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Chamonix - live it [high] up: a gentle introduction to high altitudes & mountaineering

5 days from 850 € per participant

Guaranteed departure from 4 people

France Montagne Maximum altitude 3800 m Skill level : 1 Montagne Stamina level : 1

In a nutshell

Experience mountaineering around Chamonix in a truly relaxing way, in some of the most beautiful areas near Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. Learn the essentials of mountaineering during climbing & mountaineering workshops. Hiking and itineraries on ladders are also on the menu. Our guide will lead you step by step through this mountaineering mecca. A stress free trip on alpine paths, up cliffs and over glaciers awaits you alongside some of the most well-known summits of this mountain range accessible with the use of ski lifts and the Montenvers train.

Learning to scale rock faces will be child’s play as all of the places we’ve selected on the itinerary are easily reached with a short walk. Moreover, a trekking experience in the Aiguilles Rouges will give us  a stunning panoramic view over Mont Blanc. And that’s not all: we stop off at the Mer de Glace where you learn to use crampons and ice axe. However, the real icing on the cake is the glacier hike from the Aiguille du Midi: readily accessible to all in the heart of one of the world’s most beautiful mountain ranges.

Pros

- An accessible and relaxing trip to discover high altitudes with through various activities including mounteneering, rock climbing, trekking and ladder itineraries

- Comfortable accomodation & one night out in a mountain hut

- An immersive experience amongst some of the Alps' most beautiful summits

- An interpretative glacier hike with an expert mountain guidehutComfortabl

An interpretative glacier hike with our expert mountain guidee accommodation & one night out in a mountain hut

Friends, family or just colleagues at work ?

You wish to customize one of our trips, among friends and at your own convenience ? No problem, contact us so we can adapt a trip to suit you, right down to the last detail ! Our trips are tailor-made so giving you what you want is as easy as 123.

  • Price (VAT inc)

Day to day

Day 1 - Trekking

Welcome in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, bags & gear check before we head off to the Planpraz and Brévent ski lifts (2525 m). From Brévent we'll make our way to the Brévent mountain pass (2368 m) and then descend to the Planpraz train station (1999 m) and take the cable car back to Chamonix. From there, will take the old Montenvers train to the Grand Montenvers hôtel where we overnight. This hotel is steeped in history and was a very popular tourist spot during the first part of the 20th century. The hotel is truly magnificent, the food delicious and you’ll be able to appreciate the museum too. Once all the crowds have left with the last train, we’ll have the stunning views of the Drus and the Mer de Glace for yourself.

Ascent/descent: - 530 m

Meals included: picnic and dinner

Accomodation included: hotel

 

Day 2 - Ice and glacier workshop

We set off for the Mer de Glace on a beautiful trail, followed by long ladders plunging to the glacier. We begin our glacier hike and our guide explains glacier walking techniques with the use of crampons. We discover the life of the glacier, it's crevasses and the attitude to have in case we get caught. A glacier workshop will teach you how to progress on glaciers, to ascend and descend on icy slopes, securing yourself with the use of an ice axe, rope use and insuring other participants' safety. We climb up to the Couvercle mountain hut where we overnight.

Ascent/descent: + 700 m / - 300 m

Meals included: breakfast, picnic and dinner

Accomodation included: mountain hut

 

Day 3 - Hiking and glacier hike

After breakfast we head off to the Leschaux mountain hut. This area offers spectacular views over the Grandes Jorasses, the Aiguille Verte, the Mer de Glace and the Grepon Needles. We regain the Mer de Glace glacier and return to the Montenvers hotel for a well deserved shower and good night's sleep.

Ascent/descent: + 700 m / - 300 m

Meals included: breakfast, picnic and dinner

 

Accomodation included: gîte-hotel

 

Day 4 - Introduction to rock climbing

A short descent from the the Montenvers hotel leads to a climbing school area. We learn the basics of climbing enabling us to lead and to belay another person. This is a chance to familiarise oneself with heights and to realise that only few people really suffer from vertigo. After the climbing school we hike towards the Plan de l'Aiguille via the magnificent Northern trail that overlooks the valley. Overnight in the comfortable hut at the Plan de l'Aiguille.

Ascent/descent: + 150 m /- 150 m

Meals included: breakfast, picnic and dinner

 

Accomodation included: mountain hut

 

Day 5 - Glacier hike

We take the second half of the cable car, located close to the Plan de l'Aiguille hut, up to the Aiguille du Midi (3842 m). We descent via the nice snowy ridge from the Aiguille to set foot in the Vallée Blanche. A glacier hike across the Vallée Blanche takes up to the Pointe Lachenal (3613 m). Then it'll be time to return to the Aiguille du Midi and descend back to Chamonix. End of trip.

Meals included: breakfast and picnic 

 

Please note this itinerary is an example of an easy and gentle introductory mountaineering course near Chamonix. The guide may adjust certain itineraries according to weather conditions, cable cars and mountain hut accessibilty as well as participants' abilities. We kindly ask you to respect such decision. 

