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Climb Mont Blanc

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Christchurch, New...
posts: 218
reviews: 87
Climb Mont Blanc

Hello All,

My husband and i are from the UK and wanting to climb Mont Blanc next summer 2012 and we are looking for a company to book with which are reasonable, but not lacking the quality by going cheap... Any suggestions????

Any advice or suggestions to do this trip on a budget would be much apprciated.

Thanks....

51 replies to this topic
chamonix
posts: 107
1. Re: Climb Mont Blanc

Hi the first place that jumps to

Mind is "icicle mountaineering" they keep the price down but not the safety! They have a very good success rate too.

Jim

Glasgow, United...
posts: 2
2. Re: Climb Mont Blanc

I agree that Icicle only pay lip service to safety. Noteworthy that The Chamonix Tourist Board do not have Icicle on their approved list of mountaineering service providers. They are low- cost and the accomodation they provide is truly awful.

Glasgow, United...
posts: 2
3. Re: Climb Mont Blanc

Try Chamonix Experience - my mate climbed Mt Blanc with them and rated them highly.

London
Destination Expert
for Chamonix
posts: 600
reviews: 32
4. Re: Climb Mont Blanc

This is just my opinion and I'd recommend a lot of more detailed research before you do anything - as I have no idea what your experience level is or what you mean by "budget" :)

Of course, there is no need to waste money - but I would be very wary of thinking in terms of it as a budget trip unless you are very experienced mountaineers.

As with any mountain, there are places that savings can be made - some of which have little impact on your safety e.g. quality of the accommodation when in the valley. One obvious way is to go with a group so that you don't have the expense of a guide for the full week (though with two of you, it may be worth looking into this, it might not be much less and it's much better.)

But many of them do have an impact on your safety because they involve less time and less flexibility.

Normally, you have a week for a Mont Blanc attempt, including acclimatisation, some practice with crampons & ice axe and a smaller, nearby summit. Cheaper variations can skimp some of this which is risky, or use a different guide to client ratio (this shouldn't be more than one guide to two clients for the summit attempt). Even quite small things can make a big difference - for instance, a cheaper operation won't have the time to advise you in detail on your kit and training.

At the moment, there has been very serious and dangerous rockfall on the easiest route, so many parties are going via the more technical 3 monts route, which requires more climbing skills - those extra days are vital here.

I would also always use local guides, as they are familiar with the conditions on the mountain at the time you are going.

There are plenty of excellent guides and companies in the area, talk to a few and see what you think.

We climbed it with Neil who I would recommend very highly - he's very experienced and a really nice guy.

http://www.neil-hitchings.com/

It's an amazing experience - good luck!

Edited: 10:27 am, September 11, 2011
Christchurch, New...
posts: 218
reviews: 87
5. Re: Climb Mont Blanc

Thanks for your message's, we are researching lots but there is so many company's out there offering similar things you never know who is good or who is bad! We are not beginners and have summited a few high altitude mountains in the last few years so we are well aware of the safety aspects of this ascent and also the different routes!!!

We will never go for the cheapest operator but when some operator's are offering it over £2000 pp not including flights or lift costs and others £1200pp you need to ask around about these things!!!

I will check out your link - Thanks!

London
Destination Expert
for Chamonix
posts: 600
reviews: 32
6. Re: Climb Mont Blanc

Sounds good! :) Those are the things I'd ask about though.

- Guide: Client ratio

- Local guides

- Programme for the days

- how many days climbing

- how many days allowed for attempt (3 days is good)

- does it include hut fees, equipment hire if needed

I've never been with a big group but I've heard Jagged Globe recommended.

I've also been on an expedition with Adventure Consultants, highly recommended. I had a look at their site out of curiosity, as I'd regard as pretty much top of the line in terms of pricing and quality, and they're charging 1990 Euros each for Mont Blanc with plenty of acclimatisation, absolutely all in apart from flights - so over £2000 is definitely steep! That includes 1:2 guiding on all days, as well, which is excellent.

Dudley, United...
posts: 1
reviews: 1
7. Re: Climb Mont Blanc

Dream Guides. A company co run by Kenton Cool. (British Everest ascent record holder). He guided Sir Ran Feines up the Eiger. They do Mont Blanc assents.

Christchurch, New...
posts: 218
reviews: 87
8. Re: Climb Mont Blanc

I have checked 'Dream Guides' out and seem a very good company offering a package for £1540pp excl flights, food & lift costs... which is not bad!!!!

Anyone heard of 'On top mountaineering'???? They seem the best price/package wise at the moment being £1200 approx for a 4 day program, 2 days going over basic glacier skills and days for summit attempt.... Including pretty much everything!

Newport Beach...
posts: 51
reviews: 5
9. Re: Climb Mont Blanc

I went with Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix Mont-Blanc in town - oldest and very trusted guide service. I had minimal climbing experience (only 3 days climbing in the USA with crampons/harness/etc.). I went for a training day trip with them to get my bearings, and then tried the mountain when the weather cleared. Scary as crap for a beginner climber...but awesome (we almost made it, but the winds were too high above the Vallot Refuge). Bring ear plugs for sleeping in Gouter and make sure you're in shape. The guide (Christof or Christoph...not sure) was awesome. Saved my life on the way back by shouting a rock fall warning as we crossed the Grand Couloir. Worth the $ having a good guide...

London
posts: 1
10. Re: Climb Mont Blanc

Whatever you do , if you're a begineer do not book with Icicle.. They are only interested in a experienced climbers and have no time or inclination to look after beginners. We had a terrible time with them, the accomm was the worst in Chamonix (we left early), the guides diabolical ( we cancelled our ascent) and staff bluntly uncaring and uninformative.

We going back with a local guide!

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