Mont Blanc 'Achievements' 2018
Course overview
The Mont Blanc Achievements course is the Intro 4000m 'Summits & Skills' Course with the Mont Blanc Summits course bolted on the end. It gives a total climbing novice the skills for a realistic chance of summitting Mont Blanc. As the course is over two weeks, it is ideal for those wishing to climb Mont Blanc, but who believe that they would benefit from a longer period over which to develop their skills, fitness and acclimatisation.
You need no previous experience of climbing or mountaineering. This course is suitable for keen hill walkers, indoor wall climbers, or ramblers, to introduce you to the key technical aspects necessary for mountaineering.

As with the Mont Blanc Summits course, for the ascent of Mont Blanc itself you should be capable of running a half marathon or cycling for five hours continuously. The fitter you are the more you will enjoy the views.

On the second week of this course, we are as flexible as possible with the itinerary so that, if you feel ready, fit and acclimatised, you make your summit attempt on the first available weather window, Tuesday onwards.
This course is focused on you preparing and summiting Mont Blanc, with other summits and nights spent at altitude to increase acclimatisation. There is a dedicated information page for Mont Blanc: summit focus.
Dates: these are listed in the column on the right, and they show the live availability from our secure online booking system. When you book online, you receive immediate confirmation, your Alpine Information Booklet, course specific kit list and invoice.

Icicle groups on summit ridge of Gran Paradiso

Brief Course Itinerary

Sunday
Travel to Chamonix to arrive for the 17:00 check-in followed by and course safety and itinerary briefings. There is time for kit checks or rental of equipment. Briefings are over by 19:00 and the team accompany the group to pre-dinner drinks. Many clients opt to travel out a day early for an acclimatisation weekend course which includes an extra night in Chamonix, to ascend a 3000m peak on Sunday. Night in Chamonix.
Monday
Alpine skills, navigation, route planning and snow techniques day. There are a huge range of options and skills that can be covered today including climbing to an Alpine summit via a steep ground, practice of hazard awareness, use of GPS & altimeters, moving on snow and emergency procedures . Guiding ratio 1:6 (max). Evening theory session on the key safety knots and ropework. Night in Chamonix.
Tuesday
Day to learn and practice using crampons and ice axes on the Mer de Glace glacier (2000m). You also climb vertical ice, create ice anchors, and learn glacier travel skills. This is one of your most important days of the course in terms of skills development as it is essential to have good footwork on Mont Blanc. Guiding ratio 1:6 (max). Evening session on Alpine weather prediction and the effects of mountains. Night in Chamonix.
Wednesday
Glacier travel skills, practicing building snow anchors, crevasse rescue, and probing for crevasses, spent on a journey across either the Vallée Blanche, Pointe Lachenal and the Col du Midi, or the massive Argentiere glacier basin. The day is essential for your acclimatisation before Gran Paradiso. Guiding ratio 1:6 (max). Evening session on climbers crevasse rescue and emergency hoist systems. Night in Chamonix.
Thursday
A morning of rock climbing skills, to learn / practice belaying safely and how to lead / set up safe anchors on rock climbs. You climb either in the Chamonix or Aosta valleys, depending on where the weather is better. The drive to Pont below Gran Paradiso takes just over an hour, and after lunch you trek up to either the Chabod or Victor Emmanuel hut on Gran Paradiso itself. Guiding ratio 1:3 (max). Night in mountain hut.
Friday
Summit Gran Paradiso 4061m after an Alpine start from the high hut, then after you have reached the summit, you descend to the refuge for lunchtime. After this you trek back down to the valley in Pont, and make the return drive to Chamonix. Celebrations in Chamonix in the evening. Guiding ratio 1:3 (max). Evening instruction session, then a celebratory meal, with the night spent in Chamonix.
Saturday
Breakfast, then you have the rest of the day off to rest and relax between the courses. Some people opt to book a tandem paraglider flight in the morning to celebrate the weeks efforts, and prices for this are from 90€ for a c.30 minute flight. These flights can be booked in resort up to the day before you wish to fly. You have the rest of the day as free time to ascend cable cars to acclimatise, or to rest and explore town.
Sunday
Day off in Chamonix, to spend as you wish visiting the numerous tourist attractions, or resting and preparing your kit for the second week. Everyone meets for the second week briefing at 17:00 followed by and course safety and itinerary briefings. There is time for kit checks or rental of equipment. Briefings are over by 19:00 and the team accompany the group to pre-dinner drinks. Night in Chamonix.
Monday
Day for further practice using crampons and ice axes on the Mer de Glace glacier (2000m). You also climb vertical ice, create ice anchors, and learn glacier travel skills. This is one of your most important days of the course in terms of skills development as it is essential to have good footwork on Mont Blanc. Guiding ratio 1:6 (max). Evening theory session on the key safety knots and ropework. Night in Chamonix.
Tuesday
Acclimatisation route to a summit. Continue to a mountain hut for the night or return to Chamonix. The aim is to develop your skills at altitude. The choice of the 1 or 2 day routes is made in reaction to which day you attempt Mont Blanc, as we can alter the itinerary to maximise your chances. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Evening session on Alpine weather prediction and the effects of mountains. Night in Chamonix.
Wednesday
Acclimatisation route to a summit. Either an Alpine start from the mountain hut or a second acclimatisation route. Typical routes for the last two days include Cosmiques Arete, Gran Paradiso, Petite Verte, Pointe Lachenal or Aiguille du Tour. Return to Chamonix to prepare for Mont Blanc. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Evening session on climbers crevasse rescue and emergency hoist systems. Night in Chamonix.
Thursday
Equipment and bag checks before you set off to climb up to one of the high huts, either the Cosmiques or the Gouter / Tête Rousse hut for the night. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). The choice of route that you take on Mont Blanc, and which hut(s) you stay in is a function of the weather, conditions, and your skills and fitness. Often different teams suit different plans to maximise their summit chances. Night in hut on Mont Blanc.
Friday
Summit Mont Blanc 4810m from an Alpine start from the high hut, and descend to Chamonix. It is usual to reach the summit just after sunrise, to take advantage of the best snow conditions, and to minimise the risks of stonefall or late afternoon storms. Reach valley afternoon, celebrations in the evening. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Evening instruction session, then a celebratory meal, with the final night spent in Chamonix.
Saturday
Breakfast then the accommodation check out is by 10:00. Most arrange their airport transfers to leave around this time, to catch a flight from Geneva about midday. Depart for home. Some people opt to book a tandem paraglider flight in the morning to celebrate the weeks efforts, and prices for this are from 90€ for a c.30 minute flight. These flights can be booked in resort up to the day before you wish to fly. Depart for home.
ITINERARY NOTES: Where possible we follow itineraries. Mountain adventures are weather and conditions dependant, so occasionally we are forced to alter the plans. If this is the case, suitable alternatives are offered. Please use this outline itinerary as a guide to the types of route / activity that you will attempt.

