Knowing that the french pathway of the Mont Blanc ascent is synonymous of massive attendance during summer months, it is an unspoiled itinerary on the Italian side : La Voie du Pape.
The ambiance is Himalayan and landscapes are grandiose for whom wants to discover the Mont Blanc on an authentic ascent. Our meeting point with our guide is in Chamonix early in the morning, and we will then set off in the Mont Blanc massif. Acclimatization and technical revisions in the glacial basin of Géant, depending on weather conditions. From the Italian Val Veny, we then start the long climb joining the Gonella refuge by the Miage glacier in a world's end atmosphere. Glaciers, ridges, and peaks will take turns to lead you to the summit from where you will admire the view on France, Switzerland and Italy displayed at your feet. The descent will carry out on the french side for a return in the Chamonix valley.
Days 1 to 2Technical revisions and acclimatization
Rendez-vous on Monday morning in Chamonix. During two days you will leave in altitude to acclimatize your body and do the technical revisions required to do La Voie du Pape.
Accommodation : Refuge & lodge
Day 3Gonella Refuge (3071m)
After a short bus transfer to arrive at the end of the Val Venu, we take the road leading us to the Combal Lake, formed above the Miage glacier's moraine which closed the valley. During a few hours we follow this moraine before attending to the glacier, partly coated with rocky blocks. At an altitude of 2500m, under the Aiguilles grises, at the level of the junction between the Miage glacier and the Dôme glacier, we branch towards a small path equipped with cables which will lead us to the Gonella refuge.
Positive difference in altitude : around 1400m | Altitude Max : 3071m | Accommodation : Refuge Gonella
Day 4Mont Blanc Ascent (4810 m)
A path sometimes chapped will lead us to the Aiguilles Grises pass at 3850m and then to the Piton des Italiens at 4002m. We follow the snowy ridge from the Bionnassay pass to join the Col du Dôme (technical passage due to the narrowness). From the Col du Dôme, climb up towards the Vallot refuge. The Mont Blanc ascent will finish of by the Bosses edge, the normal way for Mont Blanc. We climb back down to the Tête Rousse or Nid D'Aigle Refuge, depending on availabilities.
Positive difference in altitude : 1735m | Negative difference in altitude : 1500 à 2000m | Accommodation : Refuge
Day 5Return to Chamonix
From the refuge, we descend to the Nid D'Aigle to take the Mont Blanc Tramway followed by the Bellevue cable car, and here we are, back in the valley.
Negative difference in altitude : 700 m
Please note that although the itinerary presented here is the one we intend to follow there is a high chance that variations may be necessary. Many factors can affect climbing in high mountains. Mountain adventures are weather and conditions dependant, 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 maximum chances of success of the trip.Please use this outline itinerary as a guide to the types of route / activity that you will attempt.
If unable to attempt the ascent of Mont Blanc, we organize an alternative program for the conditions (Monte Rosa summits, The Bishorn, Le Grand Paradis ...). Except in special cases, the principle of the training and share and exchange a commitment for the duration of the stay, which excludes any possibility of postponement or cancellation on probation.
For security reasons and to ensure a consistent level corresponding to that announcement, coaching and the organization reserves the right to discontinue your participation if your technical and / or physical form do not match those required. In no case the interruption shall not give rise to a refund or compensation payments.
Please note that our first meeting will be on the first day of the trip. If you want to book more night accommodations (e.g. before the first day or for the last day), you can contact us and we will do it for you. The price is 95 € / pers. / night (half-board) on a double room.
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 : 1 guide for the group during training and 1 guide for 2 people during the ascent
Cable cars and movements necessary to the normal progress of the program
Accommodation in refuges, half-board
Bus in the Val Veny
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 : 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
If you wish, we can take care of booking your international flights to the closest airport of your destination.
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 Expeditions. 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 ascent of Mont Blanc.
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 cash 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.
Budget & exchange
France and Italy are in the Eurozone. Therefore, the unit of the currency is the Euro.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances (but don’t forget to bring your PIN number!).
