Climb Monte Viso Course

Climb Monte Viso 3841m

Monte Viso course – page under construction – but booking portal ready via the link below & please get in touch for further details or check back soon for a completed course page here….


The Gran Paradiso is the highest mountain entirely within Italy and a constant snowy companion on the southern skyline from the Mont Blanc Massif. Lying in the beautiful Paradiso National Park this is a delightful high mountain area, set above the Italian Val d’Aosta and enjoying a fine southern alpine climate. In early summer, vibrantly coloured wild flowers and jostling Ibex give a spring in the step for the pleasant walk up to the hospitable & lively Italian mountain hut, from where the enjoyable summit climb begins…

2021 Course Dates & Prices 

Latest Climb Monte Viso Conditions

Aug 11

Climb Monte Viso 2021

August 11 - August 13
Monte Viso North Face
The inspiring site of Monte Viso from the lovely approach walk from Pian del Re at the head of the Po Valley.

Course Aims

  • Spend an enjoyable long weekend in the high alpine mountains & climb the Gran Paradiso (4061m)
  • Complete some quality alpine mountaineering training & develop your glacier travel & rope work skills
  • Visit 2 different parts of the superb Italian Alps with an interesting journey down the Val d’Aosta
  • Have a fun & sociable long weekend with like minded people, spending a couple of nights in hospitable mountain huts
Thankyou for the great services you and your excellent team provided to me in the mountains. The Summit of Gran Paradiso and supporting training was one of the most enjoyable experiences I have ever had.  Both Klemen & Gav’s unwavering enthusiasm, skill and ability to impart knowledge was absolutely first class.
Tom Vear, Climb Gran Paradiso Course, June 2019

Climb Monte Viso – An Action Packed 3 Day Mountaineering Course…

Our 3 day Gran Paradiso course starts in Chamonix which is easily reached from Geneva airport via a simple one hour transfer. Day 1 begins with introductions to the Guide, other guests & the course in general as well as a weather brief and equipment check. We can hire any alpine mountaineering equipment at this stage including mountain boots if required.

Isabella on an evening recce up the chains to the Passo di Sagnette 2991m

Day 1 – The South Side of Monte Bianco

The short drive is then taken through the Mont Blanc tunnel and into the upper Italian Vallee d’Aoste. Welcome to Italy where a good coffee stop is never far away! We start the journey into the high altitude south side of the Monte Bianco range via the superb Skyway mountain lift. This gives immediate access to the Torino Hut and its superb nearby peaks & glaciers. These are ideal for spending the day travelling on glaciers, doing some mountaineering training & making a short climb to a C 3400m peak. All good preparation for the Gran Paradiso ascent to come.  A sociable evening is then spent in the Torino mountain hut with a 3 course dinner and first night sleeping at an altitude of 3375m.

Rifugio Quintino Sella just after sun rise with the Passo di Sagnette 2991m on the ridge line to the right.

Day 2 – Alpine Start & Journey In To Gran Paradiso National Park

A very early ‘alpine start’ will hopefully give the wonderful experience of crunching crampons on a frozen glacier and making a fine trekking journey round to the Col d’Entrèves. From here we have superb views of our main aim, the Gran Paradiso on the southern skyline. To the East lies the Grandes Jorasses, Matterhorn & Monte Rosa and just to the West is the magnificent steep & wild South face of Mont Blanc. A short ridge scramble can be made from here to provide a fun & slightly more technical progression for the Paradiso summit ridge.

Enjoyable scrambling on solid the solid rock ridge, with loose scree gullies on both sides, and great views to the Alps Maritime to the south.

By mid morning we return to the lift station & back down in to the Val d’Aosta to travel over to the Paradiso National park, via an excellent café and lunch stop.  We park high in the beautiful Valsavarenche from where an enjoyable 2 hour walk zig zags up through Larch forests & alpine meadows to reach the lovely Chabod Hut (2750m). Abundant wild alpine flowers and Ibex can often be seen on the ascent.  Dinner is usually served around 7pm and always contains the essential pasta for ‘carbo-loading’ for the next day! The Chabod hut is a pleasant & hospitable base camp for our ascent and also has a bar and small shop for drinks and snacks.

Mont Blanc Alterntative Mountain
Rob, Rodrigo & Isabella on the summit of Monte Viso, Oct 2019

Here you can check out the view of the Gran Paradiso North Face & Glacier ascent from the hut webcam.

Monte Viso Sunrise
Ciao e buongiorno Monte Viso. Sunrise to the east across the Po Valley and Italian Plains from Quintino Sella Hut.

