Gran Paradiso Weekend Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Short Breaks
Destinations:
Italy, France
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
TVW
Activity Rating - Tough
Tough

You have a good level of fitness and are looking for a physically challenging holiday.  Previous experience is essential for activity based trips.

5 Days Flight Inclusive
5 Days Land only
Min age: 18

Trip Overview

An exciting and challenging short break to complete the ascent of Gran Paradiso, the only 4000m peak entirely in Italy. Discover the stunning Gran Paradiso National Park, sleep in mountain refuges and complete the ascent all in a long weekend.

At a Glance

  • 2 nights hotel, 2 nights mountain refuges
  • 3 days high level trekking 
  • Use of crampons and ice-axe (previous experience not essential)
  • Altitude maximum 4061m, average 3000m
  • Group normally 2 to 4, plus UIAGM mountain guide/s as appropriate.

Trip Highlights

  • Iconic 4000m Alpine peak
  • Short weekend adventure
  • Start and end in beautiful Chamonix

Is This Trip for You?

Activity Level 7 - Tough
Much of the weekend 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.

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. Previous experience with ice-axe and crampons is a plus, however it is not essential as long as you are physically fit for the challenge.

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.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Group

The group will generally be between 2 and 5 people. The minimum age of clients on this trip is 18 years.

Adult min age:
18
Min group size:
2
Max group size:
4

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Chamonix
End City:
Chamonix

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Chamonix Valley

    Start at your hotel in the Chamonix valley. The dinner is free tonight and your guide will meet you the next morning.

    Meals included:
    Dinner
  • Day 2

    Meet with the guide; check all equipment before transferring to the Valsavarenche Valley in Italy. Walk up to the Chabod refuge (2750m)

    Your guide will give a briefing of the weekend, after which we will check all the equipment necessary and take a transfer to Valsavarenche in Italy. From Pravieux, a good walking path will lead us to the Chabod refuge (2750m) for the night. There will be time for some ice-axe and crampons practice.

    Approx. 4hrs walking , Ascent/descent: +916m

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 4 km / 2 miles
  • Day 3

    Early morning start for the Gran Paradiso Ascent (4061m)

    Early morning start for the Gran Paradiso ascent (4061m). We follow the traditional route up and back; this is one of the most beautiful balcony walks in the Alps with views of Monte Viso, Monte Rosa, the Mont Blanc, and many other summits. Crossing snow fields, we slowly make our way to the final exposed ridge to reach the summit. From here we can enjoy the most incredible views.

    Approx. 10 to 12hrs walking, Ascent: 1330m, Descent: 1330m

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 11 km / 6 miles
  • Day 4

    Climb to the summit of Tresenta (3609m) before descending to the Victor Emmauel II refuge and down to the valley.

    Today we begin by climbing to the summit of Tresenta (3609m) before descending to the Victor Emmauel II refuge and down to the valley from where we transfer back to Chamonix for the night.

    Approx 6 to 7hrs walking, Ascent: 877m, Descent: 1650m

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 4 km / 2 miles
  • Day 5

    End Chamonix Valley.

    End Chamonix.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels & mountain huts

2 nights hotel in the Chamonix Valley and 2 nights mountain huts. Single accommodation may be available for the 2 hotel nights.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Single supplement from £95.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 3 picnic lunches and 4 dinners.

Typical meals: Breakfast: coffee, tea, hot chocolate, bread, jam, and cereals. Lunch: sandwiches of cold meats, cheese, or sometimes tinned fish. Cakes, chocolate and energy bars. Evening meal: first course of soup or salad or charcuterie, a main course with one or two vegetables, rice or pasta, and a dessert. Beer, wine, coffee or tea, bottled water and other drinks are not included. Vegetarians: In France and Italy, hotels and restaurants are not very well geared up to provide separate vegetarian menus, especially smaller establishments in the mountains. Vegetarians will usually find that there is little difficulty as long as they are prepared to be reasonably flexible. Please note mountain hut meals will be more basic that the chalet meals listed above.

Transportation

Airport transfers and transfers to the start of walks are done by private minibus.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

The main climbing season is from June to September. Our trips run during this time, when finding a window of suitable weather is most likely. High summits in the Alps always attract variable weather conditions and although we have built a degree of flexibility into this itinerary there may be disruptions. The possibility of the climb being abandoned or the route changed in case of unsuitable conditions must be accepted. In the overall interests of safety the guides' decision will be final. Expect warm temperatures (15 to 25ºC) in the valleys, cool (5 to 15ºC) on the passes (though it will feel colder if wet and windy) and very cold (-10/-15ºC) on the summit. Strong winds are very likely on the summit; in this case it can feel even colder. It can and does rain and especially on the high passes it can be surprisingly cold at times.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 5 days

The group flight from London is an overnight flight departing the day before Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of Swiss International Airlines (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only: 5 days starting and ending in Chamonix

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Chamonix in the morning of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline's website for the latest information prior to your departure. The usual, standard check-in baggage weight allowance is 20kg.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it. 

