How qualified is the guide for the ascent?
The training is undertaken by a professional High Mountain Guide, with a ratio of one guide between six clients for days 2-5, Additional guides will join us on days 6 & 7 for the attempt on Mont Blanc; here the ratio will be 1:2. You will meet your guide on the first evening for an introductory, informal meeting/briefing.
Olly Leicester - Sales
Tips from staff who have done the Mont Blanc Ascent
Clothing - it's regular trekking gear, so breathable layers, thermal underwear, walking socks, warm hat, waterproof rucksack cover, water bottles or hydration system and so on.
Money - About €200 will cover the lifts up the mountain, and drinks as well. I think I spent about €160 or so altogether.
Kit - a liner or sleeping sheet is a good idea, justs puts something bewteen you and the blankets. The walking pole was essential, as you lean on it a lot going up - walking poles are important on this trek. My guide always used them. Either both at the same time, or sometimes one pole in one hand and ice axe in the other.
The equipment in Chamonix is of a good standard as you hire from the local op direct and he's a very experienced mountaineer. There won't be a shortage of equipment and all shoe sizes are catered for.
I would also definitely take along a water bottle, a lot of people use camel bacs (keeping hands free) but they do freeze on the summit day as the temperature can be as cold as minus 20 degrees before the sun rises. They'll also probably freeze in your tent on the higher camp sites. They are fine to use for most days of this trip, but not for the summit day so you should take bottles.
The ascent - It's not a particularly technical climb but I found it very tough in terms of effort. Saying that, finding it tough didn't make it un-doable, just tiring! The ascent day was the hardest, we were walking for about 14 hours or so. The first few hours in the dark were very tough, and you need to be prepared for this, walking in freezing temperatures at night with a head torch. They take it slowly but it takes it out of you.
It's also the elements, wind blowing across, snow, the gear weighing you down and the steep angle you walk at - not to be underestimated.
General - Earplugs are always a good idea when sharing rooms!
Olly Leicester - Web Sales Team Leader
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