France·September 14 - 21 2024

Ultimate Alps: Mont Blanc with Gran Paradiso

Summit the Highest Mountain in Western Europe on this Epic IFMGA Guide-led Two Peak Challenge

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Overview

One week in September: one week you will never forget. Climb Mont Blanc, 4809m, the highest mountain in Western Europe, on this challenging and exhilarating itinerary which also sees expedition members scale the beautiful Gran Paradiso, 4061m; the highest mountain solely in Italy. Gran Paradiso is the highest freestanding mountain in Italy, an epic challenge in its own right and an excellent way to prepare for an ascent of the mighty Mont Blanc. The latter is an undisputed classic of European alpine climbing, and the highest point in Western Europe. Mixing exceptional hotel accommodation with spirited mountain huts and the best IFMGA guides in Chamonix, our Mont Blanc with Gran Paradiso Expedition is everything you could want from a week in the high Alps.

Chamonix

Highlights

Summit Two Famed Mountains

Summit Two Famed Mountains

Climb the highest peak in France & Italy and the highest freestanding mountain in Italy.

Top Guiding Team

Top Guiding Team

Our guiding team will be led by top IFMGA guide and ultra endurance runner, Ben Bradford.

Great Accommodation

Great Accommodation

Relax at Heliopic Hotel and Spa, before, during and after the climb. Experience the Alps' incredible mountain huts in between.

Practice Your Mountaineering Skills

Practice Your Mountaineering Skills

Receive expert tuition from our IFMGA-certified guides.

Meet The Team

Oliver Browne (UK) - Expedition Leader

Oliver Browne (UK) - Expedition Leader

Oliver is the founder of True Summit Adventures, a certifed Mountain Leader, experienced adventurer and mountaineer. He is an expert in logistics as well as a kind and thoughtful host.


Oliver is a regular visitor to Chamonix and climbed both Mont Blanc and Gran Paradiso in the summer of 2020.

lettersfromoliver
Ben Bradford (Chamonix) - Lead IFMGA Guide

Ben Bradford (Chamonix) - Lead IFMGA Guide

IFMGA guide Ben is an accomplished mountaineer and ultra endurance runner with many 100 mile plus races under his belt.


He has worked in the outdoor and adventure industry since 2001, which has taken him from Devon to Tibet, Nepal, Alaska, and Kyrgyzstan to name just a few. 


Ben moved to Chamonix in 2013 to be closer to his beloved Alps.


Itinerary

Our detailed breakdown of your epic 8 day adventure in the Alps

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chamonixmin

Saturday 14th September: Day 1 - Arrival in Chamonix

Arriving by lunchtime in Chamonix allows for a 3 hour acclimatisation hike in the afternoon. For those who land at Geneva Airport by mid-morning, there's the chance to share transport for a small additional fee.

Otherwise, we ask expedition members to arrive at the team hotel for early evening.

This gives us the chance to get to know each other better, check expedition equipment, have a short expedition briefing, and then enjoy a relaxed meal together within sight of our ultimate goal - Mont Blanc's summit!

TorinoRefuge

Sunday 15th September: Day 2 - Torino Refuge

Today we leave Chamonix and head higher into the mountains for a day of training on and around the Mont Blanc Massif. Ben and our IFMGA-certified guides will help you refresh the skills you'll need for a successful summit of Mont Blanc and Gran Paradiso, from roping up and using crampons to ascending and descending safely.

We overnight at Torino Refuge, nestled on the Mont Blanc Massif above the town of Courmayeur in Italy's Aosta Valley.

GranParadisohike

Monday 16th September: Day 3 - Hike to Chabod Refuge

Today we start our ascent of the highest peak solely within Italian territory - Gran Paradiso.

Also acting as great altitude acclimitisation for Mont Blanc, the hike takes us through beautiful alpine scenery as we make our way to the atmospheric surrounds of the Federico Chabod Refuge, where we overnight.

GranParadiso

Tuesday 17th September: Day 4 - Summit Gran Paradiso

Our climb of Gran Paradiso continues, following a cosy evening in Chabod Refuge, where both food and ambience is full of Italian style.

Starting after midnight from the refuge, the climb largely sees us follow a series of ridges before the final ascent to the Madonna summit at 4,061m. We celebrate a classic European 4000'er before descending via the same route.

We then return to our hotel in Chamonix to rest and recharge before tackling our ultimate goal.

MontBlancfromLesHouchesmin1

Wednesday 18th September: Day 5 - Hike to Tete Rousse Hut

Today we begin the trail to the summit of Mont Blanc, France's and Western Europe's highest peak.

Starting from Les Houches in the valley below, we use a combination of lift and the Mont Blanc railway to gain some altitude. Only then do we being hiking to the Tete Rousse hut (3167m), positioned elegantly beside the glacier of the same name and below the infamous Grand Couloir.

