Chamonix Mont Blanc Mountaineering Course

24 September 2021, Gran Paradiso & Mont Blanc Summits + Snowdonia & Skye Mountaineering

There is an end of season feel in the Alps as the summer draws to an end, huts and lifts are closing, and we are very much in the transition to autumn.   The recent big snow storms sent the snow line plunging down towards not far above the 2000m contour and a few keen teams even dusted off the skis for some Chamonix September powder turns!

Evening ambiance at Refuge Tête Rousse. Enjoying the views, light and pre-climb atmoshpere before an early start next morning…Photo Kev Avery.

Our Gran Paradiso course team were up at the Torino Hut and making their way to Rifugio Chabod during the worst of the weather but at least this coincided with their training – acclimatisation – high altitude café drinking phase…and they were able to ride out the poor weather in the huts whilst still preparing for the beautiful conditions they were about to experience on the Paradiso itself.

Early autumn full moon in the Gran Paradiso National Park. Photo Kev Avery.
A much more pristine and autumnal feel to the Paradiso National Park and Mont Blanc Massif after last weekends snow storms…Photo Kev Avery

Conditions in the mountains were then great with cool clear weather and beautiful fresh snow, with a bit of trail breaking…but not too much!   We have a team at Rifugio Chabod tonight, hoping to Climb Gran Paradiso tomorrow and we have 1 more place on our last course of the season, 3-5th October.

Fresh snow on the glacier above Rifugio Chabod and below the north face of Gran Paradiso. Good late summer / early autumn conditions.

Well done to Oeyvind, Ingunn, Kev, Jason, John, & Will who all climbed Mont Blanc this morning from the Tête Rousse Hut.  Very good conditions, beautiful late summer weather and a climb well done after some quality training for both Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn in Snowdonia and the Scottish Highlands.

Oeyvind, Ingunn and Kev on the summit of Mont Blanc, 24/9.

We have 1 place remaining on our last Mont Blanc open team course for this season on the 3-9th October.

Dawn on the late summer ascent of Mont Blanc. Near perfect conditions in late September 2021. Photo Kev Avery

Our other teams this week have been enjoying some classic UK mountaineering in Skye and Snowdonia and preparing for climbing the Matterhorn next summer alpine season.

Experienced guiding team of Tim Neil and Ric Potter take family Harrison up the Idwal Slabs in the Ogwen Valley. A brilliant big boot rock climbing & alpine training venue. Photo Ric Potter.

Darren and Nick had less good luck with the weather on the magical Isle of Skye this week and were not able to complete the planned ridge traverse like several of our other guests have managed over the spring and summer seasons, but they’ve had an entertaining week of scrambling, exploring and dodging the gales nonetheless!

Darren enjoying the ‘good weather day’ this week on Skye with an ascent of the Inaccessible Pinnacle. Photo Nick Carter.

Back in Chamonix the good weather has allowed teams to get back on to the high altitude South facing rock climbing like the classic routes on the Midi and many folk in the valley particularly look forward to the great conditions in autumn for valley and middle mountain rock climbing.

‘La Plume’ 6c+, one of the best routes at the Le Fayet upper tier crag.  A fine short route with 3 very short technical sections interpersed with good rests and a difficult last clip and move! . This crag is not very fashionable as it’s a bit dusty and has a lot of flat or slopey holds. But it’s steep, fun climbing and stays dry in all but the wettest of weather. Worth checking out!

Autumn is a also often a great time to be climbing in the Alps, especially potentially this year after a wet and snowy end to the summer which is promising for improving mixed climbing conditions in October – November.  Check out our autumn & winter mixed route info below and get in touch for details…..

We now only have a very few spaces left on our late summer alpine mountaineering courses plus an early autumn opportunity to climb Gran Paradiso and Mont Blanc in early October…

We also have places available on group courses and for private guiding for our UK Mont Blanc & Matterhorn training weekends.

Plus we have started taking bookings for winter ski touring & off piste courses based in Chamonix and our popular Chamonix off piste & touring skills course dates are up and taking bookings for Jan 2022 through to April 2022.  We hope to climb – train – ski with you this coming autumn and winter season.