Mont Blanc (Custom Course)

As the highest summit in the Alps, Mont Blanc (4810m) is a worthy goal for mountaineers of all levels.

Level 1 Guiding & Coaching

6 days, 7 nights

Ratio: 2:1

Price: £2270

On this course we aim to achieve one of the classic routes on Mt Blanc, first acclimatising on another 4000m peak, practising all the skills required for a safe and enjoyable ascent.

Course highlights

  • Learn the Basic Alpine skills
  • Acclimatise on a 4000m peak
  • Atempt to climb the highest peak in the Alps
  • Professional and experienced ISM Guides
  • Low ratios, more flexibility and higher success

Meeting in Leysin, we  head into the mountains where we teach  basic Alpine skills including safe glacial travel and crevasse rescue. We practise these skills and acclimatise whilst climbing other summits including a 4000m peak before we start our attempt on Mt Blanc.

On Mont Blanc the route we choose varies, but we usually ascend the Gouter Ridge via the Gouter and Tete Rousse huts. We will attempt the most suitable route according to the weather and conditions.

The low ratio all week gives us flexibility to adapt the course to individual needs and to give specific training as appropriate.

Is This Course For Me?

This course covers the essential basic skills needed to safely climb Mont Blanc. Some previous mountaineering experience such as that gained on our Summits and Skills 4000m course is preferable ( i.e. climbing at altitude, walking on a glacier, crevasse rescue) as this will help you enjoy and feel more prepared for the acsent. However, previous mountaineering experience isn't essential as long as you have a very good level of stamina and general aerobic fitness. The route to the summit is long and arduous. Please do not underestimate how hard the Mont Blanc ascent can be. You will be carrying a reasonably heavy rucksack, wearing moutaineering boots and operating at altitude, which is always physically demanding. No pre-course acclimatisation is necessary but please prepare well for the week. We reccommend a good amount of time spent walking in mountains/hills wearing boots and a rucksack, and other aerobic activities.  

Course Content

This course meets in Leysin on the Saturday evening and finishes back in Leysin on the final friday night.

If you need to hire mountain boots, please contact Hefti Sports in Leysin directly before you arrive.

ISM will provide free of charge crampons, an ice axe, a helmet and harness if you need them.

The course is run on a low ratio (2:1 all week). 

This is a guided climbing week and the first part of the week will be spent acclimatising in readiness for your ascent of Mt Blanc.

Sample Programme

This is very much a sample program as several different acclimatisation peaks and climbs are possible. We will adapt the program to make use of the best weather for our ascent of Mt Blanc. In this example we climb Mt Blanc via the Goûter Ridge.

Saturday - 7pm meet your ISM Guide at the Grand Chalet in Leysin for a course briefing and equipment check.

Sunday - From Leysin you'll travel to Italy and into the remote Valsavarenche valley. From here a very scenic 3-hour walk on a good track (which includes a 1000m height gain) takes you to the Refugio Chabod. At the hut you will have a training session on the use of the technical climbing equipment (crampons, harness, etc) and look at basic climbing knots and rope work.

Monday - An alpine start using headlamps gains you access to the glacier Laveciau which spills down from the North Face of the Gran Paradiso. The normal way to the summit of the Gran Paradiso first ascends this glacier before linking up the higher Gran Paradiso glacier as you near the summit. A short section of exposed rock scrambling links the glacier to the summit. We descend via the same route back to the Refugio Chabod or alternatively, but dropping down to the Refugio Vittorio Emanuele where we stay the night. This second night spent up high helps with the acclimatisation process.

Tuesday - After breakfast we make our way down to the Valsavarenche valley and drive back to Chamonix. Here you can rest  and the ISM Guides will help you with any final preparations for your Mt Blanc Ascent. If you get down in good time, it may be possible to enjoy some easy rock climbing at the local climbing crag in the afternoon. You will stay the night at the Hotel Des Lacs.

Wednesday - An early breakfast allows us to take an early lift from the Telecabine de Bellvue in Les Houches. This will link to one of the first Trains that will take us up the first section of Mt Blanc. From the final train stop at Station Nid d'Aigle, we will start our hike up to either the Tete Rousse or Gouter Hut.

Thursday - After another very early start from the Tete Rousse hut (1am!) or  the Gouter hut (2am!) we make our way in crampons up the glacier and over the Dôme de Goûter (4304m). From the top of the Dôme we descend slightly and then quickly reach the emergency shelter of the Vallot hut (4362m). Above this, we ascend steeper ground climbing Les Bosses (4547m) and then to the gradually narrowing summit ridge. Normally we reach the summit of Mt Blanc soon after daybreak. We retrace our steps on the descent and hope to be back down in Chamonix that evening. If time doesn't allow us to catch the last train back, then we will spend another night at either the Gouter or the Tete Rousse hut.

Friday - This is a contingency day in case of poor weather earlier in the week, or in case we are still getting down from the huts. However,  if we have made it down to Chamonix the previous evening we will organise a rock climbing session at one of the local crags, normally the friendly and popular Les Gaillands or at crags close to Martrigney on the way back to Leysin. 

Our final night is back at the Grand Chalet in Leysin, with the course finishing saturday morning.

Course Dates

Please call +44 1539 721561 for availability