Mont Blanc Ascent

Chamonix / France

2 – 6 day Mont Blanc Ascent Packages from Chamonix / France
Normal route via Tete Rousse and Gouter Hut or Traverse Route via Aiguille du Midi and Cosmique Hut, other Routes available! Any dates June – September

 

Mont Blanc Ascent Highlights:

  • The Alps’ highest peak at 4810m
  • Strenuous, but not too technical
  • One night in a hut above 3500m
  • Breathtaking views!
  • Great way to end a trip to the Alps
  • Chamonix, the capital of alpinism

Mont Blanc is certainly one of the most popular climbs in the Alps. No surprise since Mont Blanc is the highest, offers beautiful routes with easy access and it has a reputation of being “technically easy”. The latter is not really true: Prior experience with crampons and ice axe, excellent endurance and good acclimatization are essential to make the two day ascent a success. Our 3 – 6 day packages can assist you in developing these skills prior to your ascent, making your summit chances greater.

The Mont Blanc 2 day ascent is an excellent addition to our Haute Route Glacier Trek or booked with additional training days (See our Itinerary & Trip Packages tab below) in order to acclimatize and / or get your crampon skills up to speed.

Most commonly we do the “Traverse Route” (Three Monts) via the Cosmique Hut or the Normal Route via Gouter Hut, but we also take you on any of the more technical and remote routes on Mont Blanc.

All our Mont Blanc trips are custom to accommodate your preferred time, route and lodging standard.

Itinerary

2 DAY MONT BLANC TRIP PACKAGE
We recommend the two day Mont Blanc format only to extremely fit participants who (1) have previous experience climbing technical glaciated peaks and (2) who have spend at least two additional days in high altitude (either with or without one of our guides) preferably with one or more nights of lodging above 2500 meters before embarking on the Mont Blanc climb. Our Haute Route Glacier Trek offers excellent preparation for the Mont Blanc climb.

Option a) Ascent via Normal Route (via Gouter Hut):
Day 1: Please note: meeting time with your guide will require an evening prior meeting and an EARLY departure for this 2 day trip, either 6.30am in the Chamonix Valley in Les Houches about 10 km down valley from Chamonix at 7.15am. Leaving any later can increase the risk of objective hazards. Gondola ride to Bellevue (1800m = 5900ft) and short train ride to Nid D’Aigle (2370m = 7770 ft). The first three hours of hiking are on an easy trail to the Tete Rousse Hut (3167m = 10400ft), which is where we will put the rope on. A short glacier is followed by the traverse of the “Grand Couloir”, the most notorious and objectively dangerous part of the ascent (45 min). From there it will take about two hours of scrambling, sometimes with support from fixed cables, to reach the Gouter Hut (3800m = 12500ft).

Day 2: Start from the hut is approx. at 02.00 AM. The normal ascent time from the hut to the summit is about five hours, which gets you to the top between 7.30 and 8.00 AM. There is one shelter on the way, the Vallot Hut (4300 meters = 14100ft), which can be used for a quick stop to find shelter from the wind – mostly we do not stop there, though. The descent route follows the same way all the way back to the mountain train, which puts us back into the valley around 3.30PM or later.

Option b) Ascent via the ‘Traverse Route’ aka ‘Trois Monts’ (via Cosmique Hut):
Day 1: Gondola ride to the Aiguille Du Midi, where you will have the option to take the elevator to the summit terrace to enjoy the views of your ascent route to the Mont Blanc. A short descent down the east ridge of the Aiguille du Midi takes you in about 45 minutes to the modern and relatively spacious Cosmique Hut (3600 m = 11800ft). In the afternoon, we often do a short training session in the neighborhood of the hut or just hang out on the terrace to recover from the quick change in altitude (Chamonix is located at 1000m = 3280 ft).

Day 2: Start from the hut is approx. at 01.00 AM. The normal ascent time from the hut to the summit is about 6 hours, which gets you to the top between 7.30 to 8.00 AM.
There is no shelter on the way! The route follows a steep glacier trail to the Mont Blanc du Tacul, depending on conditions, there might be some steeper steps to climb. The crux is a 60-70 meter 55 degree pitch into the Col Maudit, which requires front pointing technique on your crampons. From there relatively easy to the summit. The descent will either be via the Normal Route (Gouter Hut) or back the same way, which gets you back to Chamonix usually around 4 – 6 pm.

