Standing at a colossal 4,810 metres tall, Mont Blanc is Western Europe’s highest mountain. The summit is an objective for mountaineers from all over the world, and there are a number of direct ascent and climbing options available. There are also plenty of short hiking options and multi day treks in the area meaning Mont Blanc trekking holidays cater for everyone.
Depending on your interests, ability levels and timescale there is a choice of options to tackle Mont Blanc on two feet. A climb and summit attempt will involve a week-long adventure but there are also longer multi-day trekking options, and plenty of shorter one or two day hikes to be enjoyed. Have a look at the following options to enjoy Western Europe’s highest mountain .
Climbing Western Europe’s highest peak is an attainable goal for people with little or no mountaineering or climbing experience. With a good level of fitness and some previous hill walking under your belt it should be within your reach. There’s an abundance of skilful and knowledgeable guides who can teach you all the skills you need to know in pre-summit courses often spread over a one week holiday based in Chamonix.
Pre-dawn starts are the key to a successful climb, with the summit climb itself starting at 1am, don’t worry you get some rests on the sunny afternoons. There are a number of different routes to follow but many, including this Mont Blanc climb with Dream Guides, take the Gouter Ridge route. Although your guide may decide it is possible to tackle the traverse from the Aig du Midi.
Climbing expeditions typically last a week at least, which will allow you to spend the first few days acclimatising and learning the required mountaineering skills. You will overnight in mountain huts and prepare for the main two-day ascent towards the end of the week. With an 80-90% success rate on most trips, you stand a great chance of conquering one of the world’s great peaks.
Mont Blanc is surrounded by incredible trekking terrain, with many different treks offering different perspectives on the face of the mountain. One of the most popular multi-day treks is the Tour du Mont Blanc.
This 170-200km medium altitude circuit takes around ten days to completely circumnavigate the mountain. You will pass through France, Italy and Switzerland, rising up to 2,537 metres at the Grand Col Ferret. You’ll be walking around six hours a day on average, depending on the weather. You’ll also traverse the Balme mountain passage and are likely to see ibex, marmot and discover stunning mountain villages.
The Haute Route, from Chamonix to Zermatt over the Swiss border is one of the most popular Mont Blanc trekking holidays. Its a twelve day trek in the summer, or you can ski it in the winter season which still takes seven days. Known as the High, or Mountaineer’s, Route in English, this is an adventurous trek across high Alpine terrain suitable for people with a good level of fitness and endurance.
There are a number of shorter, guided and self-guided Mont Blanc hikes to experience too. Stay in comfortable mountain hut accommodation in the summer months, or even have your luggage transported between your destinations.
With over 350 km of superbly maintained walking and hiking trails, adapted to all levels of ability, you can choose between lower level forest walks and higher altitude treks. All come with stunning views.
There are a number of hikes suitable for families and older walkers, including the Chalet du Cerro, offering a spectacular view over the Bossons Glacier. The Chalet Floria is another fairly easy hiking trail on the western side of Les Praz.
High altitude hikes include the Lac Blanc, set in the heart of the Aiguilles Rouges, providing stunning views of Chamonix Aiguilles, Les Drus and the Verte. The Argentiere Glacier, at over 2,338 metres, is also well worth exploring on day hikes.
Mont Blanc is one of the most visited natural wonders of the world, and for good reason too. For anyone with an interest in climbing, hiking or trekking, this is a true ‘bucket list’ destination. Climb, hike or enjoy Mont Blanc trekking holidays at your level and you can discover the many sides to the mountain, physically and figuratively, each as rewarding as the next.