Course Prices
An Introduction course (£899) followed by Mont Blanc Summits course (£1499), totals £2398, so you save £99!
Standard course
10 days guiding, 14 days holiday in total £2299
Live availability
Click on the planner logo to the right to
see the real time live course availability
Latest Availability
Secure online booking system
Standard Course Inclusions: 1) IFMGA Mountain Guide for nine days, UIMLA guide for one day, 2) Chamonix course hosts for logistics & briefings, 3) B&B accommodation in Chamonix (inc. beddings & towels), 4) Up to three nights half board in mountain hut (inc. costs for guides), two nights of which are paid for by Icicle, 5) Pre course information booklet, 6) Equipment discount voucher for UK shops, 7) Free 36 page technical Course Instruction Booklet, 8) Road transport in Chamonix valley including tunnel ticket and road transport to / from Gran Paradiso, 9) Evening technical instruction.
Exclusions: 1) Travel to and from Chamonix, 2) Equipment hire, 3) Cable cars & uplift (c. 120 euros depending on itinerary), 4) Optional third night in a mountain hut on a half board basis for you and guide, 5) Personal laundry, telephone calls, lunches, evening meals in valley, & any purchases in mountain huts / hotels / restaurants, 6) Certificate for NNAS navigation award, 7) Sunday pre-dinner drinks & Friday celebratory meal & drinks, 8) Activities insurance, & excess baggage charges.
Course upgrade options
Many clients on this trip consider upgrading with one or more of the following course additions...
 