MontBlancSummit

Thursday 19th September: Day 6 - Summit Mont Blanc

Starting out from the Tete Rousse hut in the early hours, we cross the Grand Couloir and make our way up the ridge line towards the famous Goutter Hut.

After several hours of spectacular climbing, we arrive at the summit for dawn, where we'll spend a short time celebrating and taking in the view from the top of Europe. 

Once we have the all-important summit photos, we descend back to Tete Rousse hut for a second night and some well-earned rest.


montblancrailway

Friday 20th September: Day 7 - Return to Chamonix

Today you will feel an amazing sense of achievement wash over you as you wake up a Mont Blanc summitter.

Following a hearty mountain breakfast, we hike down from Tete Rousse hut and board the Mont Blanc railway for our return to Chamonix where the celebrations begin in earnest. 

We conclude an amazing week of alpine climbing with a team dinner in Chamonix.

Geneva

Saturday 21st September: Day 8 - Departure

Today we say our goodbyes.

We hope you have had an amazing week in this most beautiful part of the Alps. For those heading to Geneva we can organise a shared transport and should timings allow, a spot of lunch by the lake.

For those needing some R&R after their mountain exertions then the beaches of the South of France are not that far away!


Where you'll be staying

Heliopic Hotel and Spa

Heliopic Hotel and Spa

Sitting at the foot of Mont Blanc, the four star Heliopic is one of the top hotels in Chamonix.

With a design echoing traditional Alpine chalets, this grande dame of the Chamonix scene offers up cosy luxury, sumptous meals, and a spa with sauna and swimming pool - ideal for a little R&R both pre- and post-summit days.

Tete Rousse Hut

Tete Rousse Hut

Owned by the Club Alpin Francais, and completely rennovated in 2003, the Tete Rousse Hut lies at the foot of the Grand Couloir and provides basic, but comfortable accommodation in dormitories.

Torino Refuge

Torino Refuge

First opened in 1898 by the Italian Alpine Club, today's Torino Refuge (Refugio Torino) was constructed in the 1950s and can sleep 160. Its facilities include a bar and restaurant, alongside an exterior terrace providing panoramic views across Italy's Aosta Valley and as far as Switzerland's Valais region.

Federico Chabod Refuge

Federico Chabod Refuge

Named after a man who counted mountaineer and politician among his professions, the Federico Chabod Refuge is  our rest stop on the way to summiting Gran Paradiso. It sits to the north-west of the mountain. 

Its bar and simple restaurant is well known for its atmosphere and hearty Italian food.

What's Included

What's Included

Fully Guided Ascents of Mont Blanc and Grand Paradiso

Experienced Expedition Leader

5 Days Guiding with IFMGA Certified Guide

Transport within Chamonix

Lift Passes

Training Day

Four Nights in Mountain Huts

Breakfast and Dinner at the Huts

Three Nights at Heliopic Hotel Chamonix at half Board

International Flights

Transfers to Chamonix

Dinners in Chamonix

Alcoholic Drinks

Snacks and Lunches

Kit Hire

Tips to the IFMGA Guides

Book Your Adventure

Mont Blanc with Grand Paradiso

FROM$4,378.68/pp

Mont Blanc with Grand Paradiso - Twin Room in Chamonix

FROM$4,178.12/pp

FAQs

Climbing Mont Blanc requires a good level of fitness and endurance. The summit night is long and participants will need to be able to climb continuously uphill for 6 to 8 hours while still having the stamina to safely descend.

Yes. September lies at the heart of the traditional climbing season for Mont Blanc, which lasts from June until October. It's one of the best months to climb the mountain since it offers stable weather conditions and a lower chance of crowding.

If weather conditions prevent us summiting Mont Blanc, we'll redirect our attention to another epic mission in the Chamonix region.

Previous mountaineering experience or experience at altitude is preferred, but not absolutely necessary for this expedition if you have a high level of fitness and endurance.

The mountain huts of Mont Blanc and Gran Paradiso are more like basic hotels or hostels. They have dormitory style sleeping accommodation and can sleep anywhere from 50-150 people on any given night. Breakfasts and dinners are from a set menu, and can usually cater for standard dietary requirements. Lunches, soft drinks, snacks, and alcoholic drinks can be purchased. Toilets come as standard, but shower facilities can be limited.

Altitude affects everyone, but our training day and Gran Paradiso ascent will allow you to acclimatise before tackling Mont Blanc. Arriving early on the first day will give you a chance to get some additional acclimatisation.

It's possible to rent all the technical equipment you'll need for this expedition in Chamonix. A kit list will be sent to you upon booking.

Trip Tips

Bring High-Energy Snacks

Bring High-Energy Snacks

Climbing mountains is hungry work, so we suggest bringing plenty of sugary snacks to top up your energy levels between meals.

Come in Peak Fitness

Come in Peak Fitness

Arriving in great physical shape will give you the best chance of reaching your goals on this epic adventure.

Ultimate Alps: Mont Blanc with Gran Paradiso

France· September 14 - 21 2024· 7 nights

FROM$4178/pp