Overview:

With a long and storied history of climbing, and generally accepted as the ‘Birthplace of Alpinism’, The European Alps are a must-do on any alpine climbers tick list. Follow in the footsteps of some of climbing’s most well-known routes, while living amidst the cultural uniqueness of small alpine villages or remote alpine huts.

The Alpine Climbing kingdom of Chamonix, France, situated in the heart of the European Alps, allows our guides to offer up some of the best climbing in the world just minutes from the front door. This steep valley has many lifetimes worth of climbing on the towering walls and peaks that dominate the village skyline, and there is something for everyone of all levels and abilities.

Beginner rock climbers and even children, can join us on the hallowed walls of Les Gailland, in the town park, along tranquil lake shores and grassy meadows with unbelievable vistas of the Bosson Glacier. Budding alpinists can cut their teeth (so to speak) and scratch their crampons on mixed snow and granite blocks of the ever popular Cosmiques Arete, just a mere minutes from the Aiguille du Midi tram station, or practice rope work and glacier travel on any one of the dozens of snow and ice objectives that surround the Vallee Blanche.

More experienced alpinists and mountaineers can focus more on certain types of specific climbing skills and objectives such as the golden rock and alpine granite on the South Face of the Aig’ Du Midi; the sinuous alpine ice line of the Chere Couloir; the aesthetic and challenging Midi-Plan Traverse; the mixed snow, ice, and rock objectives of the Pyramid Du Tacul; or the bigger more challenging objectives like the Dent de Geant, Tour Ronde, Entreves, and Grand Capucin, as well as dozens more.

And no trip to Chamonix would be complete without an attempt at an ascent of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe, and the one that dominates all of life here in this bustling French village of alpinism. Learn about our Mont-Blanc Climb here. Spend a few days training and getting prepared on the massif’s lower glaciers and less committing objectives, while also getting introduced to the unique experience that is European ‘hut life’, before heading off to travel up the glistening snow and ice covered slopes of this mighty mountain.

Prerequisites:

Prior Rockclimbing or Mountaineering Experience

International Rescue Insurance

American Alpine Club Membership (recommended)

Preparation:

Very good level of cardio vascular fitness and mountain endurance

Familiarity and experience with rock climbing or mountaineering strongly encouraged

Time:

Full & Alpine Style Days

Duration:

5-Days (Custom Options Available)

Maximum Ratio:

2:1 Max Ratio

Minimum Age:

18

Day 1:

Traversee du Crochue

Day 2:

Albert 1er Refuge and glacier skills

Day 3:

Aiguille du Tour

Day 4:

La Vierge or Point Lachena

Day 5:

Arete du Cosmique or Traversee du Entreves

Price Includes:

IFMGA Guide Daily Fees

Price Excludes:

Lift tickets and Transport around the Chamonix Valley

Item Description Quantity Example Purchase At Rent At Equipment Type
Backpack: 20-40 liter

Packs smaller than this tend not to be able to carry the necessary amount of equipment and clothing. Large backpacking packs are acceptable, depending on the climb.

1

CAMP M3 30L

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Equipment
Baselayer Bottoms

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Lightweight or mid-weight are recommended.

1

Men: Rab Merino 120 Pants
Women: Rab Merino 120 Pants

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Beanie/Fleece Hat

Should cover the ears and fit under a helmet. Hats with fluff balls on top do not fit under helmets.

1

Rab Logo Beanie

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Belay/Rappel Device

Plaquette style devices with auto-block mode are ideal.

1

CAMP Piu 2

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Climbing Harness

UIAA/CE approved; With belay loop and gear loops. The waist belt should fit over multiple layers of clothing.

1

CAMP Laser CR

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Equipment
Ear Plugs

Sometimes fellow campers snore. Ear plugs may help you get quality rest.

1 Optional
First Aid Kit

Your guide will have an emergency First Aid Kit. You should bring a small kit including blister prevention and care products such as a role of athletic tape and Moleskin. Your kit should also contain a few Band-aids, some Tylenol and Ibuprofen.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Food

Proper lunches that are prepared ahead of time are recommended (sandwich, burrito, leftover pizza, etc), along with an assortment of snack bars, gels, and/or trail mixes. Feeze-dried meals are acceptable on overnight trips, but not day trips.

1

Made in Nature, Thrive Tribe

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Headlamp

Load with fresh batteries. Critical for hiking before sunrise and great to have in the pack in case you are caught out after dark.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Hot Drinks

Coffee, tea, hot cocoa are great for warming up when it's cold outside.

1

Cusa Tea; Alpine Start Coffee

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Lightweight Baselayer Top

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Worn against the skin and is considered a "wicking" layer that facilitates the movement of moisture away from the skin and through the layers. Hooded base layers add extra versatility.

2

Men: Rab Merino 120 Long Sleeve
Women: Rab Merino 120 Long Sleeve

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Lightweight Gloves

Synthetic; Thin gloves used when hiking the early morning approach. Belay gloves can suffice if full-fingered.

1

RAB Power Stretch Pro

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Lip ScreenSPF 15 or higher.

Non-SPF rated lip balms can actually increase your chances of getting burned.

1

Rocky Mountain Sunscreen Lip Balm

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Long/Short Sleeve T-shirt

Cotton &/or Synthetic/Merino Wool; Bring a variety of short-sleeve or tank tops, and a few long-sleeve. Long sleeve cotton t-shirts can be nice for the crack climbing days. Synthetic shirts are not required for rock climbing, but some may prefer the feel and quick-dry performance.

1

Rab Route Tee

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Midweight Baselayer Top

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Adds extra warmth and protection from the cold and wind without creating a moisture barrier as a jacket would. Having at least one base layer that is hooded adds versatility, protecting the neck and ears from cold winds.

