Difficult Analysis

The ascent of Mont Blanc via the Normal Route (Dome de Gouter) is a tough climb but with minimal technical difficulty, though ropes, crampons and an ice axe will be used throughout the week. Previous alpine mountaineering experience is a pre-requisite, though the guides will give full instructions regarding the various techniques required. It is a challenging, yet gratifying alpine climb, led by professional IFMGA guides using a 1:6 ratio on the acclimatization days and a 1:2 ratio on Mont Blanc.
Participants must be of great fitness level and should be used to spending consecutive long days in the mountains. Even though they should have prior experience in roped glacier and guided climbing, as well as in the use of crampons and a single ice axe, the trip will offer many opportunities to further hone such skills.

To further assist you in understanding whether you are fit enough to participate in this adventure, Rahhalah’s expert team will assess your fitness levels before your registration and, once you register, will help you prepare a training routine to guarantee the success of your trip.

Itinerary Details

Chamonix is a commune in south-eastern France, in the north of Mont Blanc, mostly known as the host town of the first Olympic Games in 1924.

Once you arrive, you can settle in your hotel, relaxing and preparing for the adventure ahead or you can spend some time strolling around, enjoying the ambience of the mountain town (private transportation to the hotel is not included in the price).

Accommodation: Private double/twin room in hotel (3*) in Chamonix center.

At 9 am you will meet with your guide who will brief you on the itinerary of the following days and will do a final check of your clothes and gear. In case you miss anything, you may buy or rent it from the Chamonix mountain store.

As soon as the group is ready, you will take the Charamillon-Balme gondola lift from Le Tour and walk up to the Col de Balme, where you will be able to enjoy the first of many stunning views of the Mont Blanc massive. You will then follow the balcony path round to the Albert Premier Refuge (2,707 m), where you will spend the night and acclimatize. The hike is beautiful and relatively easy-going: the best way to begin this adventure.

Vertical gain: 550m.
Hiking time: approx. 2,5 hours.

Accommodation: Dormitory in a mountain hut.

You will start early in the morning, setting out onto the Glacier du Tour. On the way and with the help of your guide, you will hone your glacier skills with some additional training. Depending on the weather conditions, it may be possible to climb to the Col du Midi-des-Grands (3,235m) as well. On a clear day, you can see the Matterhorn in the distance.
You will then trek over the Swiss border towards Cabane du Trient, where you will spend the night.

Vertical gain: 800m. Vertical loss: 200m.

Hiking time: approx. 5 hours.

Accommodation: Dormitory in a mountain hut.

After an early breakfast, you will head to the famous Fenetre de Saleina, which is surrounded by landscapes of otherworldly beauty. From there, you will cross either the Col du Tour or the Col Superieur du Tour, and, depending on the weather conditions, you may climb the Tete Blanche (3,429m) or the Col des Fourches (3,433m) – both options are great for acclimatization.

Afterwards, you will cross back into France and descend to Le Tour. From there, you can take the local bus to Chamonix, where you can enjoy a relaxing night in a centrally based hotel. In the evening, you will coordinate with the guides and prepare for your Mont Blanc ascent.

Vertical gain: 500m. Vertical loss: 1250m.
Hiking time: approx. 6 hours.

Accommodation: Private double/twin room in hotel *** in Chamonix center.

The group will be reinforced with more guides (ratio: 2 clients to 1 guide) to enhance the chances of success of summiting Mont Blanc. You will climb following the Normal Route, taking advantage of the uplift provided by the Mont Blanc Tramway which will take you to Mont Lachat (2,115m).

From there, you will follow a rocky trail for approximately 3 hours to the Tete Rousse Refuge (3,167m), where you will rest for the night.

Vertical gain: 850m.
Hiking time: approx. 3 hours.

Accommodation: Dormitory in a mountain hut.

This is the day for which you have been preparing for months!
You will start in the wee hours of the day (approximately at 1am) from the Tete Rousse, from where you will cross the Great Couloir and a rocky scramble that leads up to the Gouter Refuge (3,817m). The remaining path up to the summit is always covered by snow; however, the climb is not technical as it moves mainly on a broad shoulder with an uphill slope below 30 degrees.

The final “des Bosses” ridge becomes narrower, and you can look down on one side to Italy and the other to France, as you make the final steps to the top. You are at high altitude now, and the air is thin, so slow and steady is the way forward. The ascent can take about 8 hours, depending on weather conditions. You will descend via the same route, and you should expect to reach the Goûter hut around mid-afternoon. There you will relax for the rest of the day, celebrating your success.

Vertical gain: 1650 m. Vertical loss: 950m.

Hiking time: 12 hours.

Accommodation: Dormitory in a mountain hut.

If for any reason, you did not summit the day before, you can have a second attempt today, provided the weather conditions are favorable. After summiting, you will descend via the Normal Route back to the valley. If you did summit on day 5, you can have a leisurely start and an easy descent to the valley.

Upon arrival at Chamonix, you may either head directly to the airport to catch your flight back home or stay for the night and relax in a hotel (accommodation is not included in the price).

Hiking time: 4 hours.