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Mont Blanc (4,804m)

The Classic Haute Route with the Breithorn (4,163m) & Mont Blanc (4,804m) : The Alps

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 Fly London Heathrow to Geneva. Meet your IFMGA instructor at Geneva airport.Transfer to the guesthouse in Argentiere 1,200m. Trip briefing session and assessment of essential equipment. Welcome BBQ dinner.
Day 2 Commence the Classic Haute Route. From Argentiere 1,200m the path leads to Le Tour 1,453m and then steepens, before contouring round towards the glacier and finally up the moraine to the Albert Premier Hut 2,702m. The path is exposed in places and there may be some snow patches to cross. During the afternoon, practice some winter mountaineering skills. 1 guide : 5 walkers. Dinner and overnight in the hut.
Day 3 An early start to cross Le Tour glacier. Instruction will be given on roping up before heading up to the Col du Tour Superior 3,288m. The views can be spectacular, stretching all the way to the Matterhorn. 1 guide : 5 walkers. Dinner and overnight in Cabane du Trient 3,180m.
Day 4 Once off the snow, it’s off with the ropes and a pleasant stroll down to the picturesque village of Champex 1,466m. 1 guide : 5 walkers. Dinner and overnight at the Club Alpin hut.
Day 5 Taxis will be taken to Bourg St Pierre, from where a good path leads to flower-filled valleys. Chains and ladders are used to reach the Cabane du Valsory 3,030m. 1 guide : 5 walkers. Meet up with your extra guides needed for tomorrow’s Plateau de Couloir. Dinner and overnight in the hut.
Day 6 It’s a long and strenuous day and extra guides are essential for the traverse of the Plateau du Couloir, which makes the Classic Haute Route a technical trek (as opposed to the standard Haute Route). It is a zigzag route towards the Col du Meitin and then it’s up snow, scree or even ice to the exposed traverse on the Plateau du Couloir 3,664m. The descent is via the Col du Sonadon 3,503m, to a terrace at 2,700m. The last 30 minutes is uphill to the Cabane du Chanrion 2,462m. 1 guide : 3 to 4 walkers. Dinner and overnight in the hut.
Day 7 Following the path northwards, the route crosses the Col du Tsoseiret and Col du Lire Rose to the Glacier du Lire Rose. It’s then a short climb up the slopes of the Col du Mont Rouge 3,325m and across the Glacier du Gietro. Continue over the Col and Glacier du Cheilon and up some ladders to the Col du Chevre, before descending into the village of Arolla 2,000m. 1 guide : 5 walkers. Dinner and overnight in a guesthouse.
Day 8 It’s an easy walk today uphill with a steep section up some moraine and on the edge of the glacier. Finally there’s a 60m ladder to the hut, from where there are superb views of the Matterhorn. 1 guide : 5 walkers. Dinner and overnight in the Cabane du Bertol 3,311m.
Day 9 An early start for another big day. It’s down the ladders, across the easy upper slopes of the Mont Mine Glacier and contouring round the Col du la Tete Blanche. The Tete Blanche summit 3,742m is an easy and quick diversion. Then it’s down the Stokji Glacier, with a little scrambling on moraine, before climbing up the Schonbeil Glacier to the Schonbeilhutte 2,694m. 1 guide : 5 walkers. Dinner and overnight in the hut.
Day 10 It’s an easy and short walk to the hotel in the village of Zermatt 1,500m, with wonderful views of the Matterhorn on the way. Afternoon at leisure in Zermatt. 1 guide : 5 walkers. Dinner not included. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 11 Take the mountain cableway from Zermatt to the Klein Matterhorn 3,880m from where it’s about a two-hour walk across the glacier plateaux before summitting the Breithorn 4,163m. This is a non-technical climb, but it provides excellent acclimatisation and for many it will be their first 4,000m peak. Return to Zermatt. 1 guide : 5 walkers. Dinner not included. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 12 Transfer back to the chalet in Argentiere. Dinner not included
Day 13 Prepare for summitting Mont Blanc and meet up with your extra guides necessary for the ascent. Early afternoon take the telecabine from Chamonix to the Aiguille du Midi 3,800m and then it’s a relatively easy walk down and across to the Refuge des Cosmiques at 3,613m. 1 guide : 2 walkers. Dinner and overnight in the hut.
Day 14 If the weather conditions are good, it is a very early start from the Refuge des Cosmiques to hopefully reach the summit of Mont Blanc 4,804m around 0900 hours. The ascent will be on snow and so two walkers will be roped to one guide. There are several ways of descending back to Chamonix. 1 guide : 2 walkers. Dinner not included. Overnight in the guesthouse in Argentiere or the Refuge des Cosmiques if the weather has delayed the ascent of Mont Blanc.
Day 15 Contingency/rest day in case weather conditions delay the ascent of Mont Blanc. 1 guide : 2 walkers. Review of your Alpine experiences. Dinner not included. Overnight in Argentiere.
Day 16 Depart Geneva. Arrive London Heathrow.

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