 

This trip was created in October 2018. Prices are based on  practices and customs of the moment. In case the latter are modified (ex: number of clients allowed per guide, for safety reasons), Azimut respects these guidelines, and we may adjust our prices accordingly.

 

Meeting and leaving

Meeting points

  • In front of the Chamonix Mont Blanc train station

    See on the map

    Meeting time:
    Leaving time:

Get together - practical information

Please wear your mountaineering clothes on day 1.

We always do our best, but we can't guarantee the exact time of arrival at the train station (due to traffic or weather conditions). Therefore we strongly recommend you to buy train tickets that can easily be modified. If you're travelling by car, we'll meet you at the one of the indicated meeting points, or at one of the drop of points where you'll be able to leave your car during the entire trip.

Access

Train & TGV access: www.voyages-sncf.com

Car access: www.mappy.fr 

Car sharing: www.blablacar.fr

 

Parking

Public parking in Chamonix

How technical does it get ? How fit should I be ?

Skill level **

This is course is accessible for beginners on the ball ! No specific difficulty. However, you are advised to have some experience walking with crampons and to be used to walking off trail in the mountains carrying your backpack with some gear in it. You should be able to cope with walking at altitudes above 3000 minimum.  

Stamina level ***

You should be used to outdoors' sports and do endurance sports on a regular basis (cycling, hiking, cross country skiing, swimming). If this is not the case you should run at least 3 times a week (10 km/hr) two to three months before this alpine course. 

 

Good to know: If you haven't got the level required, the guide will be able to ask you to leave for the well-being of the rest of the group. If any doubt, please do not hesitate to ask us!

Group size

4 to 6 participants

Guiding

Azimut mountain guide.

Daypack

Light bag, there is only the personnal belonginfs of the day and the picnic. Portage of the collective belongings to goto the hotel of the Montenvers (by train) and between the hotel of the Montenvers and the plan of the Aiguille.

Ski lifts

Included in the price.

Pricing

The price includes

- Organisation of the trip

- Minibus transfers upon arrival at one of the indicated meeting points

- Certified and expert mountain guide services for 5 days (including all his expenses: meals, accomodation, transportation, ski lift fares)

Half board for 4 nights

- Picnics for 5 days 

- All ski lift fares included in the training programme

- Group security equipment 

The price does not include

- Transportation to/from the meeting point

- Drinks, including those with meals, personal costs and extras

- Personal gear rental

- Any fees incurred by a change in programme due to unsuitable weather conditions or ski lifts not functioning

- Personal insurance

- Any other costs not mentioned under the section “the price includes”

Payment

A 30% deposit, as well as the insurance cost if you choose to subscribe the latter, is required to secure your booking. You will receive a reminder email 35 days prior to departure for the outstanding balance due latest 30 days prior to departure. 

Insurance

We strongly recommend you to be properly insured for the chosen activity. You should be covered for medical expenses, personal accident & liabilité, third party risks and rescue (helicopter), as well as trip cancellation or curtailment.

Repatriation and research insurance are mandatory when booking a trip with Azimut. We have a full range of Europ Assistance insurances on offer to suit the trip you select and the risks that it may incur. 

Tipping

Tipping is no obligation. However participants usually hand round an envelope for those who wish to tip the guide.

Getting around

Azimut's minibus is used throughout the whole trip. Not only does this make the trip easier, but it also makes it more pleasant and open: we can chat, sleep and listen to our own music !

Accommodation & meals

Hotels and meals during the trip

- Depending on the size of group, you may share a room with someone of the opposite sex

- Accomodation in dormitory in a mountain hut for 3 nights, bed linnen and towels not provided, blankets provided, sleeping bag liner obligatory, bathroom and toilets to be shared. For your personal purchases: cash only, credit cards are not accepted.

- Breakfast and dinner will be served in the mountain hut, we have picnics for lunch (5). Picnics consist of good quality products: meat, cheese, bread, a chocolate bar and a piece of fruit or a compote (stewed fruit).  

Accomodation before & after ski touring trips

Once we've received your booking, we'll provide you with a list of accomodation in case you need to book a night before or after the trip. All accomodation listed is close to the meeting points. You may often benefit from preferential rates.

Phone & WiFi

In case of emergency or delay, you can either contact your guide (a phone number will be provided before departure) or contact Azimut on: (+ 33) 04 92 23 07 24.

Please inform your friends and family with these details before departure.

No wifi available in mountain huts, and remember: cash only.

4G and mobile coverage is unreliable.

Equipment - clothing & gear

Technical gear

- Crampons

- Harness

- Ice axe

- Helmet

- Folding walking sticks recommended: those made by Z-pole are compact, light and easy to stow away in your bag

- Gear for the group (such as ropes) is provided 

If you don't have the adequate equipment for the trip, don’t worry and travel light: we rent out the required gear and hand it over at the start of the trip ! Our equipment is relatively new, if not brand new, of good quality and adapted to your choice of activity.

