Please take the time to read this section carefully; we have tried to make it as concise and easy to read as possible. In addition to Mont Blanc Guides’ general terms and conditions, it deals with specific instances such as cancellation (by you or Mont Blanc Guides), refunds, changing dates, etc.
Cancellation by you:
Should you need to cancel, the following conditions will apply, according to when you inform Mont Blanc Guides in writing:
Cancellation by Mont Blanc Guides:
We need a minimum of 3 people in order to run a course – any week not reaching this minimum number will therefore not go ahead. This happens very rarely (normally not even once a year) and we do all we can to avoid it, but if it looks like this may happen for your week or for any other reason we might need to cancel (e.g. injured guide) we will let you know as soon as possible, usually at least six weeks before, and we will then offer you whatever alternative dates we have available. Should none of these be acceptable to you, you will of course receive a full refund. We will not be liable for the cost of any changes in travel arrangements as a result of changing dates, though this is often covered by cancellation insurance policies (see insurance section below).
Mountaineering is an inherently hazardous activity, with a risk of serious injury or death. Whilst we undertake to do all we can to keep any dangers to an absolute minimum, risk can never be entirely eliminated and you must accept this before joining one of Mont Blanc Guides’ courses.
Mont Blanc Guides’ guides will always do their best to help you fulfil your mountaineering objectives and otherwise give you as enjoyable a week as possible; however you must accept to be completely under their guidance and control whilst in the mountains, and to abide by any decisions they make. Being properly prepared and having a minimum standard of fitness is necessary in order to maintain an adequate safety margin on Mont Blanc. If, as a result of your physical condition or for any other reason, your guide decides that you are not ready to attempt Mont Blanc, suitable alternatives will be proposed, as long as a guide is available to accompany you – if no guide is available, we will suggest various other activities that you can do unaccompanied.
Bad weather or bad conditions (e.g. unusually high stone fall danger in the “Grand Couloir”, electrical storms, etc.) may mean it is not possible even to attempt Mont Blanc safely. Should this happen, every effort will be made to provide a suitably challenging alternative on a similar peak. Mont Blanc Guides’ guide:client ratio for the three days on Mont Blanc is 1:2, which we feel is the best compromise between flexibility and course price; it is also the standard for Mont Blanc. We will usually have several teams operating on the mountain at the same time and these will be in radio contact to give us the most options to change things around should anyone need to turn back (we also try to pair up climbers of similar ability); however, though very unlikely the possibility exists that you may be required to abort your attempt in order to help another climber who is in difficulty.
If you suffer from any medical condition which you think may be in any way relevant to your joining one of Mont Blanc Guides’ courses, you must let Mont Blanc Guides and your doctor know; we will be happy to answer any questions he/she may have about what the week involves. Please also let your guide know when you meet him on the first evening.
Mountain rescue insurance:
Rescue in France isusuallynot charged, depending on the circumstances. In Switzerland however (where we spend some of the training days) you will always be asked to pay, and this could be several thousand Swiss francs, especially if helicopters are involved.
The cost of hospitalization and subsequent care is potentially the most expensive part of any accident. However since Switzerland recently signed up to reciprocal health care for EU members (E111 form in the UK), this has become less of an issue for EU members, though it’s worth remembering that this arrangement does not cover 100% of medical costs. If you are not from the EU and are hospitalized in Switzerland without insurance, the cost could easily run to tens of thousands of Swiss francs.
Mont Blanc Guides’ booking conditions are designed to cover Mont Blanc Guides’ commitments to our suppliers, and for this reason we will be obliged to uphold them regardless of circumstances. Cancellation insurance (often provided if you book by credit card for example) will cover the cost of the course should you need to cancel, and we strongly recommend it. We will happily produce written confirmation of your booking with Mont Blanc Guides and the money you paid in order for you to make your claim with your insurers.
Please note that the above information is intended as a guide only, and represents the current situation as we understand it. We accept no responsibility for the accuracy of the above information.Probably the best insurance on offer for this sort of trip is provided by the British Mountaineering Council – see www.thebmc.co.uk for details. (under travel insurance). This is a policy designed specifically for mountaineering trips, so is unlikely to contain the random mountaineering exclusion clauses (e.g. “except if ropes are used, not above an altitude of”, etc.) often found in more general travel policies; it is only available to UK nationals however, so if you are from outside the UK you’ll need to make separate arrangements.
The client hereby agrees that, except in respect of death or personal injury caused by the negligence of your guide, your guide will not have any liability (whether in contract or in tort, including negligence) for any loss, damage, injury or death which the client may suffer in connection with this activity nor for any failure by the client to take out adequate insurance. The client agrees that the contract between Mont Blanc Guides and you will be governed by English law and that any matter or dispute in connection with this contract will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.