Day 3 – The Ascent Of The Gran Paradiso

On summit day breakfast is usually served at around 4am and our intention will be to leave the hut 45 mins after that. A rocky path leads us up across stony meadows and on to the glacier. Here we put on harness, crampons and rope for the trek up the glacier as a roped team.

Rock climbing on the final day of the course on the lovely sunny east facing cliffs above the mountain lake near the Rifugio

We have gained some height above the surrounding hills now and, just after dawn, the huge bulk of Mont Blanc is visible glowing with dawn pink & white alpen light on the Northern skyline. A steady glacial ascent takes us to a flatter section at 3800m before the final steepening and access to the summit ridge at 4000m. This is ‘airy’ and exposed but short and quite easy.

Team Monte Viso – October 2019 at Rifugio Quintino Sella. Alan, Isabella, Paul, Rodrigo & Rob.

The large Madonna statue on the summit is a fine culmination to the ascent. If the wind is blowing, or there are other teams around, you may want to descend straight away and enjoy a more relaxed break and appreciation of the view from a high col on the summit ridge.  There are superb views of the nearby peaks of the Italian Vallee d’Aosta, Giants of the Swiss Valais, the Tarentaise and way down to the impressive Southern French Alps (Ecrins).

We then descend by a different flank of the mountain to make a traverse via the Vittorio Emanuele Hut and down to the tiny hamlet of Pont at the head of the Valsavarenche. Here a good cafe provides celebratory refreshments before the return journey back to Chamonix.

In summary – A superb long weekend in the Italian Alps and a fine ascent which will help develop your mountaineering experience & skills. We are usually back in Chamonix by mid – late afternoon on day 3.

NB, Sometimes we also climb from the nearby Vittorio Emanuele Hut depending on prevailing weather, snow conditions & hut availability.

The sustained descent of the South Face of Monte Viso. Great views but concentration on footwork required…

Richard, Climb Gran Paradiso Aug 2015

“Many thanks for facilitating a great trip. I really enjoyed it – the trip up to Punta Hellbroner on the new lift was a very worthwhile addition with great views thanks to the weather. Guy, the Guide was excellent – as no doubt you knew he would be – he looked after us very well with an easy going manner. ”  Thanks again.

When To Climb the Gran Paradiso

Whilst the main season for climbing the Gran Paradiso is high summer (June to September) it is possible to climb the mountain all year round according to weather and conditions. In winter and spring most will make the Gran Paradiso ascent on Skis. Late spring & early summer is a particularly pleasant time in the Gran Paradiso national park and the mountain and huts will be a lot quieter than in August. If you are looking for a quieter ascent then avoiding a weekend in high summer is a good start! Whilst the huts are not staffed in autumn they remain open and using these ‘winter rooms’ with a roaring wood burning stove can be a truly memorable mountain experience.

The South Face of Monte Viso with its normal route weaving up through the buttresses before joining the East Ridge on the right.

We run a range of group course long weekends throughout spring, summer and autumn, see our course dates below.  If you would prefer alternative dates & your own tailor made trip, please contact us to arrange a private guide for the Gran Paradiso.

Monte Viso Course
Snowy conditions on the South Face of Monte Viso in late Sept 2020. This is the initial leftwards traverse across the face once the difficulties have started.

Course Fitness and Experience Required

Previous mountaineering experience will be useful but not essential for the steady ascent of the Gran Paradiso. Crampons will be worn on summit day but prior instruction will be given in their use. A good level of fitness is required for the 1300m climb on the summit day. The ascent, descent back to the hut and onwards to the valley could take up to 10 hours walking so good stamina and endurance will also be required.

Matterhorn training Scotland
Sunny scrambling and easy big boot climbing – great Monte Viso training!  Castle Ridge, North Face of Ben Nevis, Photo Hannah Burrows Smith

Whilst the ascent involves no technical climbing a snow covered glacier is crossed and a narrow and exposed summit ridge must be negotiated giving a real mountaineering flavour to the ascent. This requires the ability to maintain concentration & good movement skills whilst on a high & exposed mountain ridge.  We would highly recommend doing one of our UK based Mont Blanc training / hill walking & scrambling weekends as part of your training for the Gran Paradiso ascent.

If you have a really excellent level of fitness and some mountain / trail running you could also consider a 1 day ascent of the Paradiso as per our info lower down this page.

Climb Monte Viso Course
The inspiring, and slightly intimidating sight of a snow blasted Monte Viso north side from the road to Piana del Re. C. 2000m.

