Not all the people listed below succeeded in getting to the summit though happily many did, but all have agreed to be contacted by potential future clients looking for a different perspective on our courses. Just use the email address at the bottom of each listing it you would like to do this. As a company we are extremely proud of this page and very much appreciate the time taken by those who have contributed to it.
(Director / Head Guide)
(Note: there are no testimonials from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic)
I started talking about doing Mont Blanc back in 2010 and made my first attempt in 2015 – on my own, 25kg on my back, and with poor local knowledge. Needless to say it was a failure, lack of knowledge regarding the weather and far too much kit. Following two more unsuccessful solo attempts in 2017 and 2018, I finally came to the realisation that if I was going to stand on top of Europe I would need professional assistance…
At the start of 2019 I was weeks away from turning 39 and weighed over 15 stone, which at 5’ 7” is not ideal. I suffer from gout, have a Gluten Intolerance and in the last 15 years have ‘slipped a disc’ in my back, had a hernia operation and had screws in and out of my right ankle. I spent a week in hospital 2 months before the course began due to cellulitis in my arm and I don’t really like heights! The point of this is not ‘unlucky fatso, try something else’ it is that with willpower and training, anyone can physically achieve summiting Mont Blanc – oh, and with the assistance of professional guides of course! I chose Mont Blanc Guides due to their safety record and transparency displayed on their website. I especially liked the blunt and honest advice with regards to physical appearance and physical requirements. If you follow the advice on the website and complete M.B.G’s recommendations you can achieve it. For over 6 months I trained for an hour a day in the gym or ran 5km. I also put my 2-year-old son on my back and walked up a small ‘mountain’ in North Wales called Moel Famau as often as possible. My main training events consisted of the below:
This landed me just inside the ‘Should Summit in most conditions’ segment on the M.B.G fitness test.
July 30th – August 6th 2019
Over a stone and a half lighter than in January, feeling fit and reasonably confident, I was sat around the table in the ‘The Castle’ – M.B.G’s exclusive chalet situated 5 mins walk from the centre of Chamonix. We started with a briefing from MBG’s Head Guide John Taylor, then went around the table to gain an idea of the 8 ‘hopefuls’ previous experience – all I heard was Himalayas, Base Camp Everest, Toubkal, 5000m+ peaks and a dedicated pre-course 2-week training camp in Greece. Then my turn – “I’ve failed Mont Blanc 3 times – never got past the Tete Rousse and I have only done Ben Nevis and Snowdon”. Confidence plummeted.
Next morning, we had a kit-check. The main point of this is to ensure you travel as light as possible – ‘Alpinism’ is not trekking, you need to be able to move quickly in response to changing conditions and carry everything with you. I cannot stress the point enough that traveling light is the way forward, I even removed the money from my wallet and emptied half my toothpaste!
The route to the Chabod hut is a leisurely walk up the mountain, beginning in woods before opening out to reveal stunning views of the Graian Alps. This should take approx. 2h – 2h 30m and I would say is the equivalent of ascending Snowdon/Ben Nevis. There were a few members of the group who appeared to be already struggling with fitness, they but finally reached the Hut after about 3 hours. The Chabod hut itself is really nice, with excellent food and even better views.
The next day, the group began the ascent of Gran Paradiso one member less due to insufficient fitness. The approach route to the glacier takes about 1h 30m and is a little bit cheeky with the group spreading out over a distance of a few hundred meters after just 20-30 mins. Once on the glacier we were split into 2 groups, each with a guide (John or Pierre), fitted our crampons and roped up. The ascent up the glacier took us across 4 or 5 crevasses – only 12-inch snow bridges, an incredible experience!
Eventually Pierre informed us the other group would not be progressing any higher so the remaining 3 of us started on the final push to the top, which I found quite physically demanding and had to really dig in. We summited Gran Paradiso in perfect conditions, with Pierre talking us through the full panoramic of the surrounding mountains once we were sat beneath the Madonna. I must admit I had a bit of ‘a wobble’on the scary summit ridge, however the guys helped me through and it was well worth it in the end. Lessons learned from Gran Paradiso are to ensure your boots fit months before you arrive if you bought your own, travel as light as possible (when half way up the glacier you won’t give a monkeys about your 2nd pair of spare socks or your newest gadget), and ensure you are as fit as you can be. I also recommend having high energy nibbles constantly available whilst on the mountain. Only 3 of the 8 ‘hopefuls’ summited Gran Paradiso – this was mainly due to fitness, though I did notice when unloading the back of the mini-bus most rucksacks seemed far heavier than mine. (Note from MBG: it is extremely unusual to lose this many people at this stage, though unfortunately we do quite often still lose one or two)
Following an overnight in the Castle to re-charge our batteries, we started out for the Tete Rousse. I voiced my concerns about the scramble to the Gouter and questioned my fitness but John put me at ease by showing me the ascent video within the FAQ on the website. I was worried that I might jeopardise the others chances if I had to turn back but luckily I was going to have my own guide Marco! Tete Rousse is a 2h – 2h 30m walk similar to the route to the Chabod Hut, though a little steeper towards the end and more exposed. I have been caught out a couple of times here in the past by poor weather and fog, but this approach was in perfect conditions.
Following a cosy night in the hut we started out at a relatively late 7am and began the scramble to the Gouter hut. I found this far easier than anticipated and realised I had spent the last 4 years imagining this relatively easy scramble as something more like the North Face of the Eiger! We were soon at the Gouter hut for a short rest and to take on some food and water; the views from here were amazing as the weather was perfect. The journey up to the Vallot hut was a steady slog but once in a routine it isn’t that bad, the only downside is watching people returning and wishing you were at that stage of the adventure! Once over the Dome du Gouter, the Vallot hut becomes visible, as does the Bosses ridge… my face must have spoken a thousand words as from here the Bosses looked quite intimidating. Again I was put at ease this time by Marco, and after a quick break off we went towards the Vallot hut.
Fortunately the final ridge was not as bad as I expected and I started to realise that I may actually achieve what I started to think about all those years ago. I was thankful that I had put so much effort into my training and again, I can’t over emphasis the value of good fitness, especially getting in ‘hill time’ rather than relying on the gym. It was also confirmed to me why choosing a professional company like MBG is so important. We witnessed an individual stumbling down the Bosses ridge, dangerously close to the edge and looking drunk and totally alone. We also witnessed a ‘guide’ who had his many clients attached to the equipment loops on his harness! (John took great delight in informing him why that’s a bad idea). After a short period of time the weather closed in, visibility was severely reduced and by now I was a short distance behind John and his group of Matt and Phillip; being roped up to Marco was a far better situation to be in than if I had been up there on my own.
Out of the mist John’s group became visible: they were static at the foot of a steep climb and I was wondering why. Marco must have read my thoughts, as he smiled and said “You’ve made it” – they were waiting for me for the final few hundred meters. Although there was no view due to the mist, the feeling of reaching the summit was something I won’t forget in a hurry. After a few handshakes and photos I lead the descent and within 20 mins, visibility returned. I will never forget the views during the descent and the sense of achievement from finally standing on the top of Europe…
In summary then, to prepare for Mont Blanc you need to have the right boots (or hire them), be sure to travel as light as possible and speed train on actual mountains, really pushing yourself – that’s the best advice I can give.
I can’t recommend Mont Blanc Guides enough, from the information on the website, the accommodation and hosts, Dee who arranged the other group’s activities and the professionalism of the guides once in the mountains – this is an experience I will never forget.
Thanks MBG… firstname.lastname@example.org
My partner and I had dreamed of climbing Mont Blanc for several years and we decided to finally take the plunge. From the outset, Mont Blanc Guides were extremely professional. The website has everything you might need to know to prepare you for your trip, and the brilliant contact we had with the team throughout the booking process and in advance of the trip answered all of our (many!) questions.
On arrival in Chamonix we were both really apprehensive; I had sustained an Achilles injury just a couple of months prior and wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it to the first mountain hut, let alone attempt the summit. However the warm welcome we got at the chalet, and John’s kind and encouraging words, put our minds at ease. The chalet is really lovely (the food is AMAZING!) and the chalet hosts were super. We got to meet our mountain guides at breakfast the following day (both extremely distinguished in the mountain world), who set out the plan for the week and helped answer any questions.
The acclimatisation trek on Gran Paradiso really prepares you for what to expect on Mont Blanc in terms of fitness and mountain organisation, as well as all the necessary skills (like walking roped up without excessive tripping over). The Chabod hut is an amazing place to relax both before and after the summit day, and the wildlife opportunities were wonderful given that Gran Paradiso sits inside a national park. After climbing Gran Paradiso we got back down to the chalet with plenty of time to relax and prepared for the extremely early starts that we’d *almost* become used to. We were really lucky with the weather and the following morning started our Mont Blanc attempt from the Italian side (staying at the Gonella hut). To be honest there aren’t really any words to describe this route – absolutely stunning and almost completely untouched and wild, so much so that the wildlife barely registered us walking past. It was tough, with quite a lot of scrambling and tricky uphill sections, but really rewarding (especially when we reached the Bond villain-esque hut).
The following day we made our summit attempt. This was the hardest day of the whole trip and the ascent was, at times, pretty terrifying, but the amazing feeling once we got onto the Col des Aiguilles Grises as the sun started to rise, with Mont Blanc in touching distance (disclaimer – it wasn’t), was more than worth it. Out of sheer determination rather than anything else at that stage we finally took the last few steps up to the summit, and saw one of the other pairs in our group cheering us on. Reaching the summit was incredible and the views were just spectacular in every direction. We will never forget the experience.
