Mont Blanc 4810m is the highest summit in
Western Europe. To get to the 'roof of Europe',
we normally ascend by either the 'Traverse'
route of the Trois Mont Blanc from the Midi,
the Gonella route from the Italian Val Veny,
or via the classic Gouter route.
For the Mont Blanc ascent you need excellent
fitness, stamina and determination. You do
not necessarily need any previous crampon
or altitude experience, though it would be
a real bonus. Any skills you have will help,
as well as great balance combined with the
ability to move quickly and efficiently over
broken mountain terrain is essential. You
should be confident on steep ridges, but don't
worry as you are taught all the necessary
ropework and skills during the week.
Due to the altitude and the length of the
climb, we never declare the ascent to be easy.
It is an unforgettable experience to reach
the summit, and you will test the skills you
have learnt along the way.
This course is focused on you summitting Mont
Blanc, with other summits and nights spent
at altitude to increase acclimatisation. There
is a dedicated information page for Mont Blanc:
which details the experience and fitness required
for the climb.
principal feature of this course are the evening
theory sessions, where you are taught everything
from knots and ropework, to crevasse rescue
hoist systems, to avalanche prediction. This
means that your climbing time during the daylight
hours with the IFMGA qualified guides is optimised.
are listed in the column on the right, and
they show the live availability from our secure
online booking system. When you book online,
you receive immediate confirmation, your Alpine
Information Booklet, course specific kit list
Chris & Joe on the summit of Mont Blanc 4810m, ascent
via Traverse, descent via Gouter.
you should climb with us
only offer honest and ethical ascents of Mont Blanc.
our blog post about it (click
here). Here are our key ethical standards for
these ascents, which incredibly many operators ignore...
only offered when cable cars / trains are operating,
to avoid huge approach walks. The dates for the
Tramway Mont Blanc are mid June - mid September
and we avoid the first and last weeks of the tramway
open season to allow for delayed opening / early
closure due to snowfalls.
the normal route there are two huts you could stay
in, the Tete Rousse 3167m or Gouter 3835m. To reach
the Tete Rousse takes approximately 2 hours from
the Nid dAigle, and the Gouter is a further
2 hour climb above. All our Mont Blanc courses usually
have spaces booked in the Gouter hut, to make the
summit day shorter, and therefore easier. Occasionally
we also use the Cosmiques 3613m, Tete Rousse 3187m
or Gonella 3071m, dependent on conditions, weather
sticking with our principles, we are making the
summit a more realistic goal for you, and we are
focusing on safety. We believe that for those of
you who really do their research, you will be more
attracted to a company who wants you to succeed
more than the others. It isnt therefore a
case of how often we operate this trip, but when
and how we operate it.
has been offering guided ascents on Mont Blanc for
nearly two decades now, and so we have excellent
local contacts and detailed knowledge of conditions
to optimise your summitting chances, not to mention
being highly aware of risks to keep you safe too.
is through these local connections that we can sometimes
be very flexible with our itinerary to enable you
to attempt Mont Blanc on almost any day of your
course, as we can often arrange spaces in mountain
huts or on cable cars at very short notice, even
in the key summer season.
the first training day at a 1:6 guiding ratio, you
have four days guiding at a 1:2 ratio. These four
days are more than any other operator provides,
and are essential to give you flexibility for making
a summit attempt on the first weather window.
Jo & Jonathan on the summit of Mont Blanc 4810m,
having climbed via the Gouter Route.
Brief Course Itinerary
note that whilst the itinerary below is an ideal, the
weather and conditions, as well as your skills, fitness,
experience and acclimatisation all play a part too. In
our decade of experience, we have found that hardly two
weeks ever run the same, and even on a particular week
sometimes different summit groups go on different days
from different huts. Whilst the itinerary notes outline
this, it is imperitive that you understand how flexible
this course must be. You are dealing with the high mountains
and extreme altitude, not a prescribed coach tour!
Travel to Chamonix to arrive for the 17:00 check-in
followed by and course safety and itinerary briefings.
There is time for kit checks or rental of equipment.
