Mont Blanc Ascent with Gran Paradiso
France, Climbing, 8 days - from £1,795 (land only) - from €2,095 (land only) - from $2,965 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group's chalet accommodation in Argentiere in the Chamonix Valley. KE group packages services begin with dinner and overnight at the chalet.
Day 2: Today we will drive through the Mont Blanc Tunnel. A 2 - 3 hour walk through forests and over moorland takes us to the Chabod Refuge (2750) situated at the foot of the north-west face of the Gran Paradiso. After checking in at the hut we go out to the glacier with our guide for some skills training.
Day 3: An early start for the classic easy snow climb and rocky scramble to the summit of the Gran Paradiso (4061m). We descend to the Vittorio Emanuele hut (2735m) where we spend the night.
Day 4: Recovery day. Following a short session of technical training at the hut we descend to the vehicles and return through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Chamonix, where we check into our comfortable chalet.
Day 5: A cable car and then a train takes us up to the Nid d'Aigle (2372m). From here, we follow a rocky trail for approximately 2 hours to the Tete Rousse Hut (3167m) or for a further 2 hours to reach the Gouter Refuge (3817m). Overnight in the hut.
Day 6: It will take approximately 6 - 7 hours of climbing to reach the summit of Mont Blanc from the Tete Rousse Hut. After an initial section on a winding path over the rock buttress below the Gouter Refuge, the rest of the ascent is on reasonable angled snow slopes. The final summit ridge is steeper and more exposed. We return by the same route and spend a second night at the hut.
Day 7: This is a contingency day in case of bad weather. If the weather on the previous day was not good enough for a summit attempt, the group will begin their summit attempt today. After the climb, we descend all the way to Chamonix. If the contingency day is not needed we have a relaxed descent to Chamonix with time to enjoy the town before a celebratory evening at the group's chalet.
Day 8: KE group packages services end with breakfast at the hotel.
This holiday involves going to high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 3500 metres. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude.