Day 1: The Montenvers train will bring you up to an altitude of 6,263 feet. A short footpath, and a few fixed ladders will bring you down to the glacier.You will then adjust your crampons, and easily cross the glacier towards its right bank where the ice climbing school will be held. You will learn how to step up, step down, and cross a slope with crampons, using your ice axe either like a stick or like a anchor. Afterwards, you will rope on, and discover the technics used by a rope party to ascend a slope, cross the crevasses, and use ice pegs for her safety.
By 12 o'clock, you will catch a train to go back down to Chamonix. After lunch (snacks) in a forest near Chamonix, you will be driven in the guide car to Le Tour, the highest village of the valley. You will be lifted by a cable car to the pass of Balme, height 7,152 feet. From there, a pleasant path crosses the mountain pastures, providing a fantastic wiew on the " seracs " of the " glacier du Tour ". Following the ridge of a moraine, the footpath will finally reach "Albert 1er" hut, height 8,865 feet. Night in the hut.
Duration of walking: 4 hours, including the ice climbing school. Difference of level : + 1,713 feet ( add + 400 feet up, and - 400 feet down for the ice climbing school ).
Day 2: At dawn, a short footpath will quickly bring you up to the glacier. You will rope on, adjust your crampons, and, slowly walking up, will reach after three hours the snowy summit of " Tête Blanche ", height 11,250 feet, on the Swiss border. There, you will not find any customs officer, but a magnificent wiew on the glacier of Trient, the " Aiguilles Dorées ", and all the summits of the Swiss Valais, including Matterhorn. After a snack and a few photographies, we will go down, back to Albert 1er hut, which offers a sunny terrace and excellent beers! After pic-nic, we will follow the footpath back to the pass of Balme, and from there go down to Le Tour using the cable car. Short transfer to Chamonix. Separation in Chamonix.
- Meeting Place: Chamonix, by 07.30 a.m. on Saturday (in June and September, meeting time 8.00 a.m.), at the Montenvers train station.
- End of the course: Chamonix, mid-afternoon, on Sunday.
- Duration of walking: 3 hours of ascent, 3 hours coming down.
- Difference of level : 2,385 feet up, 4,098 feet down.
- Your mountain guide will do everything possible to make a success of this week-end. But, in high altitude, exceptional risks may exist : storms, avalanches, your guide, responsible for your life, may change the program of this training course for your safety.
- Training: You are a complete beginner in mountaineering (but you are used to hike through hills and low-altitude mountains) or you have a little experience in this sport. You practice twice a week either walking, running, biking, or swimming. You are used to hike through hills and low-altitude mountains.
- The average pace is 1,000 vertical feet of rise per hour.
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