Suggested Course Progression

This Gran Paradiso course would work well early in your alpine mountaineering career. Often folk do this course along with Chamonix Intro Alpine as a fine introduction to alpine mountaineering. A good alpine progression would then be to Climb the Weissmies. These enjoyable and contrasting Italian & Swiss 4000m peaks would set you up well for Climbing Mont Blanc. After that our series of Chamonix mountaineering courses forms a logical progression in the following order; ‘Becoming an Alpinist’ followed by Chamonix Alpinist & then Chamonix private guiding for harder / longer routes & north faces as well as our Climb the Eiger & Matterhorn courses.

 Robert Gardiner, 3 Day Gran Paradiso, Sept 2015
“We had a great time for Jamie’s 21st birthday trip up GP. First time for both of us ice climbing and ascending to 4000m. The weather was the star of the trip. We got wet at all times except during the training and the ascent. Altitude effects were an interesting experience. Jeff was an informative, engaging and entertaining guide. Thanks to everyone involved and especially our fellow-travellers Simon and Andy.”
The South Face of Monte Viso with its normal route weaving up through the buttresses before joining the East Ridge on the right.

Climb Monte Viso Course Films

A couple of our guests have fully embraced the team ascent element to our Gran Paradiso courses and have made these micro Gran Paradiso films which help to give a flavour for the full Italian Alpine Mountain experience….

Here is Rodrigo’s short Gran Paradiso ascent film of our early autumn ascent in October 2019.

James Pearson, Gran Paradiso, July 2015

Fantastic 2 day adventure with Rob on Gran Paradiso preceded by some high mountain training. This was Holly Pearson’s (aged 17) first experience of the high alpine – had never worn crampons or held an ice axe. Have climbed with many guides. What distinguishes Rob is the right balance of technical knowledge and love of the mountains. Inspires confidence, is a great teacher, knows his mountain craft as you’d expect – but he brings the mountains to life. We spent loads of times talking about the climb but more about the huge range of other possibilities.. We will be back. I highly recommend this trip and HMG.

Alpine Mountaineering Equipment List For Monte Viso

2021 Course Dates & Prices

Our standard course involves three guided days and 2 nights in Italian Alpine Huts. For those with some existing mountain experience we also do a 2daycourse which proceeds direct to the Paradiso without the night at the Torino Hut. Most of our Climb Gran Paradiso courses can be combined with an ascent of Mont Blanc to provide a superb action packed week of high alpine mountaineering.

Jun 13
Jun 23
Jul 07
Sep 09

Climb Gran Paradiso – September 2021

September 9 - September 11

2021 Price £650.00

Maximum Ratio of 1 Guide to 4 clients

What’s Included in the Price?

Our courses are priced on a ‘guiding only’ basis which means you pay the exact cost price for all other expenses like hotels, mountain huts and lift passes.

  • 3 days full days mountain guiding with an IFMGA Mountain Guide (2 days on the short weekend)
  • Transport during the course including travel across to the Italian Alps from Chamonix
  • Management of the trip / itinerary and booking of all mountain huts
  • Discounted equipment hire prices

What’s Not Included & Other Additional Expenses?

  • Mountain Lifts: Hellbronner return trip C. 52 euros.
  • Valley accommodation. Please see our Chamonix Accommodation notes. Prices start from camping at C.10 euros per night, Bunkhouse for C.20 euros per night and hotel accommodation from around 40-50 euros upwards.
  • Mountain Hut & lift for you and the Guide. Allow about 65 euros per night for dinner, bed & breakfast and your part share in the same for the Guide (at a heavily reduced rate). The best way to deal with these expenses is to make a communal group ‘kitty’ which you contribute to and all expenses are paid out of.
  • Additional snacks, drinks, lunch etc
  • Flights
  • Transfers to Chamonix (C. 35 euros for single journey from Geneva Airport)
  • Mountaineering equipment. Check the kit list above
  • Insurance suitable for alpine mountaineering in Europe

See more details from our rapid June 2020 ascent below and please contact us via the form below if you would be interested in preparing for / making this light and fast ascent…

Monte Viso East Ridge & Private Guiding

For those with less time and wanting to pack the Monte Viso experience in to a short 2 day trip….

The superb East Ridge of Monte Viso, The Matterhorn of the Southern Alps. Right above the Rifugio.

Climb Monte Viso – Latest Conditions

30 September 2020, Tough Cold Snowy Conditions On The South Face

Superbly scenic but very cold, windy and snowy and after a wild night at the hut (not in the party sense but in the wind sense) we had a good go at the summit but it proved a bridge too far on this occassion:

30 September 2020, Monte Viso, Mt Blanc, Gran Paradiso – Snowy Autumn Conditions

5 October 2019, Great Autumn Trip & Full Team To The Summit Via South Face Route

A very enjoyable 3 day trip, done on this last weekend of the hut being open at the end of the summer season.  Full details on this news post here:

5th October 2019, Monte Viso