Prices of rental equipment during the entire trip (these competitive prices only take into account the number of days of the trip):

Full mountaineering pack (Helmet, ice axe, Crampons, harness and boots) € 135
Helmet € 30
Ice axe € 35
Crampons € 45
Harness € 30
Mountaineering boots € 50
Walking sticks € 30
   
   

 

You can choose to rent equipment when booking your trip, or lateron by clicking on “my account”. If any of the equipment that you’ve chosen is out of stock you’ll be notified and reimbursed.


If you bring your own gear please make sure:

- your boots are rigid and suitable for crampons

- your crampons fit your feet and boots

- your harness and helmet are less than 5 years old

- you have a light ice axe (not a wooden one !) long enough to be used as a support for walking 

Clothes

This list of clothes is designed to give you an idea of clothes that it may be good to have with you. By no means do you need to have the latest brands nor the latest gear, but if you need to renew your wardrobe, this guide would be a good start. 

Headwear

- Light warm hat or buff / scarf / cap for approach walks / sunglasses suitable for glacier (category 4) / ski goggles for the Mont Blanc ascent

Tip for glasses and goggles: photochromic lenses adapt the light intensity and vary from category 2 to 4, they are very useful. 

Bodywear

- Base layer: a few breathable long and short sleeved tops (merino wool is breathable and has anti-bacterial properties and is therefore less likely to smell as opposed to synthetic fabrics, don't wear cotton, it will not dry). On a glacier and on snow your arms should always be covered in case you fall or slip.

- Mid-layer: a light fleece or lightweight hooded down jacket to wear during breaks under your Gore-tex or soft shell jacket.

- Outer-layer: it should have a breathable and waterproof membrane. Make sure it's lightweight and compact so it doesn't take up too much space in your backpack. 

- Bottom layer: long johns to wear during the ascent, lightweight mountaineering trousers and a pair of trousers with a breathable waterproof membrane (Gore Tex or similar) - those with long side zips are recommended for climbs.

- Hands: light gloves (fleece or soft shell gloves), and pair of silk liners gloves to go underneath. Waterproof and warm mittens (or a second pair of gloves) for ascent day. 

Footwear

- Hiking socks: merino wool socks are warm and breathable 

- Rigid mountaineering boots that are crampon compatible

- Gaiters are obligatory if you rent Gore-tex trousers

- Lightweight shoes for your comfort on approach hikes (we can leave gear in the mountain hut during our stay) 

Odds & ends

  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Flask - 1.5 liter capacity (Camelbacks are not recommended as water often frozes), small bottles are convenient to put under your clothes to avoid water freezing.  
  • Headlight with spare batteries
  • Pocket knife
  • Duck tape
  • Suncream factor 50
  • Duffle type bag holding up to 90 litres that will be left at the hotel or in a vehicle. No suitcases.
  • Backpack: 35/40 liter capacity with a loop to carry your ice axe as well as a padded hip belt.

To be perfectly well organised we recommend you to put your gear in several small and different sized bags.

Toiletries and first aid kit

- Personal toilet bag, only take essentials in the mountains

- Basic first aid kit with any medication you usually take as well as: plasters, bandages, disinfectant wipes, a good multivitamin cream, compeed plasters, elastoplast, anti-pain medication (aspro or any equivalent), antibiotics, anti-diarrhea tablets (immodium), factor 50 suncream, flagyl and spasfon. Information about making a first aid kit can be found online on Ifremont's website. 

If you usually take medication, do not change your habits without consulting your doctor first. But please inform the guide what medication you're taking. 

Need to get gear fixed ?

If your gear or even shoes need to be fixed, we recommend Yvan Jacques and his “climbing shoe clinic”. You can contact him by email info@clinique-du-chausson.fr or by phone (+ 33) 07 87 96 94 80

 

 

In partnership with

Our guides use the following brands for their gear and you'll have the opportunity to test them during the trip:

Black Crows

Arva

Fritschi Swiss bindings

Haglöfs

Glisshop

Anena

SCOTT

Official partner and service provider for Terres d'Aventure

And last but not least...

Don't forget to

- Leave contact details with your friends and family

- Bring your papers and I.D. (passport and visa if necessary)

- Bring your contract number and documents related to your insurance (if you've chosen not to have insure coverage with us)

- Bring your “carte vitale” and your European health card (EU member states) - if you don't have one you can order one for free online  www.ameli.fr

- Check that you have the right equipment

- Take spare batteries and a charger for your electronic devices (camera, video recorder, tracking devices etc)

- Bring some cash and your credit card

- Bring a delicacy from your home country or area to share with the group

- Leave in a good frame of mind: we're going to have a great time even if we may not happen to not make it to the summit !

- Before leaving: water the plants, empty the rubbish bin, turn off water and gas, and tell your partner that you're going to have a good time (please not by text message), that you've well deserved... If you don't follow the latter recommendation, you'll most probably kick yourself when you get back!

 

 

                                 See you in the mountains !

                           Have great climbs with AZIMUT !

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