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This 5 days traineeship in the heart of the Mont Blanc massif, around the Orny Hut, will provide you mountaineering basics and high mountain climbing techniques.
It is a true formation to access autonomy on an easy level. You will leave for the mountain every day to learn with rock, snow and ice schools, that will help you reach the top. From Chamonix, we join Champex, in Switzerland, for a long cable car ride. Then, a path will lead us to the Orny hut at 2811m, on the Swiss side of the Mont Blanc massif. This will be our base camp for the week : we'll learn basic techniques to evolve whilst roped and insure yours and your partners' security in all types of terrain encountered in high mountain.
Planned : crampons on ice and snow, progress whilst roped on a glacier, rock-climbing, abseiling techniques, rescue manoeuvres, course preparation, cartography, orientation...
Days 1 to 5Traineeship program
The guide will decide of the week's program depending on the following criteria :
- Participants' level, treks already achieved and those you dream of doing
- Altitude acclimatization notion is still present
- Difficulty & engagement increasing program
- Mountain conditions and forecasted weather
Indicative list of possible courses :
Tête Blanche crossing (3429m) by the NE ridge, mixed & glacial terrain ;
Aiguilles du Tour crossing(3544m) ;
Portalet normal way (3344m) ;
Snow & mixed terrain, Tour des Aiguilles Dorées,
Glacial terrain ; Gendarme d'Orny (2900m),
Rock-climbing ; Aiguille d'Orny (3150m),
Rock-climbing ; Aiguille de la Cabane (2999m)
Accommodation : Orny Hut (2811m)
Please note that although the itinerary presented here is the one we intend to follow, there is a high chance that changes may be necessary. Many factors can affect climbing in high mountains. Mountain adventures depend on weather conditions, individual member's abilities vary, as does their ability to assimilate the skills needed. The guide's main aim will be to ensure your safety and the success of the trip. Please use this outline itinerary as a guide to the types of roads / activities that you will attempt. For security reasons and to ensure a consistent level corresponding to the one announced, the organization board gets the right to discontinue your participation if your technical and / or physical conditions do not match those required. In no case the interruption shall give right to a refund or compensation payments.
The 30% deposit has to be paid when registering. The remaining balance will be paid 30 days before departure.
The technical organisation of the trip
A high mountain guide's supervision
Cable cars included in the program
Collective equipment necessary for your safety
Individual transportation assured by your personal vehicle
Individual technical equipment
Drinks & personal expenses
Snacks (cereal bars, dried fruits, chocolate bars, etc.) according to your own convenience
Insurance & assistance: cancellation, research and rescue by helicopter in high mountain (in France, Italy and Switzerland) hospitalization and repatriation
Everything that isn't mentioned in the "included" section
We can book your international flight to Geneva. Feel free to ask our team !
Terms and conditions
Subscribe to one of our activities or travels means accepting general sales conditions. Each client must fill a subscription form, which will be accepted only after the payment of a deposit accounting for 30% of the travel’s price and according to the availability. If you subscribe less than 30 days before the trip, you must pay the whole price during the subscription. You can pay by bank transfer (SWIFT/IBAN) or with your credit card directly through our website (available soon). A booking confirmation will be sent to you be e-mail very soon.
Once your booking is registered, we will send you an email containing the invoice. Full payment is required at least 30 days before your arrival. If the customer does not settle the payment of the travel price within the period agreed upon, Altaï Alpes has the right to cancel the booking free of charge.
If for any reason, you decide to withdraw from a journey, the amount already paid will be refunded subject to the following exceptions:
More than 30 days before departure, you will be charged for the amount of 50€
From 30 to 21 days before departure, you will be charged for the amount of the deposit (30% of the trip’s price)
From 20 to 14 days before departure, you will be charged for 50% of the trip’s price
From 13 to 7 days before departure, you will be charged for 75% of the trip’s priceLess than 7 days before departure, you will be charged for the whole trip’s price
Particular case :
Whatever the cancellation or contract change date, the following fees will be added to the charges above:
Airline fixed costs: plane tickets are bought in advance to avoid too high airline prices, however they are non refundable in case of cancellation or plan changes. In that case, the charges above apply to the price of your trip without the plane ticket’s price
Ground fixed costs: you will be charged for the fees that were paid early
Insurance fees: Insurance fees will not be refunded if you have subscribed to a multi-risk or cancellation insurance. The specific conditions will be written on your subscription confirmationIf you have no choice but to cancel your trip before departure, you must inform Montagne Expeditions and your insurance provider with a written statement as soon as possible, you will get a receipt.
The receipt date will be taken as the cancellation date to charge cancellation fees.
If Montagne Expeditions has no choice but to cancel a group travel due to an insufficient number of participants, the decision will be taken and the clients informed at least 31 days before departure. Altaï Alpes can also cancel a departure due to exceptional events threatening participants safety (social events, strikes, weather conditions). In that case, the trip’s price will be fully refunded but the participants will not get any compensation.
Changes to travel contract
If any change in travel contract is made at the customer’s request, the customer shall pay any fee that might arise from this change. In any case, every request for changes shall be notified in writing. In case of external events that could not be foreseen, Altaï Alpes might change some aspects of the travel contract. We will inform you of any changes as quickly as possible.