Price / person (includes guide, guide expenses, gondola return ticket, 1 night hut lodging with 3 course dinners and breakfast, rental equipment):

€ 860, US$ 990 at 2 participants / guide
€ 1380, US$ 1587 at 1 participant / guide

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3 DAY MONT BLANC TRIP PACKAGE
The three day option offers the advantage to provide a weather cushion since we can summit Mont Blanc on day 2 should the weather forecast for day 3 indicate adverse conditions, provided the client’s fitness / acclimatization are appropriate.
This program is recommended for participants who have had previous experience in using crampons in steep glaciated terrain and high altitude experience that leads them to the conclusion they acclimatize well. Maximum client to guide ratio 2:1

Option a) Mont Blanc via Tete Rousse and Gouter Hut:
Day 1: Meet in Les Houches. Gondola to Bellevue and short train ride to Nid D’Aigle. The first three hours of hiking are on an easy trail to the Tete Rousse Hut (3167m = 10400ft) for lodging. Afternoon is reserved to review equipment and do some training on your crampons and relax for the two hard days to come.

Day 2: Roping on and early start the ascent to the Gouter Hut. A short glacier is followed by the traverse of the “Grand Couloir”, the most notorious and objectively dangerous part of the ascent (45 min). From there it will take about two hours of scrambling, sometimes with support from fixed cables, to reach the Gouter Hut (3800m = 12500ft). We usually drop our backpack and climb a bit higher on tomorrow’s ascent route in order to promote acclimatization and get an idea of the terrain that we will travel in the dark the next day. Strong parties could also consider reaching the summit on day 2, especially if the weather indicates deteriorating conditions for the next day. Lodging at the Gouter Hut.

Day 3: Start from the hut is approx. at 02.00 AM. The normal ascent time from the hut to the summit is about five hours, which gets you to the top between 7.30 and 8.00 AM. There is one shelter on the way, the Vallot Hut (4300 meters = 14100ft), which can be used for a quick stop to find shelter from the wind – mostly we do not stop there, though. The descent route follows the same way all the way back to the mountain train, which puts us back into the valley around 3.30PM or later.

Option b) Mont Blanc Via Cosmique Hut:
Day 1: This is basically identical with our two day format but an additional day for training / acclimatization / weather cushion. Gondola ride to the Aiguille Du Midi, where you will have the option to take the elevator to the summit terrace to enjoy the views of your ascent route to the Mont Blanc. A short descent down the east ridge of the Aiguille du Midi takes you in about 45 minutes to the modern and relatively spacious Cosmique Hut (3600 m = 11800ft). In the afternoon, we often do a short training session in the neighborhood of the hut or just hang out on the terrace to recover from the quick change in altitude (Chamonix is located at 1000m = 3280 ft).

Day 2: Training climb and acclimatization day. The objective is to spend time in high altitude, get you warmed up and reemphasize technical skills, but not tire you out for the e Mont Blanc ascent the next day (14 – 16 hrs, departure time at 1 AM!). Options for training climbs are: Cosmique Ridge or traverse of the Valley Blanche and climb Aiguille du Toule or Tour Ronde, North Face of the Pointe Lachenal or the triangle du Tacul. Return to the Cosmique Hut for lodging.

Day 3: The normal ascent time from the hut to the summit is about 6 hours, which gets you to the top between 7.30 and 8.00 AM. (Start from the hut is approx. at 01.00 AM).
There is no shelter on the way! The route follows a steep glacier trail to the Mont Blanc du Tacul, depending on conditions, there might be some steeper steps to climb. The crux is a 60-70 meter 55 degree pitch into the Col Maudit, which requires front pointing technique on your crampons. From there relatively easy to the summit. The descent will either be via the Normal Route (Gouter Hut) or back the same way, which gets you back to Chamonix usually around 4 – 6 pm.

Price / person (includes guide, guide expenses, gondola return ticket, 2 nights hut lodging with 3 course dinners and breakfast, rental equipment):

€ 1280, US$ 1470 at 2 participants / guide
€ 2090, US$ 2403 at 1 participant / guide
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4 DAY MONT BLANC TRIP PACKAGE
This program is recommended for clients who are new to the use of crampons in steep glaciated terrain (or who haven’t done it in a long time). This option may be most suitable for clients who have lodging arranged in the Chamonix Valley with their family and / or have been spending time acclimating doing high level walks on their own, but do prefer a full day of technical skills training.