1

Men: Rab Merino 160 Hoody
Women: Rab Merino 160 Long Sleeve

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Midweight Softshell Glove

This is the workhorse glove and is most often worn on warmer days when mountaineering. Softshell gloves are water-resistant and durable. They often have leather palms and fingers.

1

RAB Guide

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Mountaineering Axe

Utilized in ascending or descending snow slopes. Ideal length is variable based on terrain and height of person.

1

CAMP Alpina

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Mountaineering Boots

Waterproof, insulated, leather or synthetic boots. Two levels of boots can be appropriate depending on the season, conditions, and personal needs. These boots have rigid and semi-rigid soles so they climb rock well and are compatible with crampons. 1. Lightweight (May - October): This is a single-layer, semi-insulated, waterproof boot, such as the La Sportiva Trango Cube. 2. Mid-weight (October - June): This is a single-layer, insulated boot, such as the La Sportiva Nepal.

1

Men: Scarpa Grand DRU GTX
Women: Mont Blanc GTX WNM

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Mountaineering Crampons

Steel crampons with horizontal front points are ideal. Must be semi-rigid and compatible with your boots.

1

CAMP XLC 390

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Neck Gaiter

"Buffs" are quite versatile in their uses. They can be used as light beanies, neck warmers, and can offer face protection from the cold wind or sun.

1

BCA Neck Tube

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Non-locking Carabiners

Most climbers prefer wire-gated carabiners due to their light weight and low bulk, among other useful characteristics.

2-3

CAMP Nano 22

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Pajamas

It can be nice to have something clean to change into each night for sleeping in your sleeping bag.

1 Clothing
Personal Care Items

Medications, glasses/contacts, feminine products, etc.

1 Optional
Personal Toilet Kit

At minimum, bring a small Ziploc with toilet paper. Consider bringing a travel sized package of hand-wipes. Idealy, purchase, or for free from the RMNP Backcountry office, bring a "Rest Stop." The Rest Stop, known as "Blue Bags" in the Pacific Northwest, or the "Wag Bag" in other areas, are poop-in-a-bag systems that include toilet paper and a sanitizing hand wipe.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Prussik Cord

1m of 6mm nylon accessory cord. Tech cord (kevlar, spectra) is not acceptable.

2

Sterling HollowBlock

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Rock Climbing Helmet

UIAA/CE approved; Should be large enough to fit over a beanie. Plastic helmets are more durable, but heavier. Foam helmets are lighter, but more easily damaged when carried in a pack.

1

CAMP Titan

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Equipment
Smartphone

Great for taking photos and videos. Smartphone batteries tend to shut down in freezing temps - keep your phone in a warm inner layer. A tether is ideal in the mountains to protet against dropping your phone.

1 Optional
Softshell Pants

Softshell material is stretchy, wind-proof, water-resistant, and resists abrasion. Mid-weight is recommended and light-weight pants can work for warm days. Typical thin, nylon "hiking pants" are generally not tough enough.

1

Men: Rab Vapour Rise
Women: Rab Upslope

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Softshell/Fleece Jacket

Water-resistant, windproof, yet it "breaths," which means it allows moisture to move through. Hoods are ideal. There are multiple thicknesses of Softshell jackets. A lightweight or medium-weight jacket is preferred. Fleece jackets are acceptable.

1

Men: Rab Alpha Direct
Women: Rab Alpha Direct

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Sports Bra

Provides support and allows for full range of motion

1

North Face Beyond the Wall

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Sun Hat

A billed hat to keep the sun at bay during the approach and descent.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Sunglasses

"Wrap-Around" style sunglasses with 100% UV Protection.

1

Julbo Stunt

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
SunscreenSPF 30 or higher.

Travel size.

1

Rocky Mountain Sunscreen SPF 50

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Synthetic or Down Puffy Jacket

Fits over all other layers and is worn at breaks and on really cold days. Synthetic puffies are more durable, are easily laundered, and dry out quickly if wet. Down puffies are lighter weight, pack smaller, and provide exceptional warmth, but once wet, they stay wet.

1

Men: Rab Zero G
Women: Rab Electron

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Synthetic/Merino Wool Socks

Wool/Synthetic blends are great for long days on the trail. "Ski" and "Snowboard" socks are especially useful when warmth is desired.

2

Point 6 Hiking Light Crew

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Toiletries

Bring enough for the trip. Toothpaste & brush, floss, deoderant, lotion, eye drops, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.

1 Optional
Trekking Poles

Adjustable and without powder basket.

1-2

CAMP Backcountry

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Optional
Watch w/ Altimiter

An altimeter is very useful in gauging progression of altitude gain or loss when climbing, and especially when visibility is decreased due to weather. Many Altimeter watches have compasses and/or GPS tracking functions.

1

Suunto Vector; Suunto Core

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Water Bottles

1 liter bottles are the standard. Bladders such as Camelbacks and Platypus are acceptable for above freezing temps, but only in conjunction with another bottle. Bladders are not acceptable during sub freezing temps. Sports drinks are also acceptable.

2

Nalgene, Hydro Flask

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Water Purification Tablets

Iodine or Chlorine-based treatments; To keep packs light in the summer during early morning approaches, your guide may suggest only carrying a liter or two of water, with the plan to refill during the day at a stream.

6 tabs/day

Aquamira, Potable Aqua

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Waterproof Shell Jacket

Non-insulated, Gore-Tex, Dermizax, Event, or other waterproofing system is required. Mostly, this jacket sits in the bottom of your pack and comes out when the weather gets nasty with precipitation. This jacket should fit over all other layers.

1

Men: RAB Latok
Women: RAB Latok

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing

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