Briefings are over by 19:00 and the team accompany
the group to pre-dinner drinks. Many clients opt
to travel out a day or two early to do an acclimatisation
weekend course to provide an extra night of accommodation,
and to ascend a 3000m peak. Night in Chamonix.
to learn and practice using crampons and ice axes
on the Mer de Glace glacier (2000m). You also climb
vertical ice, create ice anchors, and learn glacier
travel skills. This is one of your most important
days of the course in terms of skills development
as it is essential to have good footwork on Mont
Blanc. Guiding ratio 1:6 (max).
theory session / meeting with course hosts: click
Night in Chamonix.
route to a summit. Continue to a mountain hut for
the night or return to Chamonix. The aim is to develop
your skills at altitude. The choice of the 1 or
2 day routes is made in reaction to which day you
attempt Mont Blanc, as we can alter the itinerary
to maximise your chances. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max).
theory session / meeting with course hosts: click
Night in Chamonix or hut.
route to a summit. Either an Alpine start from the
mountain hut or a second acclimatisation route.
Typical routes for the last two days include Cosmiques
Arete, Gran Paradiso, Petite Verte, Pointe Lachenal
or Aiguille du Tour. Return to Chamonix to prepare
for Mont Blanc. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max).
theory session / meeting with course hosts: click
Night in Chamonix.
and bag checks before you set off to climb up to
one of the high huts, either the Cosmiques / Gonella
/ Gouter / Tête Rousse hut for the night.
Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). The choice of route that
you take on Mont Blanc, and which hut(s) you stay
in is a function of the weather, conditions, and
your skills and fitness. Often different teams suit
different plans to maximise their summit chances.
Night in hut on Mont Blanc.
Mont Blanc 4810m from an Alpine start from the high
hut, and descend to Chamonix. It
is usual to reach the summit just after sunrise,
to take advantage of the best snow conditions, and
to minimise the risks of stonefall or late afternoon
storms. Reach valley afternoon, celebrations in
the evening. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max).
In the evening there are optional drinks and a celebratory
meal. Final night in Chamonix.
Breakfast then the accommodation check out is by
10:00. Most arrange their transfers for around this
time for a flight from Geneva about midday. Some
people opt to book a tandem paraglider flight in
the morning to celebrate the weeks efforts, and
prices for this are from 100€ for a c.30 minute
flight. These flights can be booked in resort up
to the day before you wish to fly. Depart for home.
NOTES: Where possible we follow itineraries. Mountain
adventures are weather and conditions dependant, so occasionaly
we are forced to alter the plans. If this is the case,
suitable alternatives are offered. Please use this itinerary
as a guide to the types of route / activity you attempt.
days guiding, 7 days holiday in total
on the planner logo to the right to
see the real time live course availability
Course Inclusions: 1) IFMGA Mountain Guide
for five days, 2) Chamonix course hosts for logistics
& briefings, 3) Evening technical instruction / briefing
sessions, 4) Twin / double room B&B accommodation
in Chamonix (inc. linen, bedding & towels) for the
whole week, so you don't move out when in huts, 5) One
night half board in mountain hut / base camp on Mont Blanc
for you and guide, 6) Pre course information booklet,
7) Equipment discount voucher for our UK shop, 8) Free
36 page technical Course Instruction Booklet, 9) Road
transport in Chamonix valley, 10) Icicle discounts privilege
QR code list for reductions in local shops and restaurants
1) Travel to and from Chamonix, 2) Equipment hire, 3)
Cable cars & uplift (c. 80 euros depending on itinerary),
4) Optional second or more nights (not normally required)
in a mountain hut / base camp on a half board basis for
you and guide, 5) Personal laundry, telephone calls, lunches,
evening meals in valley, & any purchases in mountain
huts / hotels / restaurants, 6) Road transport outside
Chamonix valley (not usually required), 7) Sunday pre-dinner
drinks & Friday celebratory meal & drinks, 8)
Activities insurance, & excess baggage charges.
This course assumes 1:2 guiding from Tuesday to Friday,
after a shared glacier day of up to 1:6 ratio on the Monday.
Note that in the exceptionally rare occasion where is
there is just one person booked on a course, less 1:1
guiding days can be offered, however accommodation will
be provided for the whole week, and guiding options and
locations will be discussed with you within the budget
Many clients on this
trip consider upgrading with one or more of
the following course additions...
to single from
£300-£500 in addition to
standard course price,
depending on week.
day extension; 1:1
£1099, or 1:2 for £549
(booking together). Also
Matterhorn or Eiger.
from B&B to
have 3 course evening
meals in Chamonix for
5 nights for £99pp.
night spent in
Chamonix, with choice
of self-guided or guided
on Sunday. From £50.
course accommodation - normally clients are based
in self-catered flats (details),
so take a look, and decide if it's for you. For
more luxury, contact us for quotes in higher standard
apartments, or hotels of any standard required.