Option a) 1 Day Skills Training “Mer de Glace” plus 3 Day Mont Blanc Ascent:
Day 1: Cog train ride to Montenvers, descent the steep ladders to the Mer de Glace glacier and spend the day doing technical training using crampons and ice aces. The Mer de Glace offers the best training ground imaginable for glacier training around Chamonix. Return to Chamonix for lodging.

Day 2 – 4: Continue with one of our three day program options as above.

€ 1585, US$ 1820 at 2 participants / guide
€ 1740, US$ 2001 at 3 participant / guide (2 guides for 3 clients for the 3 Mont Blanc Days)
€ 1400, US$ 1610 at 4 participant / guide (2 guides for 4 clients for the 3 Mont Blanc Days)

Option b) 2 Day Aiguille du Tour Training Trip plus 2 Day Mont Blanc Ascent:
Day 1: Gondola ride to the Col de Balme and 2.5 hrs hike to the Albert Premier Hut (2750 Meters). In the afternoon ice climbing / crampon use / glacier travel instruction on the Tour Glacier.

Day 2: 5 AM start and ascent either of the Tete Blanche (3400 Meters) or the Aiguille Du Tour (3550 Meters). Descent back to the Col du Balme via the Albert Premier Hut and return to the valley for lodging.

Day 3 and 4: Continue with our 2 Day Mont Blanc ascent either via Cosmique (Traverse Route) or Gouter Hut (Normal Route).

Price / person (includes guide, guide expenses, gondola return tickets, 2 night hut lodging with 3 course dinners and breakfast, rental equipment):

€ 1510, US$ 1736 at 2 participants / guide
€ 1450, US$ 1667 at 3 participant / guide (2 guides for 3 clients for the 3 Mont Blanc Days)
€ 1170, US$ 1345 at 4 participant / guide (2 guides fro 4 clients for the 3 Mont Blanc Days)
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5 DAY MONT BLANC TRIP PACKAGE
This program is recommended for clients who are new to the use of crampons in steep glaciated terrain (or who haven’t done it in a long time). The acclimatization effect of spending one or two nights in high altitude (2750 m) before embarking on the Mont Blanc climb makes this program superior to our shorter programs in terms of optimizing your chances for success on Mont Blanc.

Option a) 2 Days of training / acclimatization with one hut night above 2700 followed by 3 day Mont Blanc ascent.
Day 1: Gondola ride to the Col de Balme and 2.5 hrs hike to the Albert Premier Hut (2750 Meters). In the afternoon ice climbing / crampon use / glacier travel instruction on the Tour Glacier.

Day 2: 5 AM start and ascent either of the Tete Blanche (3400 Meters) or the Aiguille Du Tour (3550 Meters). Descent back to the Col du Balme via the Albert Premier Hut and return to the valley for lodging.

Day 3 – 5: Continue with our 3 Day Mont Blanc ascent either via or Gouter & Tete Rousse Hut (Normal Route) or Cosmique (Traverse Route)

Option b) 3 Days of training / acclimatization with two hut nights (Albert Premier & Trient Hut) above 2700 followed by our either of our 2 day Mont Blanc ascent.

Option c) 1 Day Skills training Mer de Glace (see 4 day program) combined with 2 days of training peak ascents as above followed by our regular 2 day Mont Blanc ascent.

Price / person (includes guide, guide expenses, gondola return tickets, 3 night hut lodging with 3 course dinners and breakfast, rental equipment):

€ 1845, US$ 2120 at 2 participants / guide
€ 1860, US$ 2139 at 3 participant / guide (2 guides for 3 clients for the 3 Mont Blanc Days)
€ 1530, US$ 1759 at 4 participant / guide (2 guides for 4 clients for the 3 Mont Blanc Days)
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6 OR MORE DAYS MONT BLANC PROGRAM:
We gladly arrange additional days or combine Mont Blanc ascents with any of our other programs. Please ask for a custom quote.

Optional days are:
1) Rock climbing Introduction or refresher day in the Chamonix Valley on world class granite rock.

2) “Ecole de Glace” (Ice training) day in the Mer de Glace. Quick access to one of Europe’s largest glaciers by Montenvers train. Awesome scenery with views of the famous Dru and the North Face of the Grandes Jorasses

6 DAY MONT BLANC TRIP PACKAGE
Please email us for a quote!

Please note: Chamonix valley lodging is NOT included in our package prices.

