Day 1: Arrive & Transfer to Chamonix

Fly into Geneva, make your own way to Chamonix and be greeted by your guides at our accommodation at 17:00. Meet your fellow adventurers and get briefed for the week ahead. We’ll have dinner, kit checks and an inspirational talk from Everest summiteer Ricky Munday.

Day 2: Chamonix - Rifugio Chabod

We'll sort out any last minute gear rental in Chamonix before before driving through the Mont Blanc tunnel into Italy to reach Rifugio Chabod in Gran Paradiso (1.5h drive). We'll park in the valley and walk up to the hut at 2,750m, with 900m of altitude gain (2.5 - 3h trek). Once at the refuge, we'll eat lunch and complete an outdoor training session covering crampon techniques, being roped up, using all gear correctly and essential scrambling techniques.

Day 3: Rifugio Chabod - Summit Gran Paradiso

A big day involving an early start and 1,300m of ascent (and descent) to reach the summit of Gran Paradiso, the highest peak entirely in Italy (4061m). The route from the Rifugio Chabod climbs easily up the glacier Laveciau which spills down from the North Face of the Gran Paradiso. The normal way to the summit first ascends this glacier before linking up the higher Gran Paradiso glacier as you near the summit, then joins the route coming in from the Vittorio Emanuele hut at about 3,500 meters. More easy glacier climbing follows, followed by a bergschrund crossing and a short steeper snow slope to the final rocky summit ridge. The last section is quite fun, airy climbing on good rock to the distinct summit blocks (5-7hours).

It’s a spectacular summit and the final traverse requires a good head for heights, and this is great training for Mont Blanc because similar techniques are required on both peaks. The climb will put you in good stead for the main summit attempt later in the week.

After the summit we descend back to Rifugio Chabod. This means we can leave unnecessary clothing & equipment there to make our ascent as light as possible. Additionally, staying up at altitude instead of heading all the way down to the valley today helps with your acclimatisation process.

Day 4: Rifugio Chabod - Chamonix

We'll wake around 07:00 for breakfast and by 8.30 we'll start descending at a gentle pace to the valley (2hours). On our drive back we can stop for a delicious Italian coffee and snack, and by 1pm we'll arrive back in Chamonix after a 1.5 hour drive. It's really important rest well this afternoon to ensure your body can recover from the strain of yesterday and prepare for the days ahead.

Day 5: Chamonix - Tete Rousse Hut

Climbing Mont Blanc takes two days. We start by driving to Les Houches (10min) and then taking uplifts on the Bellevue cable car followed by the Tramway du Mont Blanc train to Refuge du Nid d’Aigle at 2,372m. From here, we hike up to the Tete Rousse hut (3,167m) for an overnight stay, where we'll spend the afternoon relaxing, sorting kit and talking through the route & strategy for our big summit day of Mont Blanc via the Gouter route the following morning.

Day 6: Summit Day!

On summit day we wake up very early (01:00) to make our summit attempt. We'll set off after a light breakfast at 02:00 using head-torche. After a few of hours it is usually light enough to see clearly. It will take approximately two hours to ascend the Gouter ridge and arrive at the Gouter Hut, then we make our way in crampons up the glacier and over the Dôme de Goûter (4304m), and from the top of the Dôme we descend slightly and then quickly reach the emergency shelter of the Vallot hut (4,362m), which should take another two hours.

From the Vallot Hut, it should hopefully take just less than another couple of hours to the summit. Above the Vallot, we ascend steeper ground climbing Les Bosses (4,547m), followed by the gradually narrowing summit ridge. We aim to reach the summit of Mt Blanc (4,810m) soon after daybreak. The pace on summit day is not fast, but will be steady and constant.

Our summit attempt will take between 8-12 hours depending on conditions and your physical ability. On the descent from the summit, we return to Nid d’Aigle to take the Tramway du Mont Blanc followed by the Bellevue cable car down to Les Houches, then drive back to Chamonix to spend the night in the valley. We'll head out in Chamonix for a celebration dinner together on the final evening to round off our incredible week.

Day 7: Chamonix - Home

Depart. Check out is at 10:00, and after one last hearty breakfast we sadly bid farewell. You will take your transfer service back to Geneva and head for home. Thanks for choosing Inspire Alpine®.

Please note: This itinerary is based on good weather and mountain conditions as well as hut availability. Should an ascent of Mont Blanc not be possible due to dangerous conditions or bad weather, we strive to provide suitable alternatives such as climbing in the Monta Rosa range on the Swiss/Italian border where there are many 4000ers and the experience is equally as challenging and spectacular. During June and July we may opt for the Italian normal route (via rifugio Gonella) if conditions allow. It is a stunning alternative route to the Gouter route and is often much less frequented.