3 days training/high-level trekking, 3 days summit attempt. Altitude maximum 4810m, average 2900m.
3 nights hotel, 4 nights mountain huts.
All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners included.
On the first evening there will be an introductory, informal meeting/briefing. We have planned this itinerary to include a three-day climbing / trekking section with four nights staying high in mountain huts.
Much of this route is spent on glaciers and there is plenty of time for training in snow and ice climbing (ice-axe and crampon skills, ropework etc.). We spend much of the time at around 3,000m which is essential for helping acclimatisation.
The climax of the week is the summit attempt which usually takes three days.
The training is undertaken by a professional High Mountain Guide, with a ratio of one guide to six clients. Additional guides will join us on days 6 & 7 for the attempt on Mont Blanc; here the ratio will be 1:2. In good weather the ascent is not particularly technical but it is extremely arduous.
To have a reasonable chance of success a high degree of fitness and stamina and some previous experience of altitude is highly recommended.
Please note that you cannot achieve the required level of fitness during the week - you must arrive fit.
Please note that although the itinerary presented here is the one we intend to follow there is a high chance that variations may be necessary. Many factors can affect climbing in high mountains. Individual member's abilities vary, as does their ability to assimilate the skills needed.
Adverse weather during the week may curtail training or even make the climb impossible, while previous weather conditions may have left the mountain in a difficult or dangerous condition. Any such factor may mean we have to re-arrange or curtail the programme. 3 days trekking and training at altitude, 3-day summit attempt; maximum altitude 4,810m., average 3,050m.
Grade E (Very tough).
What are the chances of reaching the summit? Obviously you need to be confident of your fitness level in order to attempt this trip, but the main reason for failure is usually weather conditions. Thankfully the Alps enjoy long periods of stable weather in the summer, with regular thunderstorms in the afternoons that our guides are careful to avoid. However, due to its high altitude, any poor weather or strong winds on Mont Blanc can make a summit attempt too dangerous. In most cases this can be forecasted and we will attempt to offer an alternative climb in the region (often Gran Paradiso 4061m in neighbouring Italy). As a guide we would expect about 30% of our trips each summer to be affected by bad weather, making reaching the summit Mont Blanc impossible.
Even with a client to guide ratio of 2:1 a situation can develop where both clients will have to turn back if the guides consider that one of the clients should not continue.
Walking and ascent conditions During the training and the climb you will carry your own personal equipment, water and packed lunches, plus communal equipment (first aid kit, safety items etc.) will be distributed among the group members. On the training days and ascent, most of the time you will be walking on moraine, glaciers and snowfields. None of the ascents are extremely steep (approximate average would be around a maximum of 30 - 35°) but there is some exposure and you will encounter short steeper sections involving some rock scrambling, crevasses, bergschrunds and areas of snow instability and possible rock fall.
Normal group size and age
Normally 4 to 6, plus UIAGM mountain guide/s as appropriate. Minimum age 18.
The vast majority of Exodus adventures are adult group holidays. Groups are always small in size. We strongly believe that this adherence to small groups means a better experience for all; more time with your guide, less waiting around and a reduced impact on the communities and environments visited.
Each group is generally made up of like-minded travellers - with singles, couples and friends all joining in together. All these trips are suitable for single travellers, but if you prefer to travel with clients booking individually, please see our Solo Departures page.
An E grade tour combines all the elements of our D Grade, tough itineraries, but adds extra difficulties such as tricky river crossings, very high or difficult passes, glaciers or peaks that require basic climbing skills. Often specialist equipment, like ice axes and crampons will be needed and you must have experience of them.
Special Interest: For those who have a passion for archaeology, food, flowers, languages or yoga. Solar eclipse and Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) departures and specialist conservation holidays are also included.
Serious Adventure: These trips are what Exodus is all about. Join us!
Walking & Trekking: Trips are wholly trekking-focused or simply include a significant number of walking days during the itinerary.