Our guide, Christian Appertet, taught us so much about the mountains and we felt completely safe in his hands at every stage. Another of the guides, Mark Charlton, was a pleasure to learn from and catch up with over a beer in the evenings. We couldn’t have hoped for a better set of guides or group and would highly recommend MBG to anyone. We’re now getting serious withdrawal symptoms and trying to plan our next mountain adventure! email@example.com
Hi Dee, our group has just returned from a week in Chamonix and a successful climb to the summit of Mont Blanc led by the highly qualified guides at Mont Blanc Guides. It was so much more than we could have possibly hoped for and we are all incredibly grateful for the hospitality and friendly people on the MBG team! Thanks to the experience and professionalism of our guides as well as the organisation of the 6 day program we were able to focus on enjoying the experience while remaining safe under their care from the various (though manageable!)? dangers that the Mont Blanc massif has to offer. We are all incredibly happy with our choice to go with Mont Blanc Guides and would highly recommend them to anyone else considering an ascent of those beautiful mountains in the Alps!
Not only did they take care of organising all the cable cars, trains, rooms in the mountain huts and breakfasts and dinners for the entire trip, they made everything as convenient as possible with their on premise rental equipment and private chalet host that prepares delicious personalised meals for everyone while not on the mountain. As a climber you don’t have to worry about anything other than climbing and enjoying the experience with the others in your group since nearly everything is included in your package!
This turns out to be quite important as we all quickly learned there is a lot to remember when on the mountain and forgetting anything can quickly turn into an unsuccessful summit which nobody wants. Before getting started up any of the mountains one of their guides personally checks all of your equipment and advises you on things you need or should leave behind. In addition to equipment, Mont Blanc Guides did a fantastic job ensuring that each of us would be safe attempting to summit Mont Blanc by first climbing a “warm-up” mountain called Gran Paradiso. With rescues happening every day on Mont Blanc the last thing you want is put yourself in a situation where you could be in danger or have to spend huge sums of money on helicopter rescues and this first climb helps to prepare you and become acclimatized to the high altitudes. No one in our group suffered any severe altitude sickness and staying in the mountain huts at elevation was a huge help with this. Not only does Gran Paradiso help to prepare you for Mont Blanc and ensure that you will be safe, it is an incredible experience in its own right; after successfully summiting we felt so happy and proud of our achievement that we were much more at ease when getting started on Mont Blanc.
The hut experiences on Mont Blanc, all completely organised by Mont Blanc Guides, are fantastic and so much fun, between hours spent climbing you feel as though you are on a proper holiday with games and good food as well as plenty of time to socialise with your group. All of this is ready and waiting for you, all you have to do is follow the lead of your guide. After your time in the huts, on the actual day of your summit attempt your nerves will probably be quite high and despite all the efforts by the MBG team to prepare you you’ll likely be wondering whether you’ll be able to make it to the top… Fortunately for every day spent climbing and especially on summit day the guides carefully go over the plan with you and let you know exactly what to expect as well as answer any questions you may have, our group certainly had plenty but they were all answered with the impressive knowledge of the guides.
Finally, after you have (hopefully) summited on the final day there is no need to rush off to your flight home as the chalet in Chamonix is available to stay the last night at no extra cost and they will even provide breakfast for you. When we returned from our climb there was a delicious cake waiting for us to help celebrate, it literally was the “icing on the cake” of an absolutely fantastic week in the Alps.
All and all we couldn’t be happier, and we have all made new friends that we hope to go on future adventures with, and none of it would have been possible if it weren’t for the perfectly planned trip provided by the Mont Blanc Guides team. Thank you so much to John, Eliot, Dee, and especially our guides Marco and Matthieu, we hope to see you on the mountain again some day!
-Michael, Tomek, Joe, and Tracy. firstname.lastname@example.org
I have just returned from Chamonix after a fantastic week with Mont Blanc Guides. What a week! From the moment you arrive at the chalet, your base for the week, you are made to feel at home and relaxed. The chalet team looked after us the whole time and the food was excellent, missing it already. Our week was split into two with the first few days acclimatising by climbing Grand Paradiso; this give the group a chance to get to know each other and to practice climbing techniques and learn how to use the equipment (a great idea!). The guides that we had for the week were fantastic, teaching us technique, mountain skills and pushing us when it was needed.
After Italy we had a rest day before heading up to climb Mont Blanc. With challenging weather an ascent looked unlikely, but the guides knowledge and expertise meant we could navigate the worst of the weather and make our attempt for the summit; the conditions meant that we had a fixed time window for success and the guides planned it perfectly. We made it to the top! Exhausted but all extremely proud, we hiked back down to the valley where more tea and cake awaited us at the chalet. I would have no hesitation recommending Mont Blanc Guides, whether travelling as a group or solo, you will be made to feel welcome and given the best possible chance of success. email@example.com
Hello Dee and the gang, First of all I would just like to say that right from getting to the Castle everything was organised and we were told what was going to happen every step of the way. Michelle and Elliott were great cooks and really easy to talk to, and the food really was excellent all week whilst at the Castle.
We met our guides on the first morning who laid out the plan for the week and answered all our questions. Gran Paradiso was our first quest and we did this whilst staying at a lovely hut called the Rifugio Chabod. We stayed there for two days to acclimate,then we returned to the Castle for rest and recuperation and more good food. The forecast for climbing Mont Blanc wasn’t looking good for us but we were all willing to give it a shot.
Our favoured day came and went due to bad weather so we were forced to go on the last day. The weather was still “sub optimal” but the guides thought that we were capable of summiting if we were up for trying, so at 3am we set out from Tete Rousse and summited by 9:15am. High winds, fresh snow and -25C were all there to hamper our attempt, and the guides were amazing in getting us up, I really can’t thank them all enough. Pierre, Francesco, Mike and Allesandro thank you; Dee and the team, thank you.
I would thoroughly recommend Mont Blanc Guides to anyone who wants to climb Mont Blanc! firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Dee, John and all of the MBG team, Ben and I have just got back and wanted to thank you for the fantastic experience we had with you over the last week. Having the chalet base in Chamonix with the lovely cooking of Michelle and Elliot was great, and being able to leave stuff at the chalet base in Chamonix for the week worked really well.
The highlight was of course the two three day climbs of Gran Paradiso and Mont Blanc and the team of guides were great, Dave Gladwin in particular made our trip really special, very supportive and patient and always there with a good story. One additional thing that Dave did that was well beyond the call of duty was the effort he put into teaching us new skills, which included a two hour rope skill course at the hut on Gran Paradiso!
We really can’t fault any aspect of the 1 week program that you put together, it gave Ben and I a father son experience that we will never forget. Thank you. email@example.com
Hi Dee, I had an amazing experience and getting two summits over the week was just superb. The guides were not only totally professional but fun to be with, and there was great communication with the group regarding safety and advice on required skills.
The chalet we stayed in was beautiful and the food and staff when there were just amazing too. I could not recommend any more highly. firstname.lastname@example.org
As the only company exclusively offering guided Mont Blanc trips I would expect them to have every base more than covered and they did, from start to finish every detail had been thought of, planned and prepared for. The hearty welcome snacks were superb, especially my gluten-free oatcakes which were the best ever, and also by request provided on our return too! The accommodation was perfect and the briefings spot on. In fact I was able to turn up and switch off from any distractions and relax and concentrate on each part of the week in a prepared and enjoyable way. This is so important as there are so many factors that as an amateur in the mountains I would never have considered.
The long experience of M.B.G. has ensured that every detail has been reviewed and refined to ensure the best possible experience and outcome for everyone. The hard part is the training, but if you do your part, the rest is taken care of. The guides were awesome, with outstanding experience in high mountains and dealing with everything that you might encounter. I had absolute trust in them that they had our safety in mind at every, yes I do mean every, step of the way, such that I did not realise until we arrived back in Chamonix that I had not once been nervous or anxious for my safety during both climbs and descents. Such is their competence that they enable and allow you to perform to your best by ensuring you are in control of your physical ability at all times. I felt a few reassuring tugs on the rope from my guide behind me on the way down when I stumbled or wobbled, confirming that they were alert the whole way.
The guides were our friends in all senses on the mountain, engaging with us and treating us as companions rather than clients which made it a great team experience, especially as we no doubt tested their patience on many occasions. Their modesty and humour added to the group dynamic in a positive way that inspired us all to reach the top as a team and create such an exhilarating and memorable experience. The behind the scenes support team were superb in ensuring we were well catered for in all respects (food especially), and they were a pleasure to get to know. I had the most fantastic week with a great team and that included everyone involved, and ‘The Old Geezers and The Children’ as we became known as clients had the most memorable trip and fun you can imagine on a mountain!
I cannot recommend M.B.G. enough to anyone who wants to experience high mountains and to test their personal strengths and limits in safety, without exposing themselves to risks beyond their control; just go for it it will be well worth all the effort.
P.S. You cannot train enough for the big white one so if you think you are fit get fitter and improve your endurance at pace, its well worth the reward. Best regards to you all, Chris Gregory. email@example.com
Laura wrote a detailed account of her trip with us in July on her own travel blog website Climbing Mont Blanc with Mont Blanc Guides (Release Travel)
She also has kindly agreed to be contacted by prospective Mont Blanc climbers: Laura Lisowski firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear MBG, I don’t think there are enough words to describe just how amazing of an experience I had during my 6-day program. From the very moment I arrived at the castle all the way to the final debrief I felt as if I was a part of the MBG family. And that is something that will stick with me for a very longtime. The attention to detail and meticulous planning was incredible throughout the entire course, it was clearly obvious that these guys knew exactly what they were doing! My trip had four of us total and we started with a meet-n-greet dinner our first night and the next morning we met our guide (Francis), John and Dee. They talked us through expectations, timelines and even the “what-if” questions. To have the owner of a company actually take time to meet all of the clients speaks volumes to how much he cares! Afterwards, Francis, our guide, even took the time to show us around Chamonix and showed us how to navigate the outdoor shops, let me tell you this was one of those added bonuses that went a long way. He taught us things such as gear selection, proper fitments, and even how to ask the right questions to sales associates.
