The Mont Blanc ascent is a challenging trip ; at altitudes of over 4000 metres, with rugged terrain, snow and glaciers, good mountaineering equipment is necessary. One of the particularities of the Mont Blanc climb is that the weather can change quickly (true of the mountains in general) so you need to be prepared for all eventualities, and be equipped for extremes of temperature as when hiking at lower altitudes, the temperatures can be quite high. Mountaineering gear such as ice axe, crampons and helmet is necessary for navigating the glaciers and the ascent. If you don’t have mountaineering gear, or don’t wish to carry too much gear when travelling, you can rent helmet, ice axe and crampons in les Houches.
Scroll to the bottom of the page for the checklist in printable pdf format
Equipment : Mont Blanc Ascent
- Mountaineering Boots
You will need good quality mountaineering boots for the ascent ; they need to be waterproof, and allow attaching of crampons. You can bring your own boots or rent them on site for the week. This is a vital part of your gear, so if you need any advice about what boots to bring, please get in touch and we’d be happy to help!
- Hiking Boots (see below)
Please note that at the beginning of our Mont Blanc ascent trip there will be 2 days of hiking so you need to be happy to walk with your mountaineering boots. Alternatively you can bring your hiking boots and hire mountaineering boots in Les Houches or bring both. However you need to have at least one type of boot with you for the first part of the trip (it’s only possible to rent boots in Les Houches).
- Ice Axe, Crampons, Helmet. Possibility to rent them in Les Houches.
Basic mountaineering gear : ice axe, crampons & helmet, is necessary for the ascent. You will have the chance to practice walking with crampons and using the ice axe at the start of the trip, during the acclimatisation period. You will practice walking on the glacier while roped up, and practice rock climbing with ropes on the way to Albert 1er hut.
- Waterproof / wind-proof Goretex pants.
- Waterproof / wind-proof jacket breathable.
The weather can change quickly in the mountains, and temperatures can plummet at altitude, so good windproof and waterproof gear is a necessity. Jacket and pants need to be breathable as you’ll be under a sustained effort on the climb!
- Fleece jacket.
- Micro fleece and mountain tee shirts, avoid cotton tee-shirts.
- Hat and cap, a buff or bandana be helpful.
Gear for warmer weather, as well as sun and eye protection, is necessary. temperatures can be high at lower altitudes depending on the season, and at higher altitudes the sun can burn even when temperatures are low. For lower temperatures it’s best to layer up.
- Warm socks designed for mountaineering.
- Gloves (ski type gloves).
- Rucksack 50 Litres mini.
Make sure your rucksack is large enough to carry all your gear; on the ascent and on the hut days you’ll need to bring everything you need with you. As with all mountain gear, the lighter the better!
- Sun protection, eye protection.
- Don’t forget your own medication (if any). Some people like to bring Ibuprophen & Paracetomol
- Water Bottle or camel pack 1,5 litre minimum.
- Walking poles or sticks.
- Towel, wash pack.
- Sleeping liner
- Head torch and spare batteries
Further information : the Mont Blanc Ascent
Mont Blanc Equipment Checklist – printable pdf file
External sites :
Minimal equipment requirements enforced on the Mont Blanc