weather conditions and individual member's abilities.  If we find ourselves unable to attempt to climb Mont Blanc due to poor weather or adverse conditions, we will organise an alternative programme (Monte Rosa peaks, the Bishorn, Gran Paradiso etc). Please use this outline itinerary as a guide to the types of route and activities that you will experience. 

Trip information

Difficulty

This is a serious mountaineering trip and a very high level of fitness is recommended as well as a good head for heights and exposure. 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  over 1200m then you are certainly fit enough to succeed on Mont Blanc. 


Previous experience of alpine climbing using crampons and an ice axe is highly recommended for Mont Blanc. The Gouter Route involves steep scrambling over rock with fixed ropes and exposed ridge lines and on certain sections there is a risk of rockfall. If you want to develop your skills and experience before taking on Mont Blanc, we advise starting with an ascent of Gran Paradiso in Italy or a winter ascent of Toubkal in the High Atlas range. Mont Blanc has a summit success rate of 50% mainly due to unpredictable weather conditions that can change with little warning. If your guide is not satisfied that conditions are safe, you will not be allowed to continue. 

If we find ourselves unable to attempt Mont Blanc due to unsafe conditions, we will organise an alternative peak climb such as Monte Rosa, the Bishorn or Gran Paradiso.

Food & drink

This trip is on a full board basis (except for nights in Chamonix). For your evening meals in Chamonix there is a wide range of local restaurants for you to sample. If you have a dietary requirement or are a vegetarian then just let us know when you book so that we can plan a suitable menu.


 The refuges provide hearty traditional and generous meals prepared by the refuge keepers. Drinks are not included with dinner, so please make sure you have some Euros and Swiss Francs (Trient refuge on day 2) 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 each day. Remember to bring your favourite snacks (cereal or energy bars, dried fruits, chocolate) with you to keep you going through the day


Tap water is typically safe to drink in France so you can fill up your water bottle 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, and when running water is not available you will need to buy bottled water which is very expensive (5 to 10 euros per bottle).

Accommodation

Accommodation in Chamonix will be in a 3-star hotel in twin rooms. You  will stay in Chamonix on the first, the 4th and the last night of the trip. Please note that your evening meal is not included when you are in Chamonix.


You will spend four nights in mountain refuges in shared mixed-sex dormitory rooms: blankets are provided but you will need to bring a sleeping bag liner. Please only bring very basic toiletries as there is often no running water.

Luggage

During the training and climb, you will carry your own personal equipment in your rucksack. You will go out twice for three days of hiking, with a return to Chamonix in between. Plan to bring a 40-50 litre rucksack to carry everything you need for three days of hiking, including all your climbing equipment and your packed lunch.


A second bag containing spare clothing can be left at the hotel in Chamonix; you will be able to access this bag when you return to Chamonix at the end of the fourth day and then store it again while you climb Mont Blanc.

How do I get there?

For hikers based in the UK or the US, it is best to fly to Geneva International Airport (GVA). Lots of airlines fly to Geneva from all of the major UK airports, and many of the larger US international airports as well.

All of our tours begin at Chamonix , known as the capital of Alpinism, at an altitude of just over 1000 metres above sea level. Chamonix is only 53 miles from Geneva International Airport by car, and we will arrange transport from the airport to your hotel as part of your trek. Transport is generally available at 2 pm, and takes approximately an hour and a half.

Chamonix is an excellent choice for hotel accommodation during your stay, but it does fill up quickly during the peak season, so be sure to reserve your booking with us as early as possible.

Budget & change

The currency in France is the Euro (EUR). For the latest exchange rates please visit www.xe.com

Credit and debit cards are not accepted in the mountain refuges so you will nned to carry a small amount of cash for drinks, snacks and any personal expenses. You can withdraw currency from ATMs in Chamonix. 

Tips

Although the custom is practiced here it is not mandatory and should be left to the discretion of each individual.
If you are satisfied with the services of your guide then a tip is always appreciated. 

Formalities & health

Passport

Most travellers will require a passport valid for at least 6 months after your return date. It is your responsibility to confirm your specific requirements and please be aware that proof of onward travel may be required.

Visa

Travelling to France is visa free for up to 90 days, for UK and US citizens

Vaccinations

There are no specific health risks in the Mont Blanc region. However, you should ensure that your routine vaccinations and boosters are up to date, such as tetanus and MMR.