Next we were off to our first part of the trip, Gran Paradiso National Park. Unfortunately the weather was not the best but it didn’t stop us from having an amazing time in the mountains and on the glacier; Francis made sure the weather didn’t hinder us from having an amazing time. During our “Paradiso summit day” we had a small weather window to go out onto the glacier and we did just that. It was an incredible experience. Francis taught us how to work as a team on the glacier and we made it up over 3,600 meters onto the main glacier. The three days really proved that there is always more than just a summit, it really was the journey of working together and learning about ourselves and what we were capable of. Once we returned to the castle, a tough decision was made for one of our members not being able to attempt Mont Blanc. However, I will say that the MBG team and guides handled this in the utmost professional way that I have seen. I was very impressed with their debriefing and explanations in every aspect of what we did.
Finally, the big moment, the three days for Mont Blanc! The experience of being on the slopes of Mont Blanc was spectacular. Our team of three was divided into two groups each with a guide to allow our ration to be 2:1 and 1:1. We began our summit day at 04:30, and let me say it was the most empowering and grueling thing I have ever done in my life! Two of the members of my team made it to the summit and I unfortunately only made it up to Dome Du Gouter and had to turn back due to altitude illness. But the guides made sure I was completely taken care of and safe before we climbed back down to the Tete Rousse Hut. Trust me, the climb to Mont Blanc is no easy walk in the park. It will take every ounce of your mental and physical strength to reach the top. Although I didn’t reach the summit, I am still extremely proud for what I accomplished and I will be returning next season with the MBG team to re-attempt Mont Blanc. Thank you for everything Team MBG, you guys are true ambassadors of the Alps!
Eric Fugate email@example.com
After climbing Mt. Rainier, I wanted to take another step in mountaineering and set out to do a bit of research. All three people I consulted suggested climbing Mont Blanc next and all three of them (from completely different parts of the world) suggested Mont Blanc Guides. I’m so thankful they did! In a word, the experience with MBG was EXCEPTIONAL.
A to Z is taken care of to ensure the most comfortable and confident experience. I can’t stress the importance of this enough; it enables you to focus on the climbing and accomplishing whatever goals you set out with, with the comfort of knowing all logistics and other details are being sorted on your behalf. From accommodation to instruction, safety, technique, food, equipment, general advice, etc. etc., truly everything is well handled by M.B.G. There is a great partnership between the office team, the hospitality group (the food was incredible) and of course, the guides.
Our lead guides for the week were Francis, Simon, Andy and Dave, all expert in their craft with impressive experience and well equipped to lead both experienced and beginner climbers. Loads of support, tons of advice and just generally good people who were great to spend time with. We formed a great camaraderie throughout the week – you need to enjoy the people you’re going to spend that much time with, and we certainly did!
The six day program is well thought out and helps ensure you acclimatize as quickly as possible while also delivering a rare opportunity to climb two 4000m peaks in just a week. By taking this approach, you’re well positioned to have the best chance at summiting Mont Blanc, which is all you can ask for! I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Mont Blanc Guides to anybody, and already have. Please feel free to send me an email personally if you have any questions I can help clarify for you: firstname.lastname@example.org
What a fantastic experience with Mont Blanc Guides. From the moment we arrived the logistics, the people and the whole experience was faultless. We were led by fantastic hugely experienced and friendly IFMGA qualified guides Neil, Todd and Matteo, such that we felt hugely confident and quite honestly it never crossed my mind to be concerned for our safety. You were left feeling that they had all the bases covered and they were committed to teaching, leading and supporting us in achieving success.
The set up is a smooth well-organised machine clearly experienced in putting together a successful program to achieve the best from every climber. From “base camp” at Chamonix where we were well looked after by Michelle (baker extraordinaire) and Elliott to the hire kit all being of good quality, and the design and delivery of the course, everything was perfect. Everyone involved was very friendly, supportive and encouraging which made the trip extremely enjoyable as well as successful.
We were fortunate with the weather which was perfect throughout our six days which enabled all five of us to summit both Gran Paradiso and Mont Blanc in clear blue skies and sunshine. I would totally recommend Mont Blanc Guides who seem to have the right blend of working to get the best out of the clients and giving the best possible chance of summiting Mont Blanc whilst keeping them as safe as possible. I now wish they were not such pure Mont Blanc specialists as the Matterhorn looks tempting!
Dr Neil Townshend email@example.com
We’ve just returned from France and a most memorable 6 days with Mont Blanc Guides. We made for a somewhat unusual team: a 61-year-old “desk jockey” and his 20-year-old daughter; nonetheless we fit right in and had a spectacular time. I’ve wanted to climb Mont Blanc for years and am so glad I finally made time to do so.
A few take-ways: climbing Mont Blanc is not easy; it’s much more difficult than trekking to Everest Base Camp or climbing Kilimanjaro. Being fit is critical to your safety and enjoyment. Be in the best shape of your life and then some. And secondly, climb with professionals such as Mont Blanc Guides. Their six-day program is very well thought out and organized and provides a very good opportunity to summit Mont Blanc safely. I’d recommend getting to Chamonix several days early and hiking and sleeping at altitude to acclimatize in advance.
We enjoyed the company of special people, enjoyed great food and accommodation in Chamonix, and most importantly, had complete confidence that Mont Blanc Guides knew what they were doing and had our safety as their number one priority. Very personable and interesting guides who were exceptionally well qualified and knew how to make the experience full and rewarding. Highly Recommended.
Todd Atkinson firstname.lastname@example.org
August/September 2018: After deciding that this year would be the year I attempt Mont Blanc, I searched the internet to set about finding a company to take me. It didn’t take long to see that MBG stood out. The website was easy to navigate and gave me all the information I needed to go ahead and press that ‘book’ button! I was so excited! I corresponded with Dee and Eva, both were fabulous! I had a few questions and worries about my lack of technical experience but they put my mind at ease instantly, while making it clear that my fitness was really important.
On arriving in Chamonix on Monday (I used mountain drop offs recommend by MBG, they were very organised and efficient) I was met by Iva who showed me to my room that I would be sharing with a fellow mountaineer. It was really great that the room was ours for the entire week, no moving stuff in and out when you’re really tired – that’s important! There was a lovely communal lounge area with tea and coffee making facilities, and a beautiful view! I had that afternoon to wander around Chamonix, and met with the rest of our team for dinner. The food in the chalet was amazing and thoughtfully planned to give us nutritious meals, and the chalet hosts were a lovely couple who chatted away to us and really made us feel at home. A lovely way to spend our first night, getting to know each other.
On Tuesday morning we had a huge breakfast, cereals, omelettes, toast and even homemade protein balls. This is when the guides arrived along with John (MBG owner and Head Guide). I was really impressed with the talk that John gave, he ran us through how the week would work, what weather reports looked like, and introduced us to the guides: Francesco, Pierre and John. We each talked a little about what altitude we had been to and if we had experience with crampons, and there was a mix of experience levels as well as fitness. Then it was the kit check, all the kit that we intended on taking to Gran Paradiso had to be laid out on our beds to be checked by the guides. Some of the kit I had wasn’t suitable (I had ski gloves that were a bit worn and an ice axe I had borrowed that was too technical and heavy). There was time to do change gear in Chamonix before we left, but what was really great was the kit available from MBG on site at the chalet, it was so easy. I had my boots fitted, and considerable time was taken sorting out the right pair for me. You could hire boots, crampons, helmets and axes if required.
Once we had all our gear fitted we wandered into Chamonix to purchase any additional gear we needed. We were taken to two shops; one that had a relatively budget range, still good quality gear, and another that was more top of the range gear, with appropriate price tags. It gave us all the choice to pick what we wanted to suit our own budgets. The guides came shopping with us to advise us on the gear we needed, which was a welcome help to me being faced with 10+ types of gloves to choose from.
We then headed over to Italy to begin our accent of Gran Paradiso. This was a lovely walk through the pine trees along a beautiful hand made path, the pace was steady, making a stop at a water spring half way, then up to the Chabod hut, where before we rested and settled down we did a half an hour training with our crampons on, the guides showed us some skills and techniques to prepare us for the next morning. The hut was wonderful, with the best staff, and they were very welcome and fun to be around. The hut has running drinking water, showers and a well stocked bar, and we sat down for a very good three course dinner.
Kitted up and ready after a 4am breakfast on Wednesday morning, we headed off. After an hour and a half we arrived on the glacier, the temperature had dropped a little and the fresh crisp air started to feel apparent. We got our crampons, helmet and harnesses on and roped up to our guides, and then continued across the glacier as the sun was rising. The crevasses seemed to grow larger the further up the glacier we traveled, some of them were really beautiful, others bottomless voids to be cautious of. A few more hours and we had reached the summit! I found it tough approaching 3700 metres with the air growing ever thinner, but the beauty from the summit diluted that quite quickly; the summit was a small rocky ledge (I had to keep my wits about me a little here!) but I felt 100% safe being roped to Pierre, our French guide. He has 37 years experience in these mountains, and you could certainly tell.
