Summit:Mont Blanc 4810m is the highest summit in
Western Europe. To get to the 'roof of Europe',
we normally ascend via the classic Gouter route,
or by the Gonella route from the Italian Val Veny (early season). The week starts with a 2 day ascent of Gran Paradiso 4061m to acclimatise.
Our primary focus is on getting you to the summit, no
faffing, no discussion, no fuss. If you train hard, are
focused, and the weather plays ball, we'll get you up
there. If you want us to wave a magic wand, and not put
in the training before, this really isn't the mountain
Skills: You need excellent
fitness, stamina and determination. Following the glacial evolution during the heatwaves of 2022, sections (e.g. Bosses Arete) are more technical, so a minimum of 2 days crampon experience is now a pre-requisite, and ideally a 4000m Alpine peak / altitude experience. Great balance, combined with the
ability to move quickly and efficiently over
broken mountain terrain, is essential. You
should be confident on steep ridges. You are taught any 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. Ideally you should be half
marathon fit, and used to long hill days. It is an unforgettable
experience to reach the summit, and you will test the
skills you have learnt along the way.
Preparation: To help prepare for an attempt on Mont Blanc, we recommend you book on at least one or more of these training and skills courses, to build up your fitness and skills to an ascent, to give you the very best chance. Experience
helps increase flexibility in terms of weather windows,
routes, speed, and safety. Higher levels of experience
will help raise summiting chances. Train hard, climb easy!
Lake District weekend mountain training trips to develop footwork and hill fitness. 1:6 ratio; link
Climb the highest peak in the Morrocan Atlas, and develop crampon skills on the climb; link
Weekend of roped scrambles & multi pitch rock climbing, on a 1:2 instructor ratio ; link
Fort William based winter skills course. 2 days guiding 1:4 to build your crampon skills; link
two decades of ascents, greatt local contacts, detailed
conditions and local safety awareness, to keep you safe
and maximise summit chances.
local connections we are very flexible with our itinerary
to enable you to attempt Mont Blanc on almost any day
of your course, once you're ready.
adhere to the new permit system on Mont Blanc, where proof
of hut bookings is checked on the mountain. All our hut
spaces are guaranteed.
the ascent of Gran Paradiso (1:3 on summit day), you
spend the rest of the week at a 1:2 guiding ratio, to adapt as required.
The guiding ratio (1:2 on Mont Blanc) on all climbs, is always the industry standard to maximise your safety and minimise risks.
Ages: We insist on a minimum age of 18 if unaccompanied, or 16 if they are climbing with their parent throughout the week. Ages are as per the course start date.
Seasons: We offer ascents in core season, and also in the low season...
Core season -
dates 16 June - 7 Sept 2024
In this period, ascents
are operated when all cable cars / trains are due to be operating,
to limit approach walks. The dates for the
Tramway Mont Blanc are mid June - mid September
This limits the core season to a 12 week period, but it maximises
your summit chances, and is easier physically.
Low season -
dates 8-14 September 2024
During low season, it is quieter in the mountains due to less infrastructure being open, but there typically is cooler conditions with more snow on the route. Courses are operated remotely, with no resort team other than the guides. Icicle hire kit isn't available, but you can rent locally.
itinerary For the full itinerary
of this course, click
to view the trip in greater detail on the main website.
to Chamonix, course briefing
Briefing then drive to Val Savaranches, to climb to mountain hut for the night.
Alpine start to climb Gran Paradiso 4061m. Descent & return to Chamonix for night.
route e.g. Cosmiques Arete / Lachenal / Toule / Marbrees, to acclimatise more.
to high mountain hut (Gouter / Tete Rousse / Gonella on Mont Blanc.
Mont Blanc 4810m, and descend to Chamonix for last
check out and depart
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.
Course Dates Mont Blanc
[5+] 16 - 22 Jun 2024
[5+] 23 - 29 Jun 2024
[5+] 30 Jun - 6 Jul 2024
[5+] 7 - 13 Jul 2024
[5+] 14 - 20 Jul 2024
[ 4 ] 21 - 27 Jul 2024
[5+] 28 Jul - 3 Aug 2024
[5+] 4 - 10 Aug 2024
[5+] 11 - 17 Aug 2024
[5+] 18 - 24 Aug 2024
[ 4 ] 25 - 31 Aug 2024
[5+] 1 - 7 Sep 2024
[5+] 8 - 14 Sep 2024
The numbers in brackets next to each course date
indicate the remaining spaces. Please contact us
of you require more spaces, as often we can release
extra places, subject to availability.
The Hard Facts
Many of those who are thinking of booking a Mont Blanc trip, find our 'The Hard Facts' booklet a useful and honest reality check. We encourage all climbers to give it a read; click
to the hut?
Heli-drops aren't allowed in France, but if you wish
to avoid ascending the Gouter couloir, or to save energy,
you can now arrange to fly in and out of the Gonella
hut on the Italian route. This costs 300€ per flight
(not included), and it can carry up to 5 people.
Buy key equipment for this trip
FREE post for
UK orders over £30
neck gaiter for
orders over £50
above to view
basket & pay.
Air Tech Evo axe
Epic 35l rucksack
Training for Mont Blanc
A no holes barred podcast, where we explain
exactly what an ascent entails physically
and technically too, with examples of good
UK hill training...
£50 early bird voucher Book your 2024 trip before 01 Dec 2023, and receive a £50 voucher for equipment purchases from the Icicle Windermere shop. Voucher expires 01 Jun 2024.
5 full days mountain guiding
7 days in total, Sunday-Saturday
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 self-catered accommodation
in Chamonix (inc. linen, bedding & towels) for the
whole week, so you don't move out when in huts, 5) Two
nights half board in mountain huts / base camp for you and guide (1 on Gran Paradiso & 1 on Mont Blanc), 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 and transfer to and from Gran Paradiso, 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 for last 3 days (c.23.5€ return for Mont Blanc tramway),
4) Optional second night (not normally required)
in Mont Blanc hut 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) Sunday pre-dinner
drinks & Friday celebratory meal & drinks, 7)
Activities insurance, & excess baggage charges.