All group travel prices on our website have been calculated for the indicated number of participants for each trip. The price list is confirmed after the booking. If the number of participants is lower than expected, an additional payment charge might be applied. For each travel and program, we mention the price per person – valid for the minimum number of participants – and we provide you with detailed explanations about the services included or not. Any change in the exchange rates or in the price of travel services in particular regarding the cost of the fuel, might entail price revision.
In case of contract transfer by the customer to an assignee, modification and cancellation conditions apply.
We recommend you to get your personal insurance before your departure to cover the activities undertaken by Montagne Expedition. If you have not purchased any of our insurances, we ask you to email us your insurance contract information (company, contract name, contract number, phone number) and bring those information with you on your trip.
This trip is supervised by a qualified High Mountain Guide whose main objective is to train you in basic technics and to enable you to complete a safe and successful trip.
Diners : meals prepared by shelter keepers
Take some race food according to your own tastes (cereals bars, chocolate bars, dry fruits,…).
Water is not for free in refuges (from 5 to 8 euros one bottle). We advise you to bring some water purification tablets (Aquatabs or Micropur) in order to drink tap water.
Personal drinks are not included in the trip's price
Bring some Swiss francs for coffees, fruit juices, coke or beers during breaks… Shelters usually don’t accept bank card payments and Euros.
Every refuges of this itinerary are comfortable and warm. Dormitories are equipped with blankets for the night (plan to bring your personal bed sheet for hygiene reasons).
Slippers are at your disposal : no need to bring trainers.
We advise you to bring protection against noise (ear plugs).
A few electrical plugs are available in refuges, but plan to bring an external battery to charge your camera and switch off your phone during the day.
A 50 to 60L backpack with an abdominal belt and comfortable shoulder straps.
Budget & exchange
Switzerland uses the Swiss Franc (CHF). It is better to change money before departure, however euros are widely accepted in Switzerland.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances (but don’t forget to bring your PIN number!).
ATMs are available in most of the towns you will cross during your stay, but there are no guarantees that your credit card will actually work in Switzerland. Also, refuges often don’t have EPT (Electronic Payment Terminal): it is best to bring cash.
Be aware of the fees usually applied when purchasing products or services on a credit card.
Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spend your trip constantly feeling short on funds.
As currency exchange rates can often fluctuate, we recommend to check the following website for daily exchange rates: https://www.xe.com/
Clients usually pay for the guides’ drinks : you might find it practical to make a group kitty at the beginning of your stay (no obligation).
Collective equipment (ropes, carabiners, ...)
Slippers while in huts
Mountaineering boots that you can fit crampons onto (with rigid soles)
A comfortable mountaineering backpack (40/50L)
Ice axe, crampons, harness with locking carabiner, helmet
One or two collapsible walking poles (depending on what you are used to)
A thermos water bottle (1.5L)
A pair of gaiters
A sheet-type for sleeping bag (there are blankets in the shelters)
A small toiletry bag and a small towel fast drying (from specialized stores)
A sunscreen (face and lips)
A headlamp (LED type)
Toilet paper (biodegradable if possible)
Two plastic bags (100 liters) to protect the backpack from rain
There are no mandatory vaccines needed to travel to Switzerland.
Health information & recommendations
For this trip, you must be fit : you can train with other sports such as running, cycling, swimming or sportive walk. To have a reasonable chance of success, a high degree of fitness and stamina, some previous experience of altitude is highly recommended.
For more information about our trips' levels, please go to the "Level" section of our website.
Training advices to check with your general practionner : six months before departure, try to do at least 1 to 2 endurance sport sessions a week (each one must last at least one hour) and do a 6 hours trekking during the week-end with an elevation of 400m/hour during three hours. Three months before departure, try 2 to 3 endurance sport sessions a week and increase your trekking time during the week end from 7 to 8 hours.
Please inform us of any health issues : allergy, diabetes, asthma, or old strokes...
The Swiss climate is moderately continental in the plateau, Alpine in the mountains, and more temperate in the Canton of Ticino. In the mountains, the climate varies with altitude and slope exposure, but in winter, they are located above the blanket of fog and low clouds that often covers the plateau, so they are also sunnier in this season. The cold wind, which in Switzerland and in central France is called Bise, blows from the north-east and is more frequent in winter and spring.
Late winter and early spring (February-March) are recommended for a ski holiday, since the days are longer than in December and January.
The electrical current in Switzerland is 230V, 50Hz. Swiss sockets are recessed, three-holed, hexagonally shaped and incompatible with many plugs from abroad. They usually, however, take the standard European two-pronged plug.
Most refuges have electric plugs, but some haven't. If you scared of running low on battery, bring an external battery with you.
Switzerland is in the Central European Time Zone (CET). Central European Standard Time is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1).
We do our best to offer trips subscribed to the principles of responsible and sustainable tourism. Our aim is to allow visitors to discover the many facets of the Alps by taking you off the beaten path and getting you in touch with its nature and residents, while ensuring that your visits do not have a negative effect on its natural environment and people.
Most of our accommodations are run by locals, thus ensuring that the largest part of the revenue generated through your trip will stay within the region.
France is known for its exquisite cuisine. The art of cooking and the joy of eating are part of everyday life. Each region has its particular foods and flavors which we would like you to explore and appreciate.
Water is a precious and rare good. Our team and those travelling with us are thus advised to use it with consideration and avoid excessive water use where possible.
Please try to recycle your waste whenever possible, even though recycling may not be a well-known concept in all areas.
Be cautious and respectful when hiking. Make sure to wear suitable footwear and avoid picking flowers, moving stones or lighting fires.