After another night at the hut to help us acclimatise further, we set off down the following morning, stopping on the way back for some well deserved ice cream and coffee. Back at the chalet we were greeted with cakes, biscuits and other homemade treats, and after a tiring few days we had no trouble tucking in. That afternoon there was also a bit of time to rest or go into town to get any last bits to take to Mont Blanc. In the evening we sat down to dinner in the chalet, nervous and excited about what the next few days would bring; two members of our group had decided on returning from Gran Paradiso that Mont Blanc wasn’t for them, the guides had talked it over a lot with them and together they had arranged that they would spend the next few days doing some alternative peaks and concentrate more on some rock climbing. I opted for an early night in anticipation of a busy few days ahead.
After breakfast the next day we made our way by minibus to the Les Houches cable car, then from there took the train that would take us to the highest point; it was a misty day with light drizzle and poor visibility. When we arrived at the Tete Rousse hut, we were showed where to store our kit and our beds for the next two days. Our room had 16 beds, it was comfortable in the dorms, a little chilly as to be expected. There are toilets, but no running water. So any water you required for either drinking, brushing teeth, washing etc had to be purchased from the bar. The communal area was cosy with ever changing faces! A real buzz in there! We had lunch, a fully loaded omelette that was very tasty!
We sat with the guides who were continually receiving weather reports, and it was clear that safety was of the highest importance to them. You could see them willing the weather to get better so as to allow us to leave at 2am the next day, but unfortunately this wasn’t to be the case. The final report came in at 8pm and they broke it to us that we were not going tomorrow. We were a little deflated but completely understood, and we had the next day to spend in the hut until our next window on Sunday morning at 2am. We kept ourselves entertained chatting and sharing stories during Saturday the guides gave us a mini course on rope skills and different equipment and techniques, their knowledge was not only vast but their passion for climbing was well and truly apparent. Finally we were given the go ahead for an attempt at 2am the following morning, although we were told that we were on quite a tight time frame to allow us to summit and be down for the last train. We were given our guide groups and I was teamed with Graham and our guide Pierre. We sat with Pierre while he gave us a brief and advice on what to wear, how to pack our bags for accessibility of gear, food and drink and answered any other questions we had.
1am came around and we were up for breakfast to fuel up. As we stepped out the hut the crisp air hit me, the sky was beautifully clear, you could see down to the towns and cities below. It took us 1.45 minutes to get to the Gouter hut, Pierre our guide said we were making good time, then the next section was up to the Vallot hut. We arrived at the Vallot hut (really it’s just a tin box) we didn’t go in but added on a final layer, lip salve, quick snack and some warm tea. I had my energy bars in my pockets, they had frozen a bit so my salami snacks were perfect!
At this point we knew we hadn’t far to go, just as well as both Graham and I were beginning to tire a little. The day was soon approaching as you could see the sun starting to glow. At one point I had slowed a little, the altitude was making my heart race and I was putting in a lot of effort. Just at that point I think Pierre could see me struggling a tiny bit, he stopped and pointed to the summit ‘we are nearly there’. He was right! We made our way over the domes until the final push to the top: it was incredible. I could feel tears running down my face and when we arrived in the summit, for some of the time at least, we were the only ones. The views were spectacular and the feeling of accomplishment was humbling. We had a few pictures and celebratory hugs before we made our descent back down to the Tete Rousse, we knew that as it was a last day ascent we would have the additional bit to climb down, which seemed to last forever with tired legs, but still full of adrenaline and pride we made our way to the train, onto the cable car and back down to Chamonix. Very tired but super pleased we arrived back to the chalet again to an array of cakes and other snacks, and once again, we didn’t hesitate to get stuck in.
Overall if I had to sum up MBG I would say: organisation down to perfection, committed to safety, conscious of individual needs and abilities, excellent experienced guides, high standard of hospitality in the chalet, and above all clear pride and passion from all the MBG team. I would highly recommend them to anyone wanting to attempt Mont Blanc.
Germaine Stribling email@example.com
Dear MBG team, within a month after booking the Mont Blanc course with Mont Blanc Guides I summited Gran Paradiso and Mont Blanc. This was only possible thanks to the professional process put in place by MBG. From the moment of booking the Mont Blanc course until the coffee and cake in the MBG chalet upon returning after the Mont Blanc summit the MBG representatives responsible for management, administration, hospitality and, most importantly, guidance on the mountain were professional, attentive and efficient.
Friendly staff, comfortable facilities, good food and professional mountain guides contributed to a memorable experience. I can confidently recommend Mont Blanc Guides to anyone who wishes to summit Mont Blanc in the safest and most pleasurable way.
Jeroen Ketting Jeroen@thelighthousegroup.ru
My friend and I are originally from the Lake District so we’ve done our fair share of climbing and hiking; this, however, was the first time that either of us had done any alpine mountaineering. The support we had from MBG in the build-up though was fantastic; from the first phone call our nerves started to give way to excitement and we had a good idea on what we needed to do in regards to training in order to give ourselves the best opportunity we could to reach the summit.
When we first arrived at ‘the castle’ we were warmly greeted by Dee from the MBG team and let loose on a table full of cakes that were fantastically prepared by the chalet hosts. The quality of the food was great and the accommodation itself is top notch. The room is yours for the entire duration of the course which is ideal. That evening you sit down for a meal with the other hopeful members of your group and receive a briefing from the guides who explain the plan for the week and answer any questions. The next day we drove through to Italy to the start of Gran Paradiso with a trek up to a height of 2750m to the Federico Chabod mountain hut. As far as mountain huts go, the food was great and there is running water for toilets, sinks and showers. We set off at 4am the next day for the summit push of Gran Paradiso. Throughout the entire climb it was clear that we were well looked after and although it was physically tough, the hours just seemed to fly by, so make sure you take time to look around at where you are and enjoy it. Back in Chamonix and once again you’re greeted by cake and a fantastic evening meal.
Having seen first-hand how we all managed on Gran Paradiso, the guides had to make some tough calls and inform a couple of members of the group that it was not safe for them to attempt the summit due to injuries and levels of fitness. This emphasised just how seriously MBG consider the safety of both their guides and their clients and it also provided some reassurance to the rest of us that the guides felt that we could make it. The hike to the Tete Rousse hut the next day was relatively easy going and the views from here are absolutely incredible. The hut isn’t quite to the same standard as the Federico Chabod hut in Italy; there is no running water and the food, although you eat everything put in front of you, isn’t quite to the same standard as the food you get back at the castle. After a sleepless night, we set off at 2am for the Mont Blanc summit push. The first part of this was a gruelling 2 hour scramble across the Grand Couloir and up the steep rock face up to the Gouter hut. From here it’s relatively slow going but as you get higher and higher your legs and lungs will feel like you’ve been sprinting. As the sun rises over the alps in the distance the views are out of this world and as you get just below the summit, the knife edge ridges you walk/crawl up are truly staggering. Finally, the summit. Coming over the final hill onto the summit is the moment I remember clearest out of the whole experience and it’s one that I’m not likely to forget. All the hard work from earlier in the week and in the months leading up to it had paid off!
A huge thank you again to everyone at MBG and to everyone in our group for such a fantastic experience. I can’t recommend this company enough. Matt firstname.lastname@example.org
My son Alex and I set out in July for the biggest challenge in our small mountaineering career. We couldn’t really do altitude and crampons training in Hong Kong and when we arrived at the base camp in Chamonix we were far from sure that we were up to the task. And this is where MBG really came into play. From the first moment we felt that we were in the hands of true professionals. MBG made it very clear what we needed to achieve in order to attempt climbing Mont Blanc, and they promised that they would do whatever they could to get us to our goal.
And deliver they did – from the accommodation and hospitality at base camp to the uber-professional and friendly guides, equipment rental, helping with last minute shopping, climbing tips and so on. We couldn’t have asked for anything more! Well, maybe actually, we could have asked for one thing – that someone turned off the high winds on Mont Blanc on the day of ascent. At the end, we had to turn back about 300 meters below the summit for safety reasons. But despite missing out on the ultimate triumph, the six days with MBG were a fantastic adventure. And if we try again – well, we know where to go. email@example.com
Incredible experience on Mont Blanc with Mont Blanc Guides! From day one the experience was awesome, the website explained EVERYTHING in detail and everything was even better than expected. The chalet is super clean, the location is awesome and very close to town, the views are great, the rooms super clean and the food is fantastic! The guides were great, and the attention to detail was a key factor in everyone achieving Gran Paradiso (4061m) with fair weather conditions. All necessary equipment was available for rent, and although I had everything it was great to know it was there in case of any last minute need. Gran Paradiso was incredible, all was very well organized for all the group. For acclimatization also, it was a GREAT trip worth doing.
The test however came when the conditions were NOT so great… After Gran Paradiso the Guides had really bad news, bad weather was most likely going to prevent us from trying Mont Blanc. Both High temperature (risk of rock fall) and very high winds (up to 120km/h!) were going to make it very unlikely to be able to try for the summit. At that point, we were given several great options including trying Monte Rosa (4600m) where the wind would be less, as well as other great climbing options in France to ensure we were going to have a great week anyway. There was also the option to go for a look at Mont Blanc, on the understanding that the chances were very high that we would not be able to even attempt it due to the conditions, and would therefore not get another summit. At that point, the eight people in the group split into four for Mont Blanc and four for Monte Rosa. As predicted, on Mont Blanc conditions were worse than on Monte Rosa, and though the Guides tried hard to make it happen (always with safety as their prime concern), the wait and conditions took their toll and three of my group decided to turn back, while I decided to wait just a little longer with my Guide Urbi. Finally he felt we might give it a try, and though many others were still turning round we continued cautiously and eventually made it!
