Day 1: Meet up with your guide at the hotel. Check equipment and finalize preparations.
Day 2: The tour commences after breakfast. From the town the path leads up to Le Tour (1453m) and then steepens before contouring round towards the glacier and finally up the moraine to the Albert Premier hut (2702m). The path is exposed in places and we may have some snow patches to cross. In the afternoon we’ll do some mountain skills instruction; use of crampons, climbing on snow. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 3: An early start this morning to cross Le Tour glacier and head over the border into Switzerland. More mountain skills instruction for safe glacier travel. We will rope up as we head up for the Col du Tour Superior (3288m). The views are spectacular, stretching all the way to the Matterhorn. Then it’s off with the rope as we leave the snow and continue with a pleasant stroll down to the picturesque village of Champex – Lac (1466m). Includes: (B), (D).
Day 4: Today is a long but easy lower level walk around to the historic village of Bourg St Pierre where we stay. Dinner and overnight in the Auberge du Petit Velan. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 5: No need for an early start today and an opportunity to look around the village and re-supply our lunch food. From Bourg St Pierre good paths lead up to the Cabane du Valsorey (3030m) spectacularly positioned below the Massif of the Grand Combin. Dinner and overnight in the hut. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 6: Breakfast in the hut. This is likely to be the most strenuous day of the journey when we traverse the Plateau du Couloir (3664m), the crux section of the Classic Haute Route. It’s a long day – up to 9 hours – and extra mountain guides may join the group for increased safety. The climb is on snow, screen or even ice and involves an exposed traverse to gain the Plateau. The descent is via the Col du Sonadon (3503m) and the Durand Glacier. The last 30 minutes is up hill to the Cabane du Chanrion (2462m). Dinner and overnight in the hut. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 7: Breakfast in the hut. It is downhill to reach the Otemma glacier, one of the largest in the Alps. The path leads us to the Col L’Eveque where we will need ropes again as we gain height up to 3400m. We then descend into Italy to the Col Collon hut. Dinner and overnight in the hut. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 8: Breakfast in the hut. An early start for another big day. Three cols to cross; Col Collon, Mont Brule and Col du Valpelline. First it’s down the Stokji glacier, avoiding the crevasses, and a little scrambling to a long moraine above the junction of the Zmutt and Schonbeil glaciers. Up the Schonbeil glacier and finally to the Schonbeilhutte (2694m). Dinner and overnight in the hut. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 9: Breakfast in the hut. Today is an easy one, with only 3 hours to the hotel in Zermatt (1500m) and wonderful views of the Matterhorn on the way. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure in Zermatt. Dinner not included. Overnight in a hotel. Includes: (B).
Day 10: For those who have not booked the Mont Blanc extension, the tour finishes in Zermatt after breakfast. The Ascent of Mont Blanc (Optional) Transfer back to Chamonix after breakfast. Day at leisure in Chamonix. Overnight in hotel. Includes: (B).
Day 11: Meet up with extra Mountain Guides and take the cable car to the Aiguille du Midi (3800m). From here it is a relatively easy walk down and across to the Refuge des Cosmiques (3613m). Dinner and overnight in the hut. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 12: Breakfast in the hut. If the weather conditions are good, it is a very early start from the Refuge des Cosmiques to reach the summit of Mont Blanc (4804m) by 0900 hours. We will be on snow for the ascent and so will be roped up. There are several ways of descending back to Chamonix. Celebratory dinner in the evening. Overnight in hotel. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 13: Depart after breakfast. Includes: (B).
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