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

For those arriving at different times to the group flight it is very easy to book a bus transfer with a local company and you should do this at least a week before your departure date. A shared transfer (with others who have booked with them also) can be as little as €30 one way if booked well in advance. Try the following website: www.mountaindropoffs.com

Take The Train

Both Geneva Airport and Chamonix are easy to reach by train. If you book a train to coincide with the group flight timings there is a station inside Geneva airport itself. You are then welcome to join our free group transfer to Les Houches (by prior arrangement
only).

Alternatively it is possible to get a train direct to Les Houches and then take a short 5 minute walk up the hill to the Hotel Les Campanules.

Approximate return price per person from London: £229. Prices are subject to change, please ask one of our sales team for further details. We recommend that you allow at least 1 hour for travel across Paris by Metro. It is only possible to reserve train seats 3 months before your departure date and our sales team will be happy to book this for you.

 

Location start:
Chamonix
Location end:
Chamonix

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Mountaineering boots (see below)*
Windproof/ waterproof (preferably breathable with a hood) jacket and overtrousers
Full warm clothing (down jacket can be useful in the refuges)
Climbing harness and 1 lockable karabiner*
Climber's helmet*
Head torch
Sunglasses suitable for glacier use and ski goggles useful in winds
Gaiters (Short ones are suitable)
Lightweight gloves (Wind Stopper fleece)
Ski -type leather/fabric gloves and for Mont Blanc warm mittens
40 litre rucsac - no bigger than 60 litres
Ice axe and crampons*
Mountain refuges supply blankets, however a sleeping sheet is recommended. A sleeping bag is not required
Trekking poles are useful
A small, personal first aid kit, including blister kit / rehydration system and water bottle
Ropes and safety equipment are provided by the guides

Special note - mountaineering boots.

Gran Paradiso can be extremely cold and insulated boots are essential. If you do not own adequate boots, this is not a problem as suitable boots can be hired in Chamonix.
If you are bringing your own boots, or buying boots especially, you should ideally bring insulated leather boots with a fully siffened 'B3' sole such as the La Sportiva Nepal Extreme or Evo, Asolo Alpinist or Scarpa Jorasses Pro GTX. With a good gaiter these boots should keep your feet warm enough for an ascent of Mont Blanc and are the preferred choice by most Mountain Guides. Traditional plastic mountaineering boots are also suitable, but can be cumbersome and less comfortable. Your boots should be well worn-in prior to coming on this holiday, as otherwise blisters are possible and could seriously hamper your trip.
However, no matter how much advice we provide, all of us have our own preferences and consequently you should note that mountaineering boots and clothing technology have been very innovative and is constantly improving. It is important to keep abreast of the developments and wear what works for you. Above all your clothing and boots should be comfortable, reasonably light in weight and keep you warm and relatively perspiration free at all the altitudes you are likely to encounter on this holiday. Due to the varying altitudes and temperatures encountered in alpine mountaineering most people prefer to utilise a layered clothing system.
* indicates item of technical equipment that is available for hire locally from our local partners.
The prices for a 3 day rental period are as follows:
Mountaineering boots 34€
Crampons 31€
Harness 20€
Helmet 16 €
Ice axe 22€
It is possible to rent the "pack montagne" which includes all equipment for 90€

Practical Information

Passport

Italy

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

France

Most nationalities, including British, require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Certain European nationalities may be able to travel within Europe on their national identity card. Check carefully with the relevant authorities if you intend to do this.

Visa

Italy

France

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Vaccination

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

France

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

If you are a UK citizen and travelling in Europe you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your Post Office. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance.

Local Time

Italy's Timezone:
Europe/Rome CEST (GMT +02:00)
France's Timezone:
Europe/Paris CEST (GMT +02:00)

Electricity

Italy's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins.

France's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

Money

Italy's Currency

The national currency of Italy is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 1.2 to the UK£ and 0.9 to the US$.

Exchange rates are correct at the time of publication.

 

France's Currency

The national currency of France is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (October 2017) of approximately 1.1 to the GBP,  0.84 to the USD, 0.67 to the CAD, 0.66 to the AUD and 0.59 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

We recommend you bring your spending money in cash, but credit or debit cards may be useful for shopping/extra excursions. Cash points are available in Geneva and Chamonix.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Allow €40-60 for extra drinks (including bottled water) in the huts and for drinks with the evening meals. Some may like to buy themselves a hot lunch from a refuge on return from a walk/climb.

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

Important Notes

Insurance - are you adequately covered? It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services). If taking an alternative policy you must be sure that you are covered for any activities that are part of this trip or optional activities that you intend to take part in. You must have adequate travel insurance, and as you are joining a trip which goes to altitude you must check that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip. If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend Exodus travel insurance, which is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If you are a UK citizen and travelling in Europe you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your Post Office. This gives free medical care in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.