Climb Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps

 

Towering above Chamonix at a height of 4808m, Mont Blanc has been inspiring climbers from all around the world since Jacques Balmat and Michel Paccard made the first ascent in August 1786.

Climb Mont Blanc with a Chamonix mountain guide

The journey to the summit of western Europe’s highest peak starts right here in Chamonix, either from the top of the Aiguille du Midi cable car or by taking the Tramway du Mont Blanc from Saint-Gervais up to the Nid d’Aigle at Les Houches.

Climb Mont Blanc with a Chamonix mountain guide

Each route comes with its own challenges and potential hazards, as well as spectacular views and magnificent landscapes of alpine meadows, snowfields, glacial crevasses and towering jagged peaks.

Climb Mont Blanc with a Chamonix mountain guide

The season for climbing Mont Blanc begins around late May or early June and continues through to the end of September. Mountain huts will be booked up long before this though, as will mountain guides, so now is the time to start planning your trip.

Climb Mont Blanc with a Chamonix mountain guide

You don’t need any previous mountaineering experience to climb Mont Blanc – just a good level of fitness and the ability to learn new skills.

On our 6 day Mont Blanc course you will spend the first 3 days with a fully qualified mountain guide learning how to use ropes, crampons and ice axes to traverse different types of terrain. You’ll spend a night in a mountain refuge to help your body acclimatise to the altitude and learn safety techniques that will be invaluable when picking your way amongst the crevasses and seracs of the high mountains.

Climb Mont Blanc with a Chamonix mountain guide

You will spend the final 3 days climbing to the summit of Mont Blanc via the Gouter route, stopping over at a mountain refuge along the way and then descending back down to Chamonix having ticked off one of the achievements of a lifetime. During the 6 days you will not only have climbed Mont Blanc but will have explored some of the most majestic peaks in the French and Italian Alps.

Climb Mont Blanc with a Chamonix mountain guide

Seasoned mountaineers who have already claimed a few peaks and have experience of high altitude alpine terrain can summit via the more technical Trois Monts route, which takes you via the mountains of Mont-Blanc du Tacul and Mont Maudit along the way.

You’ll be accompanied every step of the way by a qualified and highly experienced mountain guide who will not only prioritise your safety but will teach you invaluable skills and share their passion for the mountains with you.

Climb Mont Blanc with a Chamonix mountain guide

Mountain refuges are already taking bookings for the summer and it won’t be long before the huts on the Mont Blanc routes are all full up. Likewise, mountain guides are in high demand with their availability becoming more limited as we get closer to spring.

Contact us now to embark on your adventure into a world of ice and snow at the very highest point in the Alps.

Climb Mont Blanc with a Chamonix mountain guide

Apres-Ski in Chamonix; and now for something completely different…

Halfway through the season and with the busiest week of the year behind us, we decided it was time to let off some steam at Mountain Lifestyle HQ – so we went paret sledding!

Paret sledging apres ski activity in Chamonix

It was the first time for some of us and we were more than a bit apprehensive at the thought of launching ourselves down the 2900m descent of the Pierre à Ric home run – even more so when we were handed our sledges. No brakes, no steering, just a precarious wooden hobby horse perched on a short single runner.

Paret sledging apres ski activity in Chamonix

We gathered round our instructors as they explained how to ride the paret; effortlessly leaning from side to side, casually sticking out a foot for ballast, steering with one hand whilst fixing their hair with the other… Then it was our turn to have a practice run before hitting the big slope and there was a lot of flailing, skidding and squawking involved as we attempted to gain control over the wobbly wooden contraptions.

Paret sledging apres ski activity in Chamonix

We shuffled nervously towards the start of the piste and looked around to see who would be first to launch themselves into oblivion – obviously it was the youngest who were the most fearless and then we all had to follow so as not be shown up by a gang of 12 year olds.

Paret sledging apres ski activity in Chamonix

Funnily enough, we soon found that the steeper the slope, the easier it is to keep your balance. A bit of speed is your friend, a lot of speed is the kind of friend who gets you into trouble and then abandons you to sort yourself out.

Paret sledging apres ski activity in Chamonix

Within minutes all our fears were forgotten and everyone was flying down – shrieking, laughing and tumbling like a herd of lunatics. There had been a dump of fresh snow the night before and by the end of the day it had been pushed up into big soft moguls that were great fun to go flying over – I can’t claim to have landed many of them but falling off is all part of the game.

Paret sledging apres ski activity in Chamonix

Our instructors kept track of everyone on the way down, hanging back for those who didn’t want to go quite so fast and leading the way for those that did, stopping at a few points on the way down to regroup and make sure that everyone was having a great time.

Paret sledging apres ski activity in Chamonix

By the time we cruised to a halt by the new lift station everyone was breathless, grinning and covered in snow – if we’d have been allowed to go straight back up for another go then we definitely would have! I’m already planning a new career for myself as a professional paret pilot and am about to start lobbying for it to become an Olympic sport…

Paret sledging apres ski activity in Chamonix

Paret sledging runs every Wednesday afternoon at Les Grands Montets; you meet your instructors in front of the main lift station at 16:15 and take the last cable car of the day up to Lognon where you will receive your “paret training” and then it’s chocks away. It costs just 20€ per person and is one of the most exhilarating apres-ski experiences you can have! Private paret sessions can also be booked for larger groups on any night of the week on request. Please visit this page or contact us for details and booking.

Hiking the Alps : Two of the Best Alpine Trekking Tours

It might be snowing outside but we’re already planning our summer of adventure. Chamonix is one of the world’s best destinations for hiking, climbing and exploring the mountains – but it’s also one of the most popular, which makes planning ahead essential.

Hiking the Haute Route in the Alps past alpine lakes and snow capped mountains

Two of the world’s most famous hiking trails, the Tour du Mont Blanc and the Haute Route, set off from Chamonix and traverse stunning alpine trails across glaciers, through forests, and past alpine lakes. Alpine wildlife such as marmottes, bouquetin and chamois graze in the meadows while choucas, peregrine falcons and even golden eagles soar overhead. Part of the adventure is sleeping over in remote mountain refuges under incredible night skies where there is no light pollution to dim the millions of bright stars overhead.

Staying in a mountain refuge whilst hiking the Haute Route

The Haute Route is an iconic Alpine trek that goes from Chamonix to Zermatt, a distance of around 180km, first established in the mid nineteenth century by the English Alpine Club. There are two variations; the longer route takes around 12 days and features more challenging terrain, whereas the shorter route takes around 6 days and stays lower down on the trails. Both offer stunning scenery of snowcapped peaks and flower filled meadows that will leave you with incredible memories of a great trip.

Crossing glaciers and trekking on snow whilst hiking the Haute Route

The Tour du Mont Blanc is a spectacular multiday trek that winds its way around the foot of Mont Blanc going through France, Italy and Switzerland along the way. You’ll pass through rugged national parks, climb remote mountain passes, cool your toes in clear mountain lakes and taste delicious local dishes from three different countries along the way! Not an easy challenge, with around 6 to 8 hours of hiking per day, but a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is more than worth the effort.

Beautiful wild flowers in an alpine meadow, hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc

With the snow falling outside the window, it might seem too early to start dreaming of alpine summer adventures, but now is the time to book if you want that dream to come true! Contact us now for more information and availability.

Hiking in the Alps on the Tour du Mont Blanc trek