The whole thing was an amazing experience and incredibly fulfilling, though very physically challenging given the conditions we had to face on the day. I simply would have not made it without the great six day plan that included acclimatization in Italy, and the guides professionalism and experience to make it happen with a perfect balance between fun and risk. On our way back we faced the fury of the couloir which decided to “rain rocks”, so Urbi took us back up to the hut to wait for safer conditions and we went back down safely a few hours later. He was at all times calm in what was a scary situation, really a top notch Guide.
If you are planning on trying this trip, make sure you are FIT ENOUGH and TRAIN for it. Is very demanding and is not just a weekend trip…. but really worth doing!
Thank you MB Guides for an amazing experience that will stay with me most likely for the rest of my life! GREAT experience firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mont Blanc Guides, just wanted to say a huge thank you for an incredible week in the Alps (1-7 July). The 6-day programme is clearly something that has been perfected and fine-tuned over many years, which is why it’s such a winner. I love how you’ve decided to focus on just doing one thing really well.
Everything about the six days was fantastic. The food at the chalet was awesome, the rooms were far more comfortable than my pokey Wimbledon flat, and the staff were hugely friendly. That’s not to mention our guide over the course of the six days, Simon Abrahams, who was an absolute legend. The same goes for Filippo and Ross Hewitt. I always felt completely comfortable with them at the helm. In the end the weather was kind enough to allow us to get to the summit of Mont Blanc, but had it not been I’d have no hesitation in booking with you again, and will certainly be recommending you to friends in future. Cheers, Richard email@example.com
I am so proud to be in this photo with my friend Lynn on the summit of Alphubel (4206m) in Switzerland. When winds of 80-100 km/h were predicted for our Mt. Blanc summit day, the entire MBG team went into action to find another peak for us to climb outside of the stormy area. Our team of 6 had successfully climbed the Gran Paradiso for our training and were looking forward to Mt. Blanc, but the weather did not cooperate this time. Instead, we drove to Switzerland’s Alphubel, which was a challenging climb that allowed us to use our new skills on ice, rock and glacier. If you look closely at the photo, you can see the Matterhorn in the distance which presented itself so beautifully in the morning. Seeing it was a bonus to our climb that day.
Our guides, John, Steve and Fabio, were all highly skilled and our team felt secure and confident in their abilities to lead us in the mountains. They reacted quickly to changing weather and terrain conditions and gave instructions with patience and understanding according to each of our abilities in the mountains. There are two good things about not getting to the summit of Mt Blanc this year…. 1) We got to climb a beautiful peak in Switzerland, and 2) We get to come back to Chamonix again very soon and see if Mt Blanc’s weather will be a little more favorable to us the next time. If you have any questions about our experience you are welcome to contact Lynn or me. We highly recommend MBG and both plan to be back to finish our Mt. Blanc climb. firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Hi Dee,Hopefully below is use-full –We had an unforgettable time in the alps with Mont Blanc Guides. From the moment we arrived we were looked after and made to feel welcome. The team at MB Guides run a very smooth operation and allow you to just concentrate on climbing the mountain! Great chalet and incredible food at ground level and first class guides to field your many questions and tell tales of past adventures up in the mountains! A fantastic overall package, would recommend them highly. James.Hazelton@cerltd.co.uk
Just to say many thanks for last week. Your staff are truly the best. Big Simon for getting me to the top of Mont blanc. Graham for being so modest but a true PROFESSIONAL. I can’t thank him enough. And last but by no means least the wee Italian chap for being well the wee Italian chap. What a guy. BENTEE123@AOL.Com
Adam Joy (North Wales Training Weekend)
“Our party of five did the Snowdonia training course in February, ahead of our attempt on Mont Blanc this summer. It’s an excellent way to prepare for the main event – the instructors are great and we learnt lots of practical skills (moving together whilst roped up, using crampons and ice axes etc) as well as a huge amount about what to expect on Mont Blanc itself. We came away feeling more confident and acutely aware of how fit we’ll need to be by August!” Adam Joy firstname.lastname@example.org
If mountaineering were easy, everyone would do it. But it’s not, and that’s why if your heart is set on tackling a massive challenge like Mont Blanc it’s key to have the best in your corner. That’s why I chose Mont Blanc Guides for my trip. Summiting Gran Paradiso and Mont Blanc with my guide Peter Mason was an extraordinary and exhilarating once-in-a-lifetime adventure I’ll never forget, and for that I have to thank both him and the entire MBG team. Though I was the only climber in the group (due to some last minute cancellations and it being the end of the season), the entire experience felt premium, personal and incredibly educational from start to finish. Every question was answered, and every single need was met to help me reach my goal atop both towering peaks high in the alps.
What originally made me choose MBG was the thorough, detailed, pragmatic and realistic way they articulated the challenges and realities of the course on the website while also making it clear that safety, preparation and “doing things the right way” was a key foundation upon which everything they did was built. Given the (sometimes) infamous reputation of Mont Blanc for punishing those who don’t take it or the dangers of alpinism seriously, I was impressed by how John had built a program and a team that stressed respect for the mountain, the sport and safety above all else. The climbs themselves were challenging, inspiring and full of fun, and although the final call on whether a summit attempt is possible always rests with the weather and the mountain itself, I really felt like the MBG team and my guide Peter were constantly working toward making my odds as good as possible. In the end we were successful and the result was not only an achievement I feel proud of, but more importantly a learning experience I hope to take with me on future climbs and adventures for years to come. The MBG team, and especially superhero guide Peter Mason, were world class from start to finish. Couldn’t recommend them both any more highly. Jordan Markowski email@example.com Twitter: @JordanMarkowski (See my trip photos on Instagram: Jordan_Markowski)
I’m writing this review on behalf of myself and the three friends with whom I shared this excellent experience. We chose Mont Blanc Guides’ course for our first ever alpine trip based on the reviews we read as well as their extremely informative website, and we are more than happy to say that from start to finish we made lifetime memories. Thanks to everybody at MBG for this.
The booking process went smoothly and MBG’s lovely staff was available from the onset to answer any questions and assist before we even got to Chamonix. Once we arrived at our basecamp chalet we were made to feel very welcome from the off and the dining was excellent. After summiting Gran Paradiso in fine weather there was a lot of apprehension within the group in regards to whether we would be able to try Mont Blanc due to the weather reports and several unsuccessful previous attempts, but this was beyond our circle of control and we could only hope for a window of opportunity while waiting for a storm to pass in the Tete Rousse hut at 3,167m. The views from this point were breath-taking and above us we could view the next part of our journey, the infamous Grand Couloir we had yet to cross. The weather window came, and with a lot of nervous energy and excitement we set off at 1 a.m. with our headlamps. Watching the sunrise that morning was one the greatest views any of us had ever seen, but there was an even better one from the summit: to the delight of the four of us, we had all made it!
Months on and we still often look at our pictures, from the first day to the last. We cannot offer any suggestions or recommendations for improving this course as it was perfect from start to finish, so many thanks to all at Mont Blanc Guides that played a part in this, from the Castle chalet staff through to the guides. Keep on rocking! Joe Nuttall firstname.lastname@example.org
What a great trip I had with Mont Blanc Guides this summer. This was my second attempt but this time I had the added pleasure of my son who previously was too young. Would you believe it? I slept in the same room as I had in 2014. The itinerary with MBG is tried and trusted; whilst Mother Nature has the final call on whether you reach the top of Mont Blanc or not, the programme is designed to provide a challenge but always with safety in mind.
Unfortunately conditions at the Grand Couloir were too dangerous to even attempt an ascent so following our acclimatisation on Grand Paradiso across the border in Italy our guides Christian, John and Ales along with the MBG team pulled out the stops to give us an equally challenging and enjoyable alternative. First stop was a ridge walk between the peaks of Aiguille de la Gliere and Aiguille de la Floria, a reasonably straightforward scramble with rewarding views down and across the Chamonix valley. The following day saw us travel through the Mont Blanc Tunnel back into Italy to begin our ascent of Monte Rosa. This entailed an overnight stay at Rifugio Gniffetti with an early start the following morning in order reach the Refugio Margherita (4554m) followed by a slight detour to Zumsteinspitze (4503m) before descending to the valley. We were not disappointed by the views, and clear skies ensured we were able to pick out The Matterhorn and Grand Paradiso amongst many others. A challenge but well worth the effort!
Having sole use of our rooms for the full duration meant that we could spread out and not have to pack each time we went away up the mountains. The breakfasts and dinners cooked by Aggie & Tony when down in the valley were easily of restaurant standard, if not better, and hearty as well. Disappointed at not reaching the top of Mont Blanc? Yes. Value for money? Certainly. Unlike many other guiding companies the price is pretty much all-inclusive so there are no surprises. Go with an open mind and be prepared to be flexible, there are many alternatives to Mont Blanc which can be just as challenging and rewarding. Thank you MBG, my son & I have many happy memories of our trip and are already planning our next. email@example.com
June 2016 was our second programme with Mont Blanc Guides, after first linking up in the previous September. The main reason for returning was because we were so impressed with the company and the setup of their six day programme. Another more pressing reason for returning, was due to the fact that we were unsuccessful in summiting Mont Blanc in 2015, and so felt like we had unfinished business in the area. Surely we would have better luck in 2016…
September 2015: Day 1: After a military-style equipment check, we casually made our way to Refuge Frédéric Chabod in the Aosta Valley, Italy. Day 2: The first summit day, Chabod to Gran Paradiso. We set off in the dark, and were back enjoying drinks at the refuge by the early afternoon. Day 3: A late start for the decent back to the minibus and drive back to Chamonix. On the drive we were informed that Mont Blanc was off due to the extreme heatwave. Day 4: Plan B kicked off with a day trip to the Aiguille d’Entreves Traverse. This is an exposed granite ridge. It gets your heart pumping and you need a good head for heights. Day 5: Plan B continued with a drive back to the Aosta Valley, but this time to a different refuge – the Cabane Giovanni Gniffetti. Day 6: Summit day two. Gniffetti to Punta Zumstein. This time having reached the summit we then had to descend directly to the minibus (approx. 1800m). The use of a land rover and cable car came in handy here.
