Information on climbing Mont Blanc

You are booked on our Mont Blanc climb. Please read this additional information before you travel out to Chamonix. 
The course itinerary
Day 1: Arrival day 
18 :00h Welcome meeting and briefing with your guides at the Yeti Lodge. Our guides will have the latest weather forecast and will go through the planned itinerary, explain any changes and check your equipment.  The meeting is an opportunity to ask any questions and get all the information you need for the course.

Day 2: Ice skills practice ““ Rifugio Vittorio Emanuelle II
The day will start with a drive to Italy and a hike through the Gran Paradiso National Park forest and trails up towards the Rifugio Vittorio Emanuelle II hut (2,732m). After lunch you will practice ice a  and crampon skills on the glacier above the hut.  If you haven’t used crampons or ice axe before, this  is where your introduction will take place.  You  stay overnight at the refuge. Sleeping at altitude is one of the best ways to acclimatise.
Day3: Gran Paradiso climb
Today you will climb the Gran Paradiso, at 4061m the highest mountain entirely with in Italy. This is a great way to acclimatise for Mont  Blanc, and summit a 4000m peak at the  same time.  After the climb we will descend to the valley and drive back to Chamonix. 
Day 4: Aiguille du Midi & the Vallee Blanche or Crampon Skills on the Mer de Glace
Today we will do 1 of 2 plans, depending on the group and the weather. We take the lift up to the  Aiguille du Midi (3,842m) to traverse  the Vallée Blanche in order to gain further acclimatisation  and  continue your practice with  ice-axe  and  crampons.  You will walk on a spectacular glacier to reach the Helbronner.  Lift back to the Aiguille du Midi in the panoramic gondola.  Or, in the case of bad weather or needing to rest before the Mont Blanc ascent, we can take the Montenvers railway up to the Mer de Glace.
Day 5: First day of the Mont Blanc ascent
Now that your training is over, you are ready for the ascent of Mont Blanc. You will walk up either to theTête Rousse (3,167m) or the Cosmiques hut (3,613m). You will be at the hut be early afternoon, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the dramatic location.
Day 6: Summit day and back to a hut
The Big Day! Weather permitting you will aim to summit Mont Blanc today. The ascent takes about 6 to 7 hours. You will either return by the same route to the Gouter hut or to go down  to the Cosmiques hut where you will spend the night.
Day 7: Second day for the summit attempt if required
If you have not summitted the day before you will make the attempt today requiring a 01.00 start.
After summitting we will have to descend all the way down to the valley and should be back in Chamonix by mid-late afternoon. Your effort will be celebrated in the valley.

Day 8:  Departure Day
On your last day you have time to exchange pictures, email addresses and return any rented equipment.
The Equipment Hire:
We highly recommend you to book the equipment with us at least 2 weeks in advance as the hire shops can have limited availability in the busy season. You can collect your equipment on the evening before the start of the course and return it on the evening at the end of your course. We work with the following shops :
“¢ Concept pro shop (100 Place de l’Aiguille du Midi, 74400 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France) open 7 
Days a week from 8:00am to 19:00pm 

Bad Weather / Fitness 
If the weather forecast is poor or it becomes apparent that people are lacking fitness for a summit ascent there are alternatives. From the Aiguille du Midi you can access the Cosmiques or Torino refuges.  These are ideal bases to ascend classic mountaineering routes such as Mt. Blanc du Tacul, Arete de Cosmiques, Point Lachenal, Tour Ronde and the Aiguille du Entreves. In poor weather we can drive to Italy or Switzerland and attempt the Grand Paradiso or the Weissmies in the Saas  valley”“ please note there will be additional transport costs for options in Italy or Switzerland. 
Food 
We suggest you bring with you or buy in resort snack food that you can take out on the hill with
you each day. Things like cereal bars, dried fruit and nuts, chocolate, sugary sweets or your favourite hill snacks. When you’re staying overnight in huts its best to take supplies for the days you are away. Huts do sell food but it’s expensive and sometimes stocks run low. 
If you have any food allergies or dietary requirements especially if you are a Coeliac (Gluten free) or have a dairy allergy we strongly recommend you bring some food to  supplement your hut dinners. The huts are fairly good at providing  for vegetarians but less so for other dietary needs. The huts can provide a small basic packed lunch of bread, salami, cheese and  chocolate that you can buy each day but it’s important that you don’t rely on this option only. You do need to carry some snack  food for each day. You will also generally stop for short breaks each hour where you should eat something each time so you maintain your energy levels throughout the day.  Also make sure you are well hydrated at all times, hydration is key in the acclimatization process. 

Staying in Mountain Huts 
The high alpine huts are one of the big attractions to mountaineering or trekking in the Alps. They allow us to enjoy the mountains with only light packs and without having to worry about meals or finding somewhere to sleep! Most huts have only very basic facilities. 
Sleeping arrangements are in mixed sex dormitory-style rooms with bunks; there can be up to 20 people in one room. Washing facilities are limited and generally there is no running water in any of the huts although this may vary in some huts. There are basins in which you can use bottled water to wash the best you can and clean your teeth, but they are NOT generally in private cubicles  and are mixed sex. Toilets are generally septic-tank type (so non-flushing) and again mixed sex. You need to be prepared for simple living in the huts and appreciate they are located at high altitude and in in hospitable terrain. 
A 3-course evening meal and breakfast are served by the guardian and his team and food is usually nourishing and filling. Beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks are also available.  All food and drink in the huts is delivered by helicopter and consequently prices will be high e.g. between €3- 5 or 8CHF for a 1.5litre bottle of still water.  There are a few basic hut -rules’ that you need to follow so that you (and your fellow climbers) have a pleasant stay: 
On arriving at the hut you must take off your boots and leave these together with your ice-axe, crampons in the foyer. Be sure to store these carefully as the hut is likely to get very busy and you’ll need to find all your kit in the morning rush! 
House slippers are provided and must be worn in the hut! Your guide will register you with the guardian and will assign you to your bunk!  Follow the instructions of your guide and keep requests to the guardian and his team to a minimum”“ they are usually very busy sorting out groups, cooking meals, keeping the hut clean! In the morning your guide will often want to leave early ““ be sure to have all your kit ready to go the night before. Be organised and everything will be much easier. It is recommended to bring ear-plugs for the nights ““ but make sure that you will get up on time.