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)
Slippers and blankets while in refuges
High Mountain shoes with rigid soles and that fit crampons
Mountaineering backpack (40/50L) with straps for ice axe, helmet and crampons
Ice axe, crampons, harness, helmet (keep in mind that carabiners cannot be rented)
1.5L water bottle or thermos
1 bed sheet
1 headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs
1 pair of gaiters
A small toiletry bag (strict minimum)
Sunscreen (face and lips)
A bag protector in case of rain (non mandatory)
Hat or cap
Glacier sunglasses (category 4) + ski goggles
1 balaclava or warm scarf to put around your neck
1 pair of warm gloves or mitains
1 pair of fleece gloves
1 pair of under gloves
2 or 3 technical underwear long sleeve shirts
1 fleece underwear long sleeve shirt
1 windstopper, breathable and waterproof jacket type Goretex
1 very warm fleece jacket
1 pair of comfortable mountain trousers
1 pair of technical breathable tights
2 pairs of socks : 2 thick and 3 thin
You will carry all of your belongings and your technical equipment in a 40/50L alpinism backpack.
Your guide has a pharmacy of first urgency.
Plan with your doctor your personal pharmacy:
Pain reliever (preferably paracetamol)
Light sleeping pills
Broad spectrum antibiotic
Please make sure your passport and travel documents are valid.
Up to 90 days visit in France : citizens from most countries do not need a visa to visit France.
Over 90 days visit in France : non-EU or non-EFTA citizens must have a visa to visit France over 90 days.
For EU citizens, you can use your identity card to travel to France.
There are no mandatory vaccines needed to travel to France.
If your have any questions concerning a trip to France or if you’re wandering what vaccines you might need for your trip, take an appointment with your local clinic and travel doctor. You can call Passport Health at 1-888-499-7277.
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 weather in the French Alps varies up and down the mountain chain. It is a mountainous region between 800 and 4000 meters, so altitude plays a big part in the local weather.
As you climb higher into the mountains it gets 1 degree cooler every 100 meters. It is the case all year around but other factors such as temperature inversions and winds influence the climate. The sun plays a very important role too. In the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky, some lower or north facing valleys are blocked from the sun by mountains for a large part of the day and are colder.
Keep in mind that weather conditions are unpredictable. Therefore, the trip organization can me modified for your safety.
There will be electricity in most places you will stay. If you are scared to run low on battery, we advise to bring an external battery charger.
Power plugs in France have the particularity of being male and female at the same time : they have 2 prongs and a receptacle. If you need an adapter, please purchase if before departure.
In France the power plugs and sockets are of type E. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.
France is in the Central European Time Zone. Central European Standard Time (CET) is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1).
Like most states in Europe, Summer Time (Daylight-Saving) is observed in France, where the time is shifted forward by 1 hour; 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2).
After the summer months, the time in France is shifted back by 1 hour to Central European Time (CET or 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 France 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.
An altitude preparation for a better acclimatization
The beauty of the Italian side of the massif
A great scale run with beautiful ridge crossings
A very little busy itinerary
« If you wish to climb Mont Blanc on an astonishing path and far away from the crowd, then this trip is made for you. The Italian Val Veny, secret and preserved, will offer you unforgettable memories so much in the atmosphere and worthy of a Himalayan ascent. »
This tip is reserved to experienced people that have already climbed in high altitude using crampons during the past 2 years. If you haven't got any experience in altitude, you might want to prefer a trip to Mont Blanc with 3 days of training before the ascent (Royal Mont Blanc ascent) or a high mountain discovery trip.
The main difficulties are located between the Gonella refuge and the summit due to unravel and aerial ridges which requires a good control of your steps with crampons.
The ascent is very long. It is mandatory to have an excellent physical condition and to be acclimatized to altitude.
The itinerary in altitude is long and we cross deux mounts followed by large crossings. This outlines the isolation of this itinerary which can become very active in case of bad weather. This is why your guide can decide to stop the ascent at any moment if he judges that the conditions aren't favorable.