June 2016: Day 1: We returned to the Aosta Valley, but this time we hiked to a different refuge (Victor-Emmanuel II) to where we stayed in 2015. Day 2: Summit day. Victor-Emmanuel II to Gran Paradiso. Temperatures on the mountain were significantly colder this time, with wind chill pushing -25 degrees. Day 3: An easy descent to the minibus for the drive back to Chamonix. Our chances of summiting Mont Blanc were discussed over coffee. It did not look promising. Day 4: Confirmation Mont Blanc was off (again!), but this time due to heavy snowfall. Once again we had to resort to Plan B, so we made our way to refuge Guide del Cervino in Zermatt, Switzerland. Day 5: Summit day two. Cervino to the Breithorn. The views of the Matterhorn were spectacular, and in getting to the summit ridge we had to traverse a serac. Day 6: This turned out to be free time so we were given the choice of rock climbing or a via ferrata. In the evening we went out as a group for a celebratory meal in Chamonix.
As you can see we were unsuccessful in summiting Mont Blanc in both 2015 and 2016; we did not realise, or maybe took for granted, just how many things have to be in your favour in order to tag this summit, there are simply no guarantees out there. That being said, Mont Blanc Guides have the flexibility and knowledge to adapt their programme to suit any circumstances, and we can honestly say that both programmes provided experiences that will last a lifetime, and for that we are truly grateful. Chamonix is such a special place, but none of this would have been possible without the staff, guides, chalet hosts and our fellow climbers. For us, this all started out with two brothers wanting to broaden their horizons, and a basic search on Google. Luckily for us it did not take long before we came across Mont Blanc Guides and the first trip was booked. It was then just a matter of working on our fitness and watching the diet in the weeks beforehand. Deciding to return with Mont Blanc Guides in 2016 was easy. We hope that you have found our testimonial useful. Overall, would we recommend Mont Blanc Guides to you? Yes, without question. Mark & Graeme, Liverpool. firstname.lastname@example.org P.s. See you in 2017 Mont Blanc Guides. Third time lucky?
Craig & Tommy Sutton
Our experience with Mt Blanc Guides was a bit unique as we decided to tackle the Alps as a father-son duo. Ever since we initially came up with the idea of narrowing in on Mt Blanc, we were hopeful we would find a team that would not only give us the best chance of summiting Mt Blanc but one that would give us the opportunity to learn the exact type of skills that would better prepare us for future summits in the Alps or elsewhere. After the 6 days with the company and our guides, Alberto, Tim, and Miles, we can say that the we absolutely made right choice.
Doing the trip as a father-son pair we naturally covered one of the larger age ranges, however the guides attention to detail made it possible for us both to get everything we could’ve wanted to get out of the trip. We can only guess that many guide services have a recipe book for trips in the Alps; while Mont Blanc Guides does use a planned itinerary, they are creative in making the best of any situation and range of clients. In our case, the mountains received roughly two meters of snow during the days leading up to and including our stay; ultimately this prevented us from attempting a Mont Blanc summit, however we did summit two 4,000M+ peaks, the Gran Paradiso and the Breithorn. Despite not achieving one of our goals, their knowledge, creativity, focus on safety and experience gave us an outcome that exceeded our expectations! We will certainly be recommending Mont Blanc Guides to our friends looking into a trip in the Alps. email@example.com
Simon & Mattew Fanning
Having climbed Kilimanjaro earlier in the year, I booked with Mont Blanc Guides to climb Mont Blanc with my son Matthew. The Castle chalet was really nice, Dee, Dina and the chalet team were wonderful and the food could not have been better. There were 6 of us in the group and two guides – Jon Wigg and Domen Kastilec, so a nice manageable number. Kit inspection on the first morning was very useful as we both had a couple of items that needed upgrading to “Alpine Standard”. Unfortunately however on the ascent of Gran Paradiso both Matthew & I succumbed to altitude and fitness issues meaning we had to turn back; obviously this meant we wouldn’t be attempting to summit Mont Blanc later in the week.
On the return from Gran Paradiso, we stopped off and spent a couple of hours learning rock climbing techniques using crampons – challenging but great fun. John kindly agreed to let Matthew and myself work with one of the guides (Domen) on basic mountaineering skills while the rest of our group attempted Mont Blanc. We covered a lot of work on Crampon use, glacier travel, rope work, rock climbing and even crevasse rescue and self-arrest. We climbed two peaks – Petite Aiguille Verte and Aiguille De Toule (both 3500m+) in what was a wonderful and exciting couple of days. Domen was outstanding as a guide / teacher. The whole week was very well organised and Jon and Domen were very professional, friendly and knowledgeable. We definitely intend to go back next year and conquer both peaks (weather permitting) and will use Mont Blanc Guides to do so. Happy to answer any questions regarding our experience – firstname.lastname@example.org
John Caswell & James Russell
Dear John & MBG Team, we are writing to express our sincere thanks to all at Mont Blanc Guides (MBG) for helping us achieve our long held ambition to summit Mont Blanc. After deliberating which company to book with we settled on MBG based on their proven experience, solid success rate, honest website and as independent experts their focus on Mont Blanc attempts; we were not disappointed. The total experience exceeded our expectations from the moment we booked to the last farewell. Whilst the MBG website is extremely helpful with lots of practical information, when one of us wanted to speak to someone about a choice of clothing (jacket) to buy before arriving we were given every assistance and your friendly office staff were always forthcoming with practical help on all aspects of the trip. Special mentions must go to Dee, Agi and Tony based at the chalet.
The whole organisation is geared up to ensuring a safe enjoyable experience for your clients; the selection of guides is obviously taken with considerable care as we had superb coaching on the Gran Paradiso practice run along with many small practical tips and insights which all came into play two days later on Mont Blanc. A further special mention for Fabio here whom we had most contact with and knows something about everything! Whilst in Chamonix the accommodation at “The Castle” was comfortable and spotless, and the breakfasts, cakes and evening meals were superb, all of which helped us to relax before and after our trips to the mountains.
We would not hesitate in whole heartedly recommending MBG to those seeking a safe, friendly and insightful Mont Blanc experience, needless to say we’ll never forget it. Yours sincerely John Caswell & James Russell email@example.com
Can I just say a huge thanks to all at MBG and especially the guides we had on our course a few weeks ago , Miles, Matteo and Francesco. I had the most fantastically enjoyable week! We didn’t get to go up Mt Blanc because of the warm conditions and rock fall in the couloir, but the climb of Gran Paradiso and then three days around Monte Rosa were superb. I’d highly recommend Monte Rosa as a less busy and more beautiful alternative to Mt Blanc to anyone thinking of going on your course. In fact , if I can persuade a few friends, I’m thinking of trying to get a small group out to the Monte Rosa area next year and will come to you first of all for help in organising that.
Once more I’d like to commend the guides we had -I felt like I was treated like an adult, the dangers of what we were doing were explained and we were left to make our own decisions about whether to attempt Mt Blanc in the borderline conditions at the time. As it turned out, 4 of us went to Monte Rosa and spent 3 days with Matteo and Francesco – and what a great 3 days that was. We immediately gelled as a group of friends and we had complete trust that our safety was in good hands. In the evenings and on the journeys to and from Monte Rosa we had a fun and relaxing time. I cannot praise all the guides highly enough. Once again many thanks for helping me have such a memorable experience and for achieving something I’m genuinely proud of! Keith. firstname.lastname@example.org
Andy Watson (North Wales Training Weekend)
Having already committed to the 6 day Alpine course this year I attended the North Wales training course based on the recommendation on the MBG website; naturally I was a little uncertain about what to expect and what the course would provide. The course exceeded my expectations in so many ways – with a simple well thought out agenda that was delivered in a relaxed yet professional style by Graham McMahon. Each day started with a cup of tea and brief induction that covered possible routes and stages of ascent on Mont Blanc, travel, accommodation (and mountain huts!), kit selection and personal safety, this then being followed by a day in the fells. Over the two days we enjoyed the best and worst of the Welsh weather, but despite this the guides stuck to the task and remained positive and engaging, spending time getting to know each attendee and encouraging conversation while providing “one to one” coaching. We picked up many new skills and techniques whilst on the fells, and suitably kitted out with harnesses and helmets we were taught how to operate with ropes working together as a team to move quickly and safely up and down the crags (this is designed to mirror conditions on the Grand Couloir of Mont Blanc). In addition we were given practical tips on the correct selection and use of equipment, nutrition and hydration and how to be energy efficient when operating in the mountains, focusing on maintaining a steady pace and balance.