Insurance

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fully and adequately insured for the duration of your trip. Please ensure that all activities, excursions and destinations in your itinerary are included in your travel insurance policy, in addition to your regular cover for cancellation and medical expenses. Many insurance policies will have a maximum altitude limit, if you are climbing Mont Blanc or Gran Paradiso you should ensure you are covered for climbing up to 5000m. We ask that you keep a copy of your policy summary (containing policy number and the emergency contact number for your insurer) in your day sack at all times, so that we can access this information should we need to contact the insurer on your behalf.

Equipment & clothing

Clothing to bring

HEADGEAR
  • Warm beanie style hat – knitted or fleece
  • Neck gaiter or scarf – useful for keeping dust out and can double as a warm layer for your neck/face
  • Sun hat – preferably wide-brimmed for protection
  • Sun glasses – high UV protection (category 4)
  • Snow Goggles (category 4+)
  • Headlamp (plus extra batteries)

UPPER BODY

  • Gloves – silk or merino liners
  • Gloves – warm fleece or wool gloves
  • Summit mittens – insulated heavyweight mittens. Have to be extremely weather-proof
  • Thermal base layer
  • Lightweight fleece or windshirt
  • Fleece or heavy jacket
  • Down jacket (optional but highly appreciated during the summit day if the weather is very cold)
  • Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-tex or similar)

LEGS

  • Leggings – thermal or fleece base layer (x1)
  • Mountaineering trousers
  • Wind and waterproof over-trousers (Gore-tex or similar)

FEET
  • Gaiters
  • Breathable, high-wicking liner socks (x2 pairs)
  • Thermal trekking socks (x2 pairs)
  • Mountaineering boots – must be able to fit a crampon
  • Crampons

Equipment to bring

  • 40-50 litre rucksack and waterproof cover – with locks for crampons, ice axe and helmet
  • Ice axe, helmet, harness, 2 x locking carabiners (you cannot rent locking carabiners, you must bring your own)
  • Trekking poles
  • Water bottles  – must be able to carry 2.0L of water.
  • Thermos flask
  • Lightweight sleeping bag liner – preferably silk
  • Eating utensils – for your picnic lunch
  • Pocketknife
  • Drybags or heavy duty plastic bags – provide additional waterproofing for the kit in your rucksack

OTHER ACCESSORIES

  • Sunscreen and lip balm – high SPF
  • Toiletries – only toothbrush and toothpaste. There is not usually running water in the refuges so bring some wipes
  • Earplugs – if you are a light sleeper
  • Camera and spare batteries
  • Plug adapter for charging devices
  • Personal medication and first aid kit
  • Personal snacks and energy bars – dried fruit and nuts are a good option

RENTAL GEAR

We recommend that wherever possible you use your own gear for your climb as this is the best way to ensure your comfort and enjoyment. We recognise though that the cost of some items is very high and this may not be possible. We do not have our own gear available for rental but there are many places offering gear for rental in Chamonix. It is your responsibility to check carefully the condition of any item you rent. We accept no responsibility for the quality of equipment hired.


  • High altitude mountaineering boots
  • Crampons
  • Ice Axe
  • Helmet
  • Harness
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Rucksack


Please note that you will require two locking carabiners and these cannot be rented. You must bring your own

Dates & prices

From To Price Availability Book Enquire
04/06/2023 11/06/2023 $4,095 £3,149
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18/06/2023 25/06/2023 $4,095 £3,149
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25/06/2023 02/07/2023 $4,095 £3,149
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09/07/2023 16/07/2023 $4,095 £3,149
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16/07/2023 23/07/2023 $4,095 £3,149
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27/08/2023 03/09/2023 $4,095 £3,149
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03/09/2023 10/09/2023 $4,095 £3,149
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Want to add flights or create a private trip? Don't hesitate to contact us!

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Price includes

  • Airport transfers
  • 6 days of mountaineering with high mountain guides
  • 7 nights accommodation (3 nights hotel, 4 nights mountain refuge)
  • All group technical and safety equipment
  • All cable cars and local transport needed for the itinerary (This excludes the first 2 first departures in June when the cable cars are not yet open)
  • Full board: all breakfasts, packed lunches and evening meals, except in Chamonix on days 1, 4 and 7 (dinner not included)


Price does not include

  • Flights
  • Evening meal on days 1, 4 and 7 in Chamonix
  • Drinks and personal expenses
  • Snacks: cereal & energy bars, dried fruits, chocolate etc
  • Individual climbing equipment: mountaineering boots, crampons, helmet, harness, ice axe, poles, rucksack, etc (available to rent locally if required)
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for your guide

Options

  • Additional hotel nights before or after your climb