Additional Services available:
Hotel lodging double room B&B starting at Euro 55/ night / person
Airport shuttle from Geneva from Euro 40 / trip

Detail and Logistics

Meeting Point:
1) Either in our partner hotel in the Chamonix Valley or 2) by individual arrangement at a meeting point of your preference or 3) at the gondola station.
Please note: meeting time with your guide will require an evening prior meeting and an EARLY departure for this 2 day trip, either 6.30am in the Chamonix Valley or in Les Houches about 10 km down valley from Chamonix at 7.15am. Leaving any later can increase the risk of objective hazards.

Climate, Weather, Temperatures:
High season for all mountaineering in the western Alps is mid-July through August, mainly due to the stable weather that time of the year. Day time temperatures can vary between 30C (86F) in the valleys to -20C (-4F) on clear mornings, when we start our day from a high level hut. The Mont Blanc is very exposed to extreme weather and high winds with corresponding wind chill factors are common place. that means, it can be REALLY cold! Best to check the weather forecast for freezing level and winds, talk to your guide and talk to your guide the day before the trip starts and bring warm clothing accordingly.

Services Included in the Total Price:
Guiding by an internationally (UIAGM/IFMGA) certified, multilingual mountain guide or guide aspirant under supervision. Dormitory lodging in a mountain hut with 3 course dinner (soup, meat entree and dessert) & breakfasts. Return ticket for Aiguille Du Midi gondola or Bellevue gondola / Tramway du Mont Blanc (depending on route chosen), use of technical equipment, (harnesses, crampons, ice axes, rope, carabiners), all guide expenses (driving, gondola, hut & valley lodging)

Not Included Are:
Air fares, lunch (Sandwiches, snacks can be purchased in the huts or in the valley), lodging in the Chamonix valley (quoted seperately), drinks (in the huts: bottled water = Euro 5 – 10/ liter, beer 0.33 = Euro 5 / can, wine = Euro 15 – 20 for 1/2 liter), additional fees for gondola / mountain train should you traverse the mountain and descend via a different route.

Can I Do It?

Very strenuous 2 – 3 day mountaineering trip in high altitude (4800m = 15750 ft) that requires enough stamina for a 14 hr day on your feet on the summit day with few brakes. For essentially all of the climb you will be roped to your guide. On the Normal Route via Gouter Ridge the main difficulty involves steep rock scrambling (at times on crampons) to get to the Gouter Hut on day 1. The last two hours of the climb require front pointing on crampons and finally a very exposed traverse along the icy / snowy summit ridge. The Traverse Route via Cosmique Hut involves an easy first day, but the summit day is longer and more strenuous than the normal route and requires front pointing on your crampons on several occasions. We recommend the two day Mont Blanc format only to participants who (1) have previous experience climbing technical glaciated peaks and (2) who have spend at least two additional days in high altitude (either with or without one of our guides) before the Mont Blanc climb.

FAQ

Which Route is best?/ Hazard? / Hut Reservations?:
Amongst the 200 or so mountaineering routes that lead to the summit of Mont Blanc we commonly use one of the two normal routes:

The Normal Route via the Gouter Hut is notorious for being exposed to rock fall hazard and the main technical difficulties are in the rock scramble below the Gouter Hut and a short exposed section on the summit ridge.

The Traverse Route via Cosmique Hut tends to be a bit more strenuous on the summit day (4000m = 1000ft more altitude difference from the hut to the summit compared to the Gouter Route), requires 3 passages of front pointing on your crampons but the first day is relatively short and easy and the route doesn’t involve any rock scrambling. The route is known for icefall and / or avalanche hazard, the latter can be quite persistent after recent snowfall.

The decision which route will be taken often depends on mountain conditions (the Gouter Route closes at times during periods of intense summer heat due to extraordinary rock fall hazard), weather, client fitness and not lastly the availability of spots in the huts.

For fit clients, we can also maintain the option of traversing the mountain, which means using both routes either ascending or descending, which certainly gives you the best adventure!

