Our six day program is designed to give maximum flexibility in the event of bad weather. After the necessary pre-acclimatisation on the Gran Paradiso we allow days four, five, and six for the actual Mont Blanc ascent, and though the plan is based around summiting on day five to give the longest climbing time, we often climb on day six or even sometimes day four if these are the only options. We will always try to move things around as much as possible to give you a chance at making the top.
We have very good relations with the huts and they give us as much flexibility as they can, but nonetheless the latest we can change our ascent date is on the morning of the descent from Gran Paradiso in the middle of the week; at this point we have to make our plans for the last three days based on the latest weather forecast and just hope it’s accurate.
If we plan on day five and the forecast changes so that day six is better we have the option to sit around the hut all day and try on the last day, but what we cannot do is get to the Gouter or above on day five, turn back, then try again on day six. Always remember that safety is all about margins – unless the first attempt is over quickly, you would simply have used too much energy to take the whole thing on again the following day.
The bottom line is therefore, you get no more than one proper attempt on Mont Blanc during your week with us. It can be hard to take sometimes when the weather forecast changes and you wish you’d done things differently, but forecasts are more accurate than not and it’s not worth trying to second guess them.
Based on our experience we feel it is safer to stick to this rule of one decent attempt only, as otherwise the risk of people becoming exhausted high up would simply be too great.