I would like to thank Graham Mahon and Owen Samuel for the two days, their personal touch immediately settles the nerves and gets the focus going, providing practical answers to questions and concerns whilst making the experience thoroughly enjoyable and fun – the time flew by! I would recommend this course to anyone wishing to pick up new mountaineering skills and improve their training and preparation for a trip to the Alps with MBG as well as acquiring general mountain skills to use at home in the UK. I left the course wanting to go back and do it again the next day just for fun, and with a renewed vigour to practice the skills I picked up in Wales and keep up with my own Mont Blanc training. Andrew Watson email@example.com
Well, what an amazing, exhilarating experience and made all the more special and enjoyable by what can only be described as an incredible set up and team at MBG. From the very first phone call 7 months out, our team of jangling nerves and apprehensive minds was put at ease with John’s expert advice and honest approach. The warm greeting at the fabulous ‘Castle’ base was like home from home and freshly made carrot cake on arrival went down a treat too from Agi! Once settled in, the transition from tentative novices to mountaineers was almost seamless. Dee is like the Mum of the chalet! The MBG gang covered every area of the week with great detail and we kicked off with Gran Paradiso which was simply magnificent. The climb took it out of us physically and the final ridge was certainly not for the faint hearted but we were well looked after and it prepared us well for the main task ahead. A relaxing boys night in watching a movie at the Castle whilst we steadied our nerves for Mont Blanc split the week up nicely and after some clear advice and reassurance from John, we were all in a positive frame of mind as we climbed into bed after another feast from the chefs. The luxury of Cham soon seemed many miles away from the basic mountain huts.
The Mont Blanc aspect of the trip was gruelling but so rewarding – it is a once in a lifetime experience. Our minds were racing the night before summit day but the head guide Tim brought everyone’s heart rate down with black and white advice and facts. Safety is the prime aspect of the MBG’s philosophy and it was clear that no one would be pushed beyond their safety limits. The banter from the #Fitzroy6 (our dormitory in the Tete Rousse hut) was flying and this team ethic was epitomized by the constant support from the guides and John and Dee back at HQ. We were ready to give it our best shot! After an exhausting climb up the rock wall from Tete Rousse to Gouter we cracked on into the beautiful morning sun. The journey was surreal. To describe it as enjoyable would be lying, but on reflection the memories are only of joy and fulfilment. The painstaking knife edge ridges that lead to the summit are something else. The views are remarkable, beyond words. We had done it.
I don’t usually write feedback, but MBG were simply first class. They not only helped fulfil dreams and did it in a safe and professional manner, but they made the whole week enjoyable and fun. Our team have never stopped talking about the trip, not just the mountain, but the whole experience. The night in Chamonix when we returned from the success of Mont Blanc was a big one and we made full use of the hot tub at 7am! Many thanks again, amazing times. James Beaumont / #MontBlanc8. firstname.lastname@example.org
I’d just like to say how impressed I am with Mont Blanc Guides. As a frequent visitor to the region I had always dreamed of climbing Mont Blanc, however I think I under estimated just how challenging it would turn out to be. I learnt a great deal on my first attempt in 2014 with MBG when I summited the Gran Paradiso and made it to the Vallot hut on Mont Blanc, and although this was an achievement for me being 49, living at sea level and being built more like a rugby player, I still had the desire to make the summit. John from MBG gave me plenty of advice which I took on board and in 2016 I made the decision to have one more attempt.
I trained really hard, took John’s advice, and returned for my second attempt slimmer, fitter and more positive: I knew exactly what to expect this time, things were going really well, and I had high hopes of reaching the summit – but the mountain had other ideas! Just as we set out from the Tete Rousse hut an avalanche occurred halting my dream once more. The guides made the decision to descend because it was not safe to continue, so my second attempt to reach the summit was short lived. However I had learned to never under estimate the mountain! Luckily for me a week later a window of opportunity arose and with John’s help I made another attempt to reach the summit, this time successfully I’m pleased to say. (I thinks it’s been labelled the ‘sneaky summit’!) Thanks to John and his team of guides I have realised one of my dreams. It wasn’t easy but they made it possible. Thank you so much. Ian. email@example.com
Myself and my boyfriend had a fantastic week in Chamonix with Mont Blanc Guides. The accommodation was great, only 5 minutes’ walk to the town centre and the food was outstanding, better than most restaurants in town! The first three days were spent in Italy going up Gran Paradiso with our American guide Eric. He was very supportive the whole way and kept at a pace that suited our level of fitness. Unfortunately due to the weather, the ascent of Mont Blanc itself was called off. Mont Blanc Guides did everything they could to arrange alternative activities, including climbing Via Corda and the Arête des Cosmiques. Both were challenging yet incredibly rewarding with views to rival that from Mont Blanc! Although we did not get to tick Mont Blanc off the bucket list quite yet, our week in Chamonix was incredible. As a beginner to climbing and mountaineering, I learnt a huge amount in one week and achieved things that I could never have done on my own. My boyfriend, more experienced in both climbing and mountaineering, had the opportunity to improve on skills and left a far better mountaineer than before.
The MBG team were exceptionally welcoming from the start. I would recommend the team and my guide, Eric Larson, to anyone interested in climbing Mont Blanc. Thanks for a great week! Kind regards, Rosie Simson. firstname.lastname@example.org
Myself and two good friends Steve and Phil arrived on 13th July 2016. We had been talking about climbing Mt Blanc for years and decided it was now or never, but as things worked out it was to prove to be at a difficult time for anyone attempting this dream. The temperature for weeks before we arrived and during our stay was over 30°C, and so the Grand Couloir on Mont Blanc was in an extremely dangerous state. John told us straight away that we would not be climbing Mt Blanc by the Gouter Route and we were gutted to put it mildly. It’s in that context that I want to thank the whole team for one of the most fantastic weeks of my life.
We climbed Gran Paradiso successfully – I have quite a fear of heights and mentioned this to Mark Puleio our lead guide. I had been worrying about the top crossing up to the Madonna, but Marc got me across before I knew it, and the panoramic views were breath-taking and worth the trip on their own. Mark and Alberto then filled our days that would have been on Mt Blanc with rock climbs and scrambling that I hadn’t signed up for! The climb across the Aiguilles Crochues Arête, was a particular highlight for all of us. Finally we were to attempt the first of the “3 Mont’s”, Mont Blanc du Tacul. A thunderstorm curtailed the attempt, but I will never ever forget the decent and ascent of the ridge from the Aiguille du Midi to the col, it was terrifying and brilliant and I could not have done it without the expertise and professionalism of Mark.
Back at the Castle our hosts Tony and Agi made our time there a home from home with great food and good company, and by the end of the week not being able to attempt Mt Blanc did not seem so important. Mont Blanc Guides as a company put our safety first and then gave us a week never to forget. Thank you Mark, Alberto, Tony, Agi and Eva – we got more than we bargained for! Kev Smith, Steve Jones and Phil Matulja. email@example.com
I booked with Mont Blanc Guides as I looked at quite a lot of web sites and this one looked well priced but not absurdly cheap. I then stumbled across a piece written in the Daily Telegraph written about Mont Blanc and the journalist had used Mont Blanc Guides so I thought things looked good. I built up to 60 miles per week fell running, did a climbing course and indulged my fetish with Mammut clothing (any excuse), nothing prepares you for ‘The Ledge of Doom’ on Gran Paradiso , or indeed the sharp ridge with an abyss either side of you on Mont Blanc so I suggest you need to overcome fear of heights before you go as well as getting yourself very fit as climbing for 12 hours is a challenge.
I arrived in Chamonix at the Mont Blanc Guides chalet which is beautifully furnished, clean and chilled and was met by the delightful American lady Eva who immediately puts you at ease. The chefs we had were a couple and amazing chefs who were really friendly and made a massive effort with the meals we had, which were delicious. I am vegetarian (which doesn’t generally exist in France) and the food was delicious! The guides they use are incredible, helpful and nothing is too much for them. They are brilliant characters and they are massively experienced. You learn very quickly that if they suggest you do something then you need to do as they say straight away and respect their formidable knowledge of the mountains. The hut and staff on Gran Paradiso are great, lovely and friendly Italians. Mont Blanc is massive and does not suffer fools so your life is very much in the hands of your guide. The climb across the grand couloir and up from the Tete Rousse to the Gouter hut is very sobering in the dark at 4 a.m. I can tell you! We all 6 of us managed to get there in a massive wind which was quite interesting at times!
In summary I had a brilliant week despite having to overcome my fear of huge drops(!) and if you are thinking of climbing Mont Blanc I would have no hesitation in using Mont Blanc Guides; they are fantastically well run, superb value, reliable, honest and really make an effort in every respect. There are few companies I could say that about I assure you and I am seriously thinking of repeating the same week next year, possibly by another route if one is available. You will not regret using Mont Blanc Guides. Stephen “Tom” Grove. firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear All, I have uploaded my photos onto Dropbox, most of them are from Gran Paradiso- I guess I didn’t have enough time and energy on the Mont Blanc attempt. I am still trying to comprehend fully what that ascent meant to me, but boy it turned out exhausting: on the last night in Chamonix I slept like a log, and- I missed my transfer and I missed my flight! I somehow managed to sort it all out and finally touched down in London just 4 hours later than planned. I hope you all had a way more enjoyable Wednesday morning. How did the paragliding go? Also, now that all the memories are still fresh and vivid, I wanted to say how lucky I feel having had all of you around on this course, it was a very nice group, you know this doesn’t happen that often. And John, thanks for perfect organisation and management, it was just the right blend of very professional attitude with personal touch. All the guides were absolutely brilliant, please pass my regards to Tim, Dave and Alberto. Give me a shout if you happen to be in London. Or if you plan something exciting. I will probably go to India for a couple of weeks in January and I am considering the Lenin Peak for the next year, one of the easiest 7000ers. Elbrus can also be an option, there’s still time to decide. All the best, Vladimir. email@example.com
Dear John, I did also want to say a massive “Thank You” for what we experienced with Mont Blanc Guides through Boris, Eric, Miles, Ales (especially) and the whole team in June of 2016, I can’t thank you or commend you all enough. From the many early enquiries through to guiding us all to the summit you filled me with confidence and gave me what I will always remember as a very special lifetime experience. A highly professional operation! Keep Climbing – David Norman (Ireland). firstname.lastname@example.org
After experiencing our week with Mont Blanc Guides in Chamonix, I can now attest to how incredible the MB preparation course in North Wales really is! If you live in the UK (or anywhere in Europe for that matter), I would highly suggest making the journey to spend the weekend learning with Graham and his team. You will cover so much, and leave the weekend feeling both better prepared and more confident in your chances for a successful week on Mont Blanc. Personally, I found both the classroom and practice sessions very useful. Indoors, Graham walked through the required kit in detail, bringing his own pack to demonstrate what will be needed. As a result, Max and I were the best equipped and most organised team on the mountain. He also discussed the two possible Mont Blanc routes and told us exactly what to expect through pictures and his own experiences. From this, we got a good base understanding of the possible ascent options, which was critically important for the ever changing weather and subsequent plans in our particular week! Graham also taught us how not to ‘faff’ (i.e. – digging around in your bag for things unnecessarily): while it doesn’t sound like a big deal, I can assure you that this skill alone is reason enough to sign up for the weekend!