Hazards / Objective Dangers:
Both classic Mont Blanc routes imply objective dangers such as potential ice & rock fall, avalanches and crevasses. The Gouter route is notorious for rock fall hazard during the ascent to the Gouter Hut on day 1, namely traversing the ‘grand couloir’ at the beginning of the technical difficulties, especially during periods of extensive warmth and/or snow melt in mid summer from mid July – end of August and especially so in the afternoon. The traverse route (Trois Monts) via Cosmique Hut has seen accidents caused by ice and snow avalanches, especially after periods of extensive snow fall.

On average there are about 4 – 8 fatalities / year on both “normal routes” on Mont Blanc combined. Please also review our Head Guide’s comments below in regards to the avalanche accident on July 12, 2012, which resulted in 9 fatalities.

Gondola/Mountain trams opening dates for 2017:
Until June 10: Bellevue Gondola and Tramway du Mont Blanc not operating. Start of the hike in Les Houches (1000 m) or drive to a parking at Maison Neuve (2200 m). Depending on trail conditions, a four-wheel taxi may be able to take you to Col de Voza (1650 m ). Plan in 1.5 additional days for the climb.

June 11 – 17: Bellevue Gondola and Tramway du Mont Blanc operational to Mont Lachat (2100 m). Additional 280 vertical meters of walking = 0.45 – 1 hrs.

June 18 – Sep 18: Bellevue Gondola and Tramway du Mont Blanc operational to Nid D”Aigle (2380 m)

September 19 – 25: Only Gondola Bellevue operational (1800 m). Additional 580 vertical meters of walking = 1.5 – 2 hrs.

After September 25: Bellevue Gondola and Tramway du Mont Blanc not operating. Start of the hike in Les Houches (1000 m) or drive to a parking at Maison Neuve (2200 m). Depending on trail conditions, a four-wheel taxi may be able to take you to Col de Voza (1650 m ). Plan in 1.5 additional days for the climb.

Mont Blanc Hut Reservation process? The Gouter Hut is an online booking process that usually books out for any given night quickly, however as mountain guides we are able to reserve spots online from as early as mid-Feb for the upcoming summer season, so reserving your Mont Blanc Package sooner rather than later is to your advantage! The Tete Rousse Hut is also an online booking process, which we are able to book no earlier than 45 days to your hut date. We can also manage to pick up unconfirmed spots on shorter notice, even inside 3 days prior to your trip date.

What if I don’t have a second participant to join me?
The common client to guide ratio for Mont Blanc is 2 : 1. OnTop can actively assist in finding climbing partners, however there are some inherent risks of compatibility that need to be considered if you are climbing with someone you haven’t met before. The guide will have to cater to the weakest team member and including having to turn around on summit day (or even below the Gouter Hut….) Hence it can be best to find someone you know personally or consider 1:1 client/guide ratio.
We do not set up groups/partners for Mont Blanc, however we can pass on your brief description and email addresses if you wish for us to help.

What if the Weather is bad or Mont Blanc is “Closed”?
Should the weather or mountain conditions (avalanche hazard, high winds, bad weather….) suggest that the Mont Blanc ascent is not feasible or too dangerous, our guides will look into the following options: 1) Reschedule the summit day (for example climbing the summit on day 1 by using an early gondola from Chamonix and then spending the night in a hut on the descent) 2) Ascent of the Gran Paradiso (about 2.5 hrs drive south in Italy) which benefits from being better protected to inclement weather 3) Ascent of a more technical but lower elevation peak in a neighboring range to avoid new snow or possibly high winds in higher elevations or 4) instructional days in lower elevation.

In the record heat of the summer of 2003, the mayor of the base town of St. Gervais ordered the Gouter Hut closed and it was not recommended to climb the Normal Route via Gouter Hut due to increased rock fall hazard for about three weeks. Should this or something similar occur, our first preference will be to use the traverse route via the Cosmique Hut, which is much less susceptible to the woes of hot weather.

Will I receive a refund if my summit is unsuccessful?
OnTop Ltd. will not issue refunds if your Mont Blanc summit is unsuccessful.
Please make sure you have adequate travel insurance for trip cancellation, medical and illness coverage. For medical evacuation insurance, please see our insurance page for recommendations.

Where can I rent equipment?:
There are 2 stores we recommend in Chamonix, Sanglard Sports rentals or
Snell Sports rentals

What sort of boots will I need to climb Mont Blanc?
Your boot needs to be mountaineering boot warm enough for summit day, they will need to attach a crampons and waterproof. Most people choose the “La Sportiva” boot for this trip. We would definitely not recommend carrying a spare pair of boots. On the first leg of your trip, you will walk on trails for about 1.5 hrs before stepping on the glacier for glacier practice in the pm of the first day. Next day is 30 min until you hit the glacier.
For the ascent to Mont Blanc, you could probably get away on hiking boots all the way to the Gouter Hut but often enough, crampons are already required at the Tete Rousse Hut level = only 3 hrs of trail walking to start with. In summary, Stick with mountaineering boots.

Will I be able to access a Cell Network or Wi-Fi?
Cell phone access in the mountains around Chamonix is generally quite good but you will also encounter some spots without signal.

Cell phone signals are pretty good for most of the Mont Blanc ascent including the Gouter and Cosmique Hut. If you are planning to bring your cell phone or Blackberry make sure to inquire with your provider, if your plan includes European roaming capabilities. In the Mont Blanc range, you might also be picking up cell phone signals from Italy and / or Switzerland.

Many Cafes and bars offer internet access in the Chamonix Valley.

If your itinerary includes the Trient Hut, you need to climb a hill behind the hut for 15 minutes to get cell a signal.

Each hut has plugs to recharge phones etc.  but there is a bit of competition for them these days. All plugs are at 220 volts.
Risk Considerations/Is it Safe?: A comment written by head guide Jorg Wilz, after the multi-fatality accident on Mont Blanc July 12, 2012.

July 13, 2012

Yesterday’s terrible avalanche accident on Mont Blanc is the worst accident in summer mountaineering that I recall in my 28 years of professional mountain guiding. Our company had a very close call involving one guided party (1 guide, 2 guests) trying to summit Mont Blanc. Strong winds, ongoing risk evaluation and hesitation on our guide’s side lead to a prolonged break before entering the slope of the accident that leads to the Col Maudit. In the end our group was caught at the periphery of the slide and very fortunately remained largely unharmed. They descended back to the Aiguille du Midi on their own steam. Our thoughts are with the victims who include Roger Payne, former President of the British Mountain Guides and the British Mountaineering Council.

There is a lot of speculation if the slide was triggered by ice fall from the sherac towers higher up in the slope or simply by human loading. The former was the case in an avalanche accident on the lower part of the same route which claimed 8 lives in 2008. It is quite certain that recent wind loading was responsible for added load on the instability in the snowpack and the large volume of the avalanche. Best I could find was this news website that shows some images taken by a British mountain guide only 20 minutes after the event. Unfortunately, the perspective doesn’t give a good view of the start zone higher up, but it appears that there were multiple fracture lines further down on the slope which could also be fractures that stepped down to deeper instabilities in the snow pack?

In the end, for most of our clients who booked Mont Blanc later this summer the main question remains if it is “safe” to climb the Mont Blanc via the Col Maudit right now or in the near future. The answer is that it is never “safe” to climb Mont Blanc or any technical peak for that matter.

I feel we disclose the risks properly on our Mont Blanc pages with wording like “On average there are about 4 – 8 fatalities / year on both “normal routes” on Mont Blanc combined”. Our guides do their best to minimize the risk (we had several parties turn around at the same spot earlier this week and there was a discussion along the same lines at the day of the accident). Often clients aren’t happy about aborting a climb due to risk considerations, especially if other parties continue and return happily from the summit later. From the guide’s perspective, all it takes is a small lapse in judgment or just straight out bad luck to turn from shining hero to the reckless villain who makes headlines in the newspaper……

As far as the current avalanche hazard on the Col Maudit is concerned, it will be good to give it some time to let the instability settle out. More information from the site would be valuable to make better assessment as to the timing. Under good conditions (warmer temps, no wind loading) this could take anything from a few days to a few weeks.

How about using the route via Gouter Hut or starting from the Tete Rousse? The main issue, as far as risk is concerned, is the rock fall hazard, which is particularly common during the heat of the summer as we are currently experiencing it. Overall I suspect that the normal route via Gouter Hut has seen more fatalities over the years than the Traverse / Trois Monts route…….

At any rate, we encourage our clients to carefully assess the risk they are willing to take and if Mont Blanc is the right climb for them. There are countless peaks in the Alps that involve lower risk and often a better experience (no overcrowding to mention one). The choice is yours. All we can do is try to make it happen while doing our best to keep you safe.

Booking

Please read and fill out this additional Reservation Form and FAQ.

