Vallee Blanche Traverse. From the top of the Aiguille du Midi (accessed from Chamonix by the cable car) descend the steep and exposed snow arête and out on the plateau of the glacier. Group is roped up and wearing crampons. Continue across the glacier among large crevasses and climb up to point Helbronner. Return using the cable car to the Aiguille du Midi. Usually takes about 4-5 hours. Mont Blanc du Tacul, NW Face (4248 m) – a snow and glacier climb with some rock at the end. Mostly low angled with some steeper sections. The ascent from the Aiguille du Midi or from the Refuge des Cosmiques takes about 3-4 hours. The descent takes 2 hours.
Aiguille d'Entrèves Traverse (3604 m) – another interesting but easy climb to the summit of this granite spire, most on which is on rock. Towards the summit there is a narrow and exposed ridge. The descent is down the east ridge. The starting point is either the Aiguille du Midi or the Rifugio Torino. Arête des Cosmiques – one of the most popular routes in the Mont Blanc Massif. A relatively easy but exposed climb on both rock and ice usually requiring crampons. The starting point is once again the Aiguille du Midi or Refuge des Cosmiques. The ascent takes 4-5 hours.
Le Balcon de la Mer de Glace – starting in Chamonix take the train to Montenvers. Descend using the fixed ladders on to "la mer de glace" - the largest glacier in the Mont Blanc Massif. Cross the mer de glace and ascend using ladders on to the path (le Balcon) round to the Refuge du Coucercle. Duration about 5-6 hours.
Les Dômes de Miage Traverse – a 2-day outing of moderate alpine mountaineering. The traverse crosses 3 summits and the route is on both rock and ice, much of which is along an exposed but well tracked path on the ridge of the arête. The start is from Les Contamines on the west side of Mont Blanc, from where it is an easy 5 hour climb to the Refuge des Conscrits. Day 2 starts with the traverse of the Tré la Tête glacier and the ascent to reach the Col des Dômes. Continue along the vertiginous edge to the Central Dôme (3633 m) and the Occidental Dôme, the highest point of the route. Descend back via the south-east side to Les Contamines. Total duration on day 2 is 10 hours.
- Your guides: All our climbing trips are led by fully qualified IFGMA mountain guides who live all year in the Chamonix Valley and know the area intimately. The groups are kept small so you benefit from their knowledge and expertise and get inspired by their enthusiasm.
- Accommodation and meals: Two nights will be spent in one of the many hotels in Chamonix or Argentiere. Our preferred hotels are the Hotel L'Arve and the Hotel Faucigny. One night is spent in one of the many high mountain huts, of which the Refuge des Cosmiques is probably the best option as it is easily accessible from the Aiguille du Midi and can be used as a base for many of the routes highlighted above. In the huts evening meals are included and are generally nourishing and plentiful. Vegetarians can be catered for although there is usually only 1 menu option.
- Climate: The Alps generally has a very pleasant climate throughout the spring, summer and autumn with warm days and cool nights, with daytime temperatures in the valley around 24 - 28°C. At high altitude the temperature often goes down below -10 and can feel even colder with wind chill.
- Note: The itinerary is flexible depending on weather and ground conditions and preferences/ambitions of the group.
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