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7 Days$3090USD

  • 7 days mountaineering
  • 3 nights hotel
  • 3 nights mountain hut
  • 3 Dinners
  • 5 Lunches
  • 6 Breakfasts
Entry level Mountaineering or Exploratory Treks
Technical Grading: Basic

Trip highlights

  • Learn basic mountaineering techniques
  • Exhilarating walking in the French Alps
  • Opportunity to climb to the summit of Gran Paradiso (4061m), the highest peak in Italy
  • Time to experience Chamonix, the world capital of mountaineering

This alpine introduction course is designed for newcomers to mountaineering and provides a solid basic foundation in high mountain skills, for snow, ice and rock, including crevasse rescue and navigation. We base the week in the Mont Blanc range that provides a stunning location and challenging climbs whilst undertaking the course. At the end of the training trip we shall attempt an ascent on the spectacular Gran Paradiso (4061m), the highest peak in Italy, which is a relatively straightforward climb on 35/40 degree snow and will be a good test of our recently acquired skills. This is a perfect introduction to alpine climbing and would be a great way to prepare for other expeditions in the Himalaya, South America or the Alps.

Trip Code: AIC

Please make your way to the group hotel which will be advised in your final documentation (any airport transfer service will take you direct to the hotel reception). A group briefing will be held at 6pm at the hotel reception, it is essential that you attend and bring your equipment with you; you will then proceed to the gear hire shop, Snell Sports, with your guide. Please ensure that your travel arrangements will have you in Chamonix at this time. Overnight at the group hotel (or similar). Please note: Hotel details are subject to change, and your final documents will confirm the name of the group hotel.

Meals:  Nil

From the top of the Charamillon cable car, we will commence with ice-climbing basics on Le Tour Glacier: ie. using crampons, ice axe and rope management. This glacier instruction will cover the essential basics of ice axe and crampon techniques. At the end of the afternoon, we will climb to the Albert 1er hut (2702m). Dinner and overnight in Albert 1er mountain hut. Schedule: 1.5 – 2.0hrs; Approx ascent: +570m.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will glacier hike through the cols superieur du Tour, and ascend the Aiguille du Tour (3529 m). We will learn ropework for glacier travel; and on the Aiguille du Tour, you will experience for the first time an easy rock climb (grade II and III). After your first summit, we will traverse the Trient glacier plateau to reach the Trient Hut. In the afternoon we will work on more advanced rope skills such as crevasse rescue, snow anchor etc. Dinner and overnight mountain hut. Schedule: 5 - 6 hrs; Approx ascent/descent: +820m / –370m.

Meals:  B,L,D

Crossing the col Blanc (3405m) by a steep snow slope, we will ascend the Petite Fourche (3550m) with a steep snow slope and easy rock climbing. That will be the ideal terrain to walk down the Tour glacier, and reach the Albert 1er hut where we will be able to admire the Argentière north face and the Saleina glacier basin surrounded by many peaks. We will then take the cablecar down to the village of Le Tour. Transfer to hotel in Chamonix. Schedule: 5 - 7 hrs; Approx ascent/descent: +550 m / –1400m

Meals:  B,L

Today we will head across the border into Italy through the stunning Valsavernce Valley in the Val d'Aoste. From the roadhead we trek through larch forest to the Chabod Hut beside the Laveciau Glacier. We prepare for tomorrow's climb and get an early night. Dinner and overnight mountain hut. Schedule: 3 hrs; Approx ascent: +900m

Meals:  B,L,D

An early start brings us to the steep moraine which leads us to the glacier’s flank. We put on our harness and crampons, rope up and start climbing the Laveciau glacier. As we reach the shoulder at 3750m, the sunrise in the east sets aglow the full sweep of the southern Alps. There is still 300m to go but now we can see our goal: the summit and its white Madonna. A last steep section, then we start the final rocky ridge. We leave our crampons here and finish the ascent on the easy rocks that support the virgin statue at the summit. Every famous summit in the western Alps is laid out before us from Monte Rosa to the Viso. We soak up the majestic view then concentrate on the descent to the hut before returning back to Chamonix by taxi. Schedule: 9-10 hrs; Approx ascent/descent: +1300m / -2200m

Meals:  B,L

The trip concludes after breakfast in the hotel. PLEASE NOTE: The above route and estimated times must be seen as a guide only. This itinerary may change at any time due to weather, snow conditions, group fitness or other reasons. Your guide will always make a final decision after assessing the situation and liaising with the group members.

Meals:  B


  • 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 3 dinners
  • 3 nights accommodation in a 3 star Chamonix hotel on a twin-share basis (sometimes we would use triple or quad share to avoid single rooms)
  • 3 nights accommodation in mountain huts
  • Internal transport
  • Certified UIAGM high altitude mountain guide (ratio of 1 guide to 5 climbers throughout)
  • All common climbing gear (ropes etc)
  • Ski lifts
  • Pre-departure guide to assist you with preparing for the climb

  • Any flights
  • Rental of climbing gear or clothes (to be paid directly in Chamonix)
  • Bottled water
  • Aerated or alcoholic beverages
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Airport and departure taxes
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc.

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Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Alpine Introduction Course and Gran Paradiso Climb trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.

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