Where is Mont Blanc in France?

December 17, 2016
GALLERY

Highlights:
• Highest peak in Western Europe
• Only American company with an all-inclusive trip (hotels, trams, lifts, etc.), making our prices highly competitive
• Includes four nights in French/Swiss huts with breakfast and dinner (about $600 US value per/person)
• Welcome dinner in Chamonix.
• Includes six tram rides in France (about $200 US value per/person)
• Pre-climb training
• Climb of Aiguille Du Tour prior to Mt. Blanc
• Fully certified IFMGA mountain guides
• All hotels included during the trip (three nights at a three-star hotel in downtown Chamonix, France)
• 2:1 climber-to-guide ratio on Mt. Blanc portion
• Nine-day program
• Alpine Ascents logo item

Ready for Mt. Blanc?
Like our Mt. Rainier program this is a beginner climb, with the same fitness expectation. Please note this is not a trekking expedition and the rigors and demands are that of a mountaineering expedition. Prior climbs such as Whitney, Shasta or Kilimanjaro are excellent intros, but one should expect a far greater physical and technical challenge.

Overview
As the highest peak in Western Europe, Mt. Blanc is perhaps the most famed ascent in the Alps, and considered the birthplace of climbing. First climbed in 1786, Mt. Blanc maintains the same allure today given the peaks stunning beauty, pristine villages and its prominence as the Alps' high point. The peak has relatively easy access and Alpine Ascents will provide training prior to the climb and take on the summit of Aiguille Du Tour (3540m), before we attempt Mt. Blanc.

Climbing Mont Blanc with Alpine Ascents:
In 2015 we had 5 expeditions on Mont Blanc, with 6 climbers reaching the summit. Conditions in the middle of the season prohibited us from making a summit attempt as the Mont Blanc was closed due to sporadic rockfall. Those climbers that were unable to attempt the Mont Blanc got to climb the Gran Paradiso (highest peak in Italy). Our two expeditions that we moved to climb the Gran Paradiso, our climbers found it equally challenging and rewarding. Our Alps program director, Jonathon Spitzer made some itinerary and logistics improvements in our continued efforts to fine-tune our program. In 2014, we had 15 climbers reach the summit of Mont Blanc and we look forward to improving conditions in the 2016 season.

It certainly wasn't the trip I had expected. Weather shut out our planned Mont Blanc summit (a disappointing repeat of my 2012 AAI Mont Blanc experience !), and snow left by that weather cut short our rescheduled attempt just below the summit. The snow also made Matterhorn simply impossible. Thanks to guide creativity, I still got in 12 days of interesting climbing and skill work, with a chance to grow in experience and confidence. Jonathon was a great manager as our plans had to be changed multiple times. He pulled it all together to make the trip challenging and fun despite the ugly conditions on the mountain. He also assembled a great team of guides, who worked well together to support all of us. I would climb again with any of these guys in a heartbeat. - 2014 Climber

We begin our climb in beautiful Chamonix, meeting at the hotel in the evening for a group dinner. The following morning our guides complete a full detailed gear check after our morning breakfast and we head to the nearby village of Le Tour (part of the Mt. Blanc Massif) to begin our glacier training.

Training and summit attempt of Aguille Du Tour (3540 meters/11, 614 feet)
Spending our first three climbing days above the beautiful village of Le Tour helps prepare us for Mont Blanc. We spend two nights at stunning huts located in the French and Swiss Alps. Acclimatizing while learning/reviewing skills is a major component of this program. Our practical climbing experience on Aiguille Du Tour also helps to prepare us for our ascent of Mont Blanc. After our summit attempt of Aiguille Du Tour, we return to Chamonix. That gives us a chance to dine, shower, change clothes and have a restful night before attempting Mont Blanc.

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