Mont Blanc Advanced Mountaineering

Location

Courmayeur in the Italain Aosta Valley is an ideal spot to access the less visited regions of the famous Mont Blanc Massive

" A well structured, well paced course"

Travis, Brisbane, Australia

"We had the freedom to be on our own rope teams but with the right level of supervision and guidance particularly when doing our practice scenarios eg crevasse rescue - go at our own pace and steps, but Andrea was there and watching and stepped in when we needed it.  I feel like I have a sound understanding, and appreciation to practice everything before heading back out, on what I need to do for basic mountaineering adventures to build my skill set. Were still able to get great learning on bad weather days. Andrea was really personable and worked with us. A very professional, entertaining, and fun course to give us the basics and confidence to mountaineer."

 

More Information

This mountaineering course is the real deal. Big mountains and big glaciers make this area world famous for its challenging mountaineering. This course is for mountaineers with previous experience wanting to experience climbing 4000 + meter peaks of Europe, including the iconic Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe. Throughout the course, climbers will develop essential and advanced alpine skills to prepare them for more demanding routes and summits whilst climbing at high altitudes.

The town of Courmayeur in the Aosta Valley is the ideal location for big mountain training. Located at the foot of the southern side of Mont Blanc, it provides good access for ascents of Mont Blanc, Grand Paradiso and many other 4000 + meter peaks.

The course syllabus includes:

  • Mountain hazards identification and avoidance including avalanche awareness
  • Mountain weather
  • Ropework, including belay, abseiling and rescue
  • Protection and anchors on snow, rock and ice
  • Glacier travel techniques and crevasse rescue
  • Multipitch climbing and rescue
  • Snow, ice and mixed climbing
  • Alpine rock climbing
  • Mountain shelter and camp management
  • Equipment and clothing selection
  • Route selection & navigation
  • Trip planning including assessment of weather and conditions, human factors and terrain
  • High altitude climbing

Available Dates

Dates
Status
2019  
23rd June - 6 July Open: 2 places available

 

 

Dates don't suit - please contact us.  

Difficulty

Technical Difficulty

This course is designed for people with previous alpine climbing experience. Participant should be competent climbing up to grade 17 on rock and have good belaying skills. Ice climbing grades are notoriously fickle but you can expect sections of near vertical with occasional rock mixed in.

Physical Difficulty

No one will ever tell you that alpine climbing is easy. The better shape you are in, the more you will be able enjoy the course. Instruction courses are different than ascents in that we are able to adjust the physical difficulty to the group. Some days are spent with learning focused activity while other days are more physically challenging. Expect to be pushed hard physically but there will be time to recharge your batteries.

Ice climbing requires strong leg and calf muscles. Steep hill are best to get you up on your toes. Hiking trips in your rigid soles boots will give your calves a workout. Try “front pointing” up steep hills as much as possible. Participants need to be accustomed to regular exercise. You should be able maintain a slow but steady pace up steep hills for an hour or more while carrying a 10-12kg pack. Good balance and a comfort with heights will be required. The good news is that with a little dedication just about anyone can achieve the required level of fitness. Endurance workouts are key to building up stamina. Part of any routine should include pushing your legs and lower body for extended periods of time, preferably with alternating periods of steep uphill and downhill.


Price Details

Guide Ratio Price  
1:2 EU 6,200 per person


 

What's Included
  • Guide fees for 14 days
  • Farm stay cottage 5 nights twin share (single room available on request),
  • 9 nights mountain hut accommodation including all breakfast, lunch and dinners  
  • 1 x lift ticket and ground transport during trip.
  • For full details see itinerary.
Not included:
  • Airfare, transport to/from Courmayeur and travel insurance
  • Hotel, transport and food post trip
  • Technical climbing equipment (see equipment list)
  • Alcohol, snacks and extras purchased at huts
  • Food when not in the mountains

 


Itinerary / Trip Options (multi)

Mont Blanc AMC

 DAY 1. 23/06/19 
Arrive in Courmayeur and meet Andrea, your guide for an evening brief at the friendly farm stay cottage near Courmayeur.  Review the plan for the trip, check gear and there will be time for last minute shopping and supplies.

Stay: Agritur Le Reve farm stay cottage in Courmayeur

DAY 2. 24/06/19
Travel just outside of Curmayeur where we take the cable car into the mountains of the Mont Blanc massif to the Rifugio Torino. This will be our base for the next 4 nights. This area is an excellent location for training with a variety of summits easily accessible from the rifugio.

Stay: Rifugio Torino

DAY 3. 25/06/19
We are straight into our first summit with a training peak of Tour Ronde (3792 m). This peak is a great introduction to the course with a variety of route options and offering amazing summit views of the Brenva face and the major peaks on the southern side of Mont Blanc. Leading your first pitches will be a buzz you won't forget. The steep hard snow consisting of a couple ice pitches is perfect for learning. If you’re up for something a little more difficult and conditions are suitable, the north face have is a stunning line of NZ3+ ice. 