Feedback

Mont Blanc Ascent – The Alps’ highest peak at 4810m
References of prior guests: We will gladly put potential clients in touch with previous participants of each trip in order for interested guests to get more personalized references and their questions answered from a more objective point of view than what our office could provide.

” Fantastic guide. Very professional. Seb was very discerning and professional warning us of challenges as needed. As well, he was warm and in great rapport the rest of the time. He managed our expectations and kept our spirits high. Where he really shone as a guide was taking the decision to ascend on day 4- with a risk of weather. We ended up with the perfect conditions: weather and lack of traffic. He took an educated risk that really made our experience as perfect as it could have been.
Communication and trip organisation was Fantastic, again- the pre-reading material was informative managing our expectations. You responded to us quickly when we had questions. Thank you for being accommodating with the payment transfer, as well.

The kit list supplied was very useful and we found that we had everything that we needed to climb successfully.
Perfect Itinerary – thank you for the advice on the number of days to book. The two practice days prior to the ascent were very helpful to get us used to Mountaineering. As well, the summit itinerary split over three days was perfect. We had great weather, which was helpful; however, to have the option to summit on two days if weather was not in our favour was reassuring.
The accommodation and food at the huts were far better than expected.
Thank you for pre-arranging the vegetarian meals. This was a great comfort for Robin. 10/10!! ”
Kristyn E. & Robin F. UK

” Geoffrey is a real professional and was very patient with me. Communication was really excellent from your office. I would certainly recommend On Top.”
Paddy W., Ireland

” Philippe was very knowledgeable and careful and was a good balance between wanting to summit and perfectly willing to not if conditions or circumstances were not right. So basically putting safety first ahead of summiting
Can you be more specific in your info regarding the boots to bring. Based on the info I brought Goretex boots that had the special heel to attach crampons so they are made for snow mountaineering, but when Philippe inspected our gear before departing he said my feet may not be warm enough when summiting on the 3rd day so I bought extra thick mountaineering wool socks and this wasn’t enough as my feet started freezing around 14,000 ft and I could not go on. Almost everybody I saw used these high end “La Sportiva” boots. I would highly recommend OnTop be very specific in terms of the model of boots to bring.
Itinerary was good, 3 days to ascend and descend seems reasonable although the 3rd day ascending from Gouter and descending all the way down can be very tiring although once you summit I want to get down as quickly as possible
Food was surprisingly good for remote mountain huts, Gouter hut had running water in the sinks. Would have been nice if the Tete Rouse hut had running water in the sinks
10/10 – I think you guys are very organized and responsive ”
Kevin B., TX, USA

” Had a SPECTACULAR trip. Thanks a million for facilitating it. What can I say about Stephane that could be anything but good?! He’s like a mix between my favourite uncle and my older brother. Super cool under stress, and very experienced. His time in the mountains previously gave me quite a bit of confidence.I appreciated the timely responses, as well as honoring my request to summit straight from Tete Rousse. (It kicked my butt, btw.) Definitely a 10/10…already recommended!”
Nathan M., UT, USA

” I wanted tell you what a GREAT time our group had in Chamonix this past week. The logistics went off like Swiss clockwork. Our guides – Didier and Viet- were terrific. We felt safe in their hands and acquired additional Mountaineering skills that will be useful in the future. The staff at the Vert were kind and helpful. Of course summiting Mont Blanc was the icing (literally) on the cake. We appreciate your assistance organizing this fantastic experience.
On Top provided excellent resources for our trip and tailored a climbing itinerary that met our timing and skill levels. 1 climber did not summit, however this was his issue. The guides were thoughtful about discussing his deficiencies.
European and U.S. Guiding is different in there is more “babysitting” in the U.S. ( probably from a liability standpoint). It’s important that U.S. Climbers understand this and need to be more self-reliant. Veit told that this was our climb. This was refreshing but took a little getting used to. The guides made me feel safe and confident that I would enjoy the climb.
Better communication for the departure to the mountain on the 25th would have been helpful. The printout stated that we would met early morning but we did not meet until 1 pm. Minor point but we have used that time productively. Also there was minor confusion about the gear list ( e.g. Goggles)
Mont Blanc is a bigger tougher mountain than most guiding companies let on to . There are more technical elements than I expected and summit day from the Tete Rousse was a BIG day.”
Bruce F., VA, USA