If you have / source your own course accommodation,
or we cannot provide an upgrade, the standard course
price has a £100pp reduction applied on your
Alpine summits open eve
is an event extra to the UK
Alpine Training weekend course. It is
FREE and open to those booked on our Mont Blanc
/ Eiger / Matterhorn trips. The event runs from
18:00 to 19:30 at our Windermere shop, to show films
of the routes, and discuss kit and training. You
don't need to be attending the weekend course to
join the open evening (more
details). E-mail us to reserve space(s)
and confirm availability. Dates are the Saturdays
of the weekend dates on the right.
Course spaces and dates for
the UK Alpine Training Weekend (link)...
Course Dates Alpine training weekend
[ 4 ] 19 - 20 Jan 2019
[5+] 4 - 5 May 2019
[5+] 1 - 2 Jun 2019
Course Dates Mont Blanc
[ 4 ] 16 - 22 Jun 2019
[ 4 ] 23 - 29 Jun 2019
[ 2 ] 30 Jun - 6 Jul 2019
[ 4 ] 7 - 13 Jul 2019
[ 4 ] 14 - 20 Jul 2019
[ 4 ] 21 - 27 Jul 2019
[ 4 ] 28 Jul - 3 Aug 2019
[5+] 4 - 10 Aug 2019
[ 4 ] 11 - 17 Aug 2019
[ 4 ] 18 - 24 Aug 2019
[ 4 ] 25 - 31 Aug 2019
[ 4 ] 1 - 7 Sep 2019
[ 4 ] 8 - 14 Sep 2019
course? If your ideal date is showing
as full on the list above, get in contact,
as we also offer private 1:2 and 1:1
trips on any date during the season.
The 1:1 price is £2499, and the
1:2 price is £1649pp. To book
a bespoke 1:1 or 1:2 Mont Blanc trip,
book one place on the 1:1 course (click
for link) and we will
adapt the invoice.
action filled week, and a perfect ending
reaching the summit of Mont Blanc
on a clear day. From the top we could
see hundreds of miles Alan
N , Mont Blanc Summit
Mont Blanc was harder than I thought,
but so rewarding too Sally
, Mont Blanc Summit
summit, 100% happy, 100% thanks! A
once in a lifetime holiday.
I can't explain how much your support
and knowledge meant to me. It gave me
a total sense of confidence and trust,
which was essential during the final
, Mont Blanc Summit
offer a FREE Mont Blanc open evening in our Windermere
office, which is open to all those booking on this trip.
Some people combine this with attending the £99
Alpine Preparation Weekend. For more details about the
Open Evening and weekend course, click
day kit list...
send a course specific equipment list to all those booking
on our courses, but due to the popularity of this course,
we outline a typical packing list for the Mont Blanc summit
day in the list below.
clothing - Light coloured long
sleeve wicking layer
- Schoeller / soft shell climbing trousers
- Mid layer fleece jacket / gillet
- Fleece hat and gloves, and sunhat / cap
- B3 leather / plastic boots, and gaiters
Equipment - Harness, helmet, ice
axe (without leash)
- 12 point crampons andanti-balling plates
- 1 x 120cm Sling, 1 x karabiner, 1 x prussic
- Telescopic trekking poles with snow baskets
- Head torch (LED style is lightest type)
gear - Synthetic or down insulation
- Goggles in case of high wind
- Neoprane face mask in case of wind
- Thick waterproof over gloves
- Windproof over trousers (eg PacLite)
kit - Close fitting sun glasses
(Factor 4 for snow)
- Pocket snacks for summit day (eg Haribos)
- Water bottle (bladder type may freeze)
- Rucksack (up to 35 litres max is ideal)
- Basic blister kit, Aspirin, suncream
other course provider will ask this question, but we do
as we want you to be sure that this is the right course.
It costs a lot of money and time, and we want you to have
a good chance of success. Mont Blanc isn't an ideal first
Alpine 4000m peak, but on the other hand it is not technically
difficult. You require excellent fitness and stamina,
as well as great balance combined with the ability to
move quickly and efficiently over broken mountain terrain.