Duration- 6-10hrs
Elevation profile- 600m (from the rifugio to the summit) 
Style of climbing- easy snow & mix climbing (NZ2)
Stay : Rifugio Torino

 

DAY 4. 26/06/19
We begin the day with a delicious breakfast at the rifugio then out into the glacier to brush up on glacier travel. Later in the day we move into more technical aspects such as ice climbing and crevasse rescue.  This is a good opportunity to practise using some of the technical skills that you will be need over the next days. Placing ice screws, V threads and equalizing anchors will be covered.

Stay : Rifugio Torino

DAY 5. 27/06/19
We begin with an early start to go for the summit of Dente de Geant (4013 m). This is one of the most recognisable peaks in the Mont Blanc Massif and the first 4000m peak of the trip. Its unmistakable and striking rocky pillar profile attracts many climbers to this area. The route start with the “Gengiva” ...a mix of steep snow slopes and easy climbing as we traverse a ridge and top out at the bottom of the Dentelrock pillar. It is climbed using fixed lines and sections of easy rock climbing (grade 12) on alpine granite rock. From the summit we descend with multiple abseils to the Gengiva and then down climb to the glacier and the rifugio. This route requires a good mix of mountaineering skills. 

Duration- 7-9 hrs
Elevation profile- +800mt. 
Style of climbing- steep snow, easy mix Climbing and rock climbing.
Stay : Rifugio Torino

DAY 6. 28/06/19
Today we pack up and travel back down to our farm stay cottage in Courmayeur. Here we have time to re organise our equipment and prepare ourselves for the next part of the course based around the Gran Paradiso National Park.  There is time in the evening to sample of of the local cuisine of the Aosta Valley in the local restaurants.

Stay: Agritur Le Reve farm stay cottage 

DAY 7. 29/06/19
Transfer to Gran Paradiso National Park. We begin by trekking up the Valsavarenche, this is the narrowest and most wild of the Aosta valleys. It's paths provide access around the famous Gran Paradiso Massif and to the Rifugio Chabod (2750m) or the Rifugio Emanuele II (2735m). Tonight we prepare ourselves for our ascent of Grand Paradiso (4061m). 

Stay: Rifugio Chabod or the Rifugio Emanuele II

DAY 8. 30/06/19
An early start for the Grand Paradiso summit day. This route offers one of the most beautiful views of the Alps and the Mont Blanc Massif. The ascent is a big day and provides further acclimatisation in preparation for the ascent of Mont Blanc. 

Duration- 10 hrs
Elevation profile= 1300+ m
Style of climbing- snow slopes and easy rock climbing the last few meters to the very top.
Stay: Rifugio Chabod

DAY 9. 01/07/19
With a slow start we pack up and descend back down into the valley and transfer back to our Courmayeur farmstay base.

Stay: Agritur Le Reve farm stay cottage 

DAY 10. 02/07/19
Today we rest and recharge our batteries in preparation for the highlight and final stage of the course, Mont Blanc. This is a chance to have a late start, read a book and sample some of the local cuisine. There is also local rock climbing in Courmayeur if you’re keen to brush up on some of your rock climbing skills.

Stay: Agritur Le Reve farm stay cottage 

DAY 11. 03/07/19
Today we make our way to the Rifugio Gonella (3071m). The approach ascends 1500m from  the village of La Visaille and will take approximately 5-6h to reach the rifugio.  

Stay: Rifugio Gonella

DAY 12. 04/07/19
Mont Blanc (4808 m) summit day! We begin with an alpine start around 1am. From the rifugio the route picks its way across the Dome Glacier then easily along the Piton des Italien. From here we must ascend the Dome Ridge which then leads to the final stage of the climb along the Bosses Ridge. At dawn you will be on the top of your dream just as the sun is hitting the top of the surrounding mountains. 

Depending on safety conditions we will descend the same route or there is also the option to descend the French side through the Mont Maudit and Mont Blanc du Tacul to The Cosmiques Hut near the Aiguille du Midi. 

Duration: 14hrs
Elevation profile- 1800 m to the summit 
Style- mostly snow ascent and easy mix climbing. There are sections on sharp ridges in some parts.  
Stay: Rifugio Gonella or Cosmiques Hut (French descent route)

DAY 13. 05/07/19

We make our way slowly from the Rifugio Gonella to our farm stay base at Courmayeur. Or, if descended via the French route and rested at the Cosmiques Hut there will be a final glacier to cross of the Vallee blanche to the Rifugio Torino. From here we can descend by gondola back to Courmayeur.

Duration: 4hrs 
Elevation profile- 1500m descent from Gonella 
Stay: Agritur Le Reve farm stay cottage

DAY 14. 06/07/19
Rest day in Courmayeur or additional weather contingency day - If the weather necessitates, waiting one extra day in the hut or in town may be necessary. We spend this final evening celebrating the completion of the course before saying goodbye. 

Stay: Agritur Le Reve farm stay cottage

 

 

 

 

Getting dropped in the mountains at the start of the course !


Equipment Details

This video provides practical demonstration of the common equipment and clothing required for mountaineering.
 

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