” … thank you for setting me up with Andrea .. excellent communication, understanding of this area and depth of experience. . Would do again! ”
Robb T., CA, USA

Gear List

1. Technical Equipment

  • Leather or plastic mountaineering boots* sturdy with RIGID soles
  • crampon compatible
  • Backpack (40 – 45 liters) Best bring a big plastic (garbage) bag as an inside liner for your backpack or package clothing items in separate plastic bags.
  • Climbing helmet**
  • Ice axe for glacier travel (50-75cm, classic pick)**
  • Crampons that fit your boots or can be easily adjusted**
  • Anti-balling plates for your crampons (highly recommended)**
  • Collapsible ski poles* (One pole is very useful and recommended)
  • 1 harness**
  • 1 locking carabiner**
  • Crevasse rescue equipment, if you are familiar with using it. (Prusik slings, webbing, pulleys, auto-locking device). Your guide will bring a full set.

All items marked ‘*’ can be rented from a rental shop locally.
All items marked ‘**’can be provided by OnTop.
Please bring your own equipment if you have it.

2. Clothing
We suggest using the ‘layer system’: Light technical clothing that doesn’t take much space in your backpack and dries quickly if sweaty or wet. Layers can be put on and taken off fast if weather conditions change during the day.

  • Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore Tex or similar)
  • Wind and waterproof over pants with side zippers (Gore Tex or similar)
  • Mountaineering pants
  • Fleece or heavy jacket
  • Medium weight fleece sweater
  • Long underwear or running tights (e.g. Capilene or polypro)
  • Undershirt – preferably long sleeves (e.g. Capilene or polypro)
  • Warm socks for mountaineering boots (wool/synthetic outers)
  • Thin “liner” socks
  • Warm hat, covering your ears
  • Lightweight gloves (fleece or leather)
  • Warm, waterproof pair of gloves
  • Gaiters (unless pants lock tightly to your boots)
  • Sun hat, with a wide brim if possible
  • Bandana (optional)

3. Hut lodging

  • Spare underwear, socks
  • Down vest or light insulated jacket (optional)
  • Light-weight sleeping bag liner (preferably silk) – wool covers are provided by the hut
  • Light hut slippers (optional) – we recommend to use the ones the huts provide
  • Light stuff sacs or zip lock bags to keep your backpack organized (optional)
  • Toiletries : only tooth-brush and tooth-paste
  • Alpine Club Membership Card (if you hold membership)
  • Ear plugs (optional but very useful)

4. Other Items

  • Sun glasses (heavy duty – glacier use, with very good UV protection)
  • Sun screen and lip protection
  • Water bottle, preferably insulated, minimum volume: 1 liter or Camelback (if too cold, bladder tube might freeze up!)
  • Head lamp with spare batteries and bulb
  • Blister kit (optional)
  • Snacks (candy bars, dried fruit, sandwiches, nuts, etc.)
  • Personal items (prescription medicine, extra contact lenses and maintenance equipment, extra pair of prescription glasses, etc.)
  • Pocket knife or Leatherman (optional)
  • Passport
  • (Health/Travel) Insurance documents
  • Zip-lock bag for wallet and other documents to keep them dry (recommended)
  • Camera, batteries (optional)
  • Compass, maps and GPS (optional)
GROUP SIZES:

Client / Guides
Max. 2 / Guide for the Mont Blanc ascent. Higher ratios possible for training days.

DIFFICULTY:
Mont Blanc Ascent
  • Up to 14 hrs/day
  • Requires stamina
  • High Altitude!
  • Exposed ice ridge
  • Rock scrambling
  • Front Pointing
  • Objective hazards!
2017 DATES:
Mont Blanc Ascent

Anytime

  • on foot: June – Oct
  • on skis: March – June

For Trip Packages from 2 – 5 Days please see “Itinerary” Tab below

PRICES:
Mont Blanc Ascent

2-5 Day Trips:
Pricing below quoted per person for groups of 2 guests. Individual guests or groups > 2 please refer to itinerary tab below or inquire with us.

  • 2 Days: € 860, US$ 990
  • 3 Days:€ 1280, US$ 1470
  • 4 Days: € 1585, US$ 1820
  • 5 Days: € 1845, US$ 2120

Inclusions:
Guide, guide expenses, all hut fees, dinner and breakfast at the hut, gondola and mountain train return fares, rental of technical equipment