An ability to learn quickly is useful, as you will be
taught a lot during the week. If you're unsure about what
to expect, the Chamonix town hall and safety commission
have produced a very blunt leaflet about climbing Mont
Blanc, both unguided and guided, and what to expect; link.
can't book the weather, but we do guarantee to do our
best to maximise your summit chances by tailoring the
course to you, the individual. If you cannot summit (through
your skill or technical level or the weather or objective
dangers such as rockfall), we offer a
2nd attempt package.
Please note that we cannot issue a credit voucher for
the value of any 'unused' elements of your course, as
guiding is not transferable as it is provided anyway and
the huts are pre-paid to secure a reservation.
ascent of Mont Blanc should not be underestimated,
and you should arrive for this course in good physical
condition as the climb will probably be the greatest
physical exertion of your life. Please don't ignore
this issue... We highly recommend that you read
our training page (click
If you are worried about acclimatisation,
we recommend that you book on an Acclimatisation
before your course. to help you get acclimatised
earlier, leaving you with more summiting weather
windows for Mont Blanc.
full course equipment list,
with examples of kit, click
choose our trips?
our Mont Blanc blog, by clicking on the Word-press
logo to the right.
offer a range of courses to suit you, with 5, 7,
10 or 12 days of actual guiding for your ascent.
There isn't one plan that suits all.
Four days with extra guides (1:2) to make your ascent.
No operators offer as many days 1:2 guiding. Most
only offer 2 or 3 days 1:2 at best.
Four days of 1:2 guiding, enable you to climb other
summits as well as Mont Blanc, rather than spending
the first days drifting around glaciers, with six
on one rope!
We usually start from the high huts on Mont Blanc
(Gouter hut or the Cosmiques), to give you the shortest
flexibility to allow you to take full advantage
of the weather windows on any day, to maximise your
prices are fixed in £ Sterling, to protect
you from euro fluctuations, so you can budget accurately.
is a choice of routes to opt for, depending on the
weather, conditions, and your experience.
you don't choose us?
of the downfalls of not booking with Icicle
for your Mont Blanc attempt are.....
days with the potential for summit weather windows
= less chance of success.
Total itinerary flexibility to make your summit
attempt at the first weather window when ready.
Some operators make you check out of your valley
accommodation when you are in huts!
a virtual ascent?
Streetview and Mammut 360 provide images of virtual ascents,
so you can 'climb', from your sofa ;-) Click on the images
below to link...
key part of choosing a company is being able to come and
talk about your plans with an experienced course advisor
face to face. In an increasingly virtual world, we know
our clients value speaking to real people, getting open
and honest advice. The vast majority of our clients are
British, and our office and outdoor store is based in
Windermere in the English Lake District. Arrange a meeting,
and come in for a coffee to discuss your course in person
with a trip
advisor. Many people opt for this service,
and it is an integral part of what we offer, to ensure
that you are prepared as possible.
well as talking though your course, most clients have
queries about the kit they will require, to avoid expensive
mistakes, and we can show you some examples of that to
consider. Others have training queries, about how to best
prepare for your trip, and we will be able to steer you
in the right direction. No question is too silly, and
we'll have heard them all before! An integral part of
booking is the ability to get good knowledgable advice,
and a highly personal service. Unlike companies that only
exist virtually in cyberspace, we are staffed by real
people, in a real office, who offer real honest advice.
Because we are tangible, we are accountable, and we take
great pride in that and the service that we offer you.
Get in touch to come in for a chat soon.
Recent feedback from Mont Blanc...
To read more specific feedback
here, and for all feedback click
wanted to say a massive thanks (and to the other guys in the
office and the guides) on behalf of me and A, for your support
and advice during the week, and for rearranging the schedule
and sorting the extra night in Gouter at such short notice to
allow us to summit safely. I know that must have been a challenge
and just wanted to say it was much appreciated. We had a fantastic
time - a really tough challenge, but you guys made it so much
better and took a lot of the worry and stress away. Hope to
see you again on another trip somewhere"
Vinny H, 2017
photos! And what a fantastic trip! Memories that will last forever!
A huge thank you to the best team and to Icicle and all our
guides! Spot on!"
Jo W, 2017