Private
room
Matterhorn
extension
Half
board
Acclimatise
weekend
  Upgrade from shared to
single from £200 in
addition to course price,
depending on week.
Two day extension; 1:1
£1099, or 1:2 for £549
(booking together). Also
Matterhorn or Eiger.
Upgrade from B&B to
have 3 course evening
meals in Chamonix for
5 nights for £99pp.
Saturday night spent in
Chamonix, with choice
of self-guided or guided
on Sunday. From £50.
  Click for details Click for details Click for details Click for details
Col of Gran Paradiso
Current course availability

Course Dates
Mt Blanc Achievements
  • [ 4 ] 24 Jun - 7 Jul 2018
  • [ 3 ] 8 - 21 Jul 2018
  • [ 3 ] 22 Jul - 4 Aug 2018
  • [ 4 ] 5 - 18 Aug 2018
  • [ 4 ] 19 Aug - 1 Sep 2018
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2018 booking discount...
On 01 Nov 2017, prices for 2018 courses will rise. Book NOW for this years prices, for 2018!

Price: £2299 Book online

Alternative courses
Alpine Autonomy course
Alpine Introduction course
Mont Blanc Summit

Winter Mount Toubkal

Client feedback


I just wanted to say thank you for the most fantastic two weeks this summer. I had such an amazing time, loved every minute of it. You guys do such a brilliant job and i am so so greatful to you both for 'looking after' me. I am already trying to think of things to do next summer and I'm really keen to come out again for a few weeks. I have attached a few of pictures I took, thought the one of the three of us girlies with the guides at the top was a good one! I hope you are all well, and hopefully see you again next year!

Laura O , Achievements

Guides were very proactive with teaching and understanding of beginners. Course was good. Covered a wide range of stuff

John A , Achievements

Fun and informative all the time

Jess W , Achievements
Testimonials
Press & media
Films & videos
Photo gallery
Location data for this trip
The trips are based in the Chamonix valley in the French Alps, at the foot of Mont Blanc. It is easily accessed via a 90 minute transfer from Geneva airport.
Time Difference
GMT +1hr
Local Currency
€ Euros
Travel from UK
1hr flight
Films from the summit
Free resources


FREE Podcast
Training for Mont Blanc
A no holes barred podcast, to fully explain what an ascent entails physically and technically, including several examples of hill training.
Download podcast (3.48 MB)
See all the Icicle podcasts
Equipment - summit day kit list...
We send a course specific equipment list to all those booking on our courses, but due to the popularity of this course, we outline a typical packing list for the Mont Blanc summit day in the list below.
Basic clothing
- Light coloured long sleeve wicking layer
- Schoeller / soft shell climbing trousers
- Mid layer fleece jacket / gillet
- Fleece hat and gloves, and sunhat / cap
- B3 leather / plastic boots, and gaiters
Equipment
- Harness, helmet, ice axe (without leash)
- 12 point crampons andanti-balling plates
- 1 x 120cm Sling, 1 x karabiner, 1 x prussic
- Telescopic trekking poles with snow baskets
- Head torch (LED style is lightest type)
Altitude gear
- Synthetic or down insulation jacket
- Goggles in case of high wind
- Neoprane face mask in case of wind
- Thick waterproof over gloves
- Windproof over trousers (eg PacLite)
General kit
- Close fitting sun glasses (Factor 4 for snow)
- Pocket snacks for summit day (eg Haribos)
- Water bottle (bladder type may freeze)
- Rucksack (up to 35 litres max is ideal)
- Basic blister kit, Aspirin, suncream
Suggested reading and kit
View full course equipment list, with examples of kit, click here
Latest news from Icicle
Why choose our trips?
See our Alpine blog, by clicking on the Word-press logo to the right.
Icicle Blog
Itinerary flexibility to allow you to take full advantage of the weather windows on any day, to maximise your summit chances.
Our prices are fixed in £ Sterling, to protect you from euro fluctuations, so you can budget accurately.
There is a choice of routes to opt for, depending on the weather, conditions, and your experience.
Any further questions?
A key part of choosing a company is being able to come and talk about your plans with an experienced course advisor face to face. In an increasingly virtual world, we know our clients value speaking to real people, getting open and honest advice. The vast majority of our clients are British, and our office and outdoor store is based in Windermere in the English Lake District.



Get in contact to arrange a meeting, and come in for a coffee to discuss your course in person with a trip advisor.
 


 
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