Out on the mountain, we spent our days walking similar rocky ridges to the Grand Couloir, the summit of Grand Paradiso and the Cosmiques Arête. We learned basic scrambling and climbing techniques including the use of equipment (slings, cams, etc.), and spent the second day completely roped together (in Gale Force winds mind you!). What I experienced in Wales proved incredibly useful on Mont Blanc, and felt completely comfortable climbing and trekking tied to my guide, sometimes in windy and cold weather. I was also very thankful for the practice time on exposed ridges of lose rock under the watchful eye of guides – it really prepared me for the real thing, and allowed me the chance to get used to the height and terrain. Finally, throughout and at the end of the course, Graham was sure to provide each participant specific feedback, on fitness, gear, climbing technique, etc. You left the weekend with a solid game plan to improve your weaker areas and ensure you give yourself the best chance of success on Mont Blanc. I genuinely feel my weekend with Graham was the best money we spent on our Mont Blanc preparation, and I would have not enjoyed my week with John and the team as much as I did without it! Robyn Agoston. email@example.com
I chose MBG’s course for my first ever Alpine experience based on the reviews I’ve read as well as their extremely informative website, and I can gladly say that I had an absolutely fantastic time! The booking process went smoothly and MBG’s lovely staff was available from the onset to answer any questions and assist before I even got to Chamonix. Everything was organized to perfection and the long experience of the company in organizing such courses was evident from the start. I was very pleasantly surprised with the very comfortable chalet where I met up with the rest of the group and where Tony and Aggie indulged us with their fantastic food!
Our guides Simon, Andrea, and Alberto were great and extremely professional and safety-conscious; I learned so much from chatting to Simon and Andrea, and the guides did everything to make the experience wonderful. We were blessed with good weather on Grand Paradiso and summited, but were less lucky for Mont Blanc and only made it a bit past the Gouter hut before being forced to turn back by the strong winds and low visibility. Nevertheless, our guides did their best to maximize our chances of summiting without compromising on safety. Because of this we had a spare day, but it wasn’t wasted as we went rock climbing and I even managed to complete my first lead on rock thanks to the tutoring of our guides! Thank you again for the wonderful time. I would most certainly recommend your company to anyone who wishes to climb Mont Blanc and have an authentic and exciting Alpine experience! Nadhem Dhidah firstname.lastname@example.org
John, just a quick note to mention how brilliant the weekend in Snowdonia was. Having actually done what I didn’t think I was capable of has certainly settled my nerves in terms of what to expect when I get there, the kit and gear I should bring with me, and for a novice it was great for Graham to show us what’s in his bag and also to talk through what to expect on both climbs. Both Graham and Theo were brilliant and just filled us with their confidence as we went along. Having done it I’m not sure how I could conceive going to Mont Blanc without having gone through this huge learning experience. I have some video and photos which I will try send to Graham but it’s certainly something every newbie should seriously consider. Best Regards, Declan O’Shea. email@example.com
I have just had the most amazing week climbing Mont Blanc and Gran Paradiso with Mont Blanc Guides and I feel that I owe it to John Taylor and his team to give credit where credit is due, because the whole experience was flawless.
The detailed and frank nature of their website first attracted me to the company but what sealed the deal for me was the excellent customer service. Every enquiry was answered promptly and we had plenty of those because I had dreamed of this trip for years and wanted to get my preparation just right. This friendly advice continued throughout the trip – nothing was too much trouble. I wondered why they called it a “course” on the website and soon found out – right from the kit check I found out that I was not going to just tick off summits but I was going to learn so much about alpine climbing. John went above and beyond, clearly showing his love of the mountains as he explained every step of the process from assessments of weather conditions to the practicalities of rope-work for glacier travel.
Our group really felt part of everything and not just like casual observers. We had a 50/50 chance because of the wind and cold conditions but I have to say the timings on summit day were spot on and we made it! I was also impressed with the wider course logistics – we didn’t have to organise anything from the minute we arrived at the beautiful Castle chalet to the moment we left – leaving our new home reluctantly at that! I have been climbing mountains for years and it is rare that I come away from any trip without suggestions for improvements, but this time I have. These guys don’t just know how to keep you safe, they know how to look after you, and I left Chamonix with the most amazing memories and a burning desire to return! Thanks John, Tim, Klemen, Dee, Isla and Sammie! All the best Simon.
Nadia Mongelli and Franco Boeri
Dear Madam/Sir, We joined the Mont Blanc course starting Saturday the 21/06. We would like to share our appreciation and satisfaction with the week we spent with your organisation and guides, Graham McMahon and Marc Puleio. We had a wonderful week to say the least, your organisation was spot on and everyone was incredibly friendly and helpful. The girls you employ to look after us (evening meal and breakfast) were lovely, food excellent, very friendly and helpful. The accommodation in the chalet was perfectly adequate for the time we spent there, but we really did appreciate being able to have an en-suite room.
We were extremely lucky with the weather and did manage to summit both peaks which obviously was the cherry on the cake, but had a fantastic time with our guides in any case. Both Graham and Marc were excellent, we felt very safe at all times and they both managed to combine perfectly light-hearted conversations with the times when we really had to pay attention and be serious. We learnt a lot from them and would be more than happy to recommend them to anyone. We will certainly recommend your Company to anyone that wishes to have this wonderful experience. Thank you once again for this experience which will stay with us forever. Kind Regards Nadia Mongelli and Franco Boeri.
Hello Dee, please forward this to John Taylor…Just a thank you for a great trip – even though I was not prepared, I was fortunate to climb both mountains! This thanks to a great team of guides led by Mark, but just a word regarding Ales Cesen my guide on Mont Blanc (he was on his first trip for you) and without him I don’t know if I would have summited, a better guide, professional climber and person as a whole one could not wish for.
I hire many guides and although your guides are all professional this man is one of a kind, he made the trip for me, and just a thank you for him and for your support in making a great holiday. Mark and all the guides are great, a brilliant team, thank you. Have a great day! Kurt Schultz
Paul and Anna Marshall
Dear John, Thanks very much for great holiday. If you would like to use below as testimonial with picture of myself and Anna taken on rock slab approaching Cosmiques Hut 25.7.14, you are very welcome. I would very much recommend Mont Blanc Guides to anyone considering climbing this mountain. Myself and my daughter (16 years) climbed the Gran Paradiso and then Mont Blanc with Mont Blanc Guides this summer and were very impressed with the expertise and emphasis on safety of John and the other guides.
We learned a tremendous amount about the Alps and mountaineering and had great discussions around the table in mountain huts! Chalet in Chamonix very comfortable, with helpful staff and good food. Weather in the Alps (as anywhere) can be changeable and we needed to be somewhat flexible in plans to accommodate this. Paul Marshall, Lancaster, UK.
With absolutely no mountaineering experience to my name it was a tough call to expect to get to the summit of Mont Blanc in the space of one week. I was made extremely welcome from the start and upon meeting the guides Simon and Pete it quickly became clear that the task ahead was serious and not to be taken lightly but at the same time they instilled a considerable level of quiet confidence in the whole party.
The “practice run” in Italy was an eye opener but throughout Simon and Pete were highly professional, encouraging and patient. When it came to the big day we were blessed with perfect conditions. It was unquestionably arduous but phenomenally rewarding. I and my new pal Neil from South Africa were guided by Pete who somehow managed to combine patience, humour and determination to get us to the top and he succeeded!
It was just the most amazing moment for me. To stand on top of that mountain, which we had to ourselves, was sensational and completely unforgettable. The whole experience exceeded my expectation/anticipation in every way and it is not possible to pay too great a complement to our guides. Life changing?
Yes I think it was.
I thought you might like to see the review that I posted on TripAdvisor regarding our climb. I am very happy for you to use it as a testimonial and would be happy to speak to others considering booking with you.
I climbed Mont Blanc via the Gouter Route with Mont Blanc Guides in August 2013. Probably the hardest thing I have ever done (I found it much tougher than Kilimanjaro) and were it not for the professionalism of Mont Blanc Guides I probably would not have summited. The whole trip is extremely well-organised, from the excellent chalet accommodation in Chamonix, the quality of the rental equipment, the preparation climb of Gran Paradiso (the tallest mountain entirely within Italy) through the attempt on Mont Blanc itself.
At one point it appeared as though we may have marginal weather for the climb (although fortunately we ended up having a clear day to summit) and the effort that went into ensuring that we would be positioned so as to have maximum probability of being able to make a summit attempt should a weather window open was very impressive.
There was a high level of involvement from John Taylor, the owner, who even though not guiding on our trip spent a considerable amount of time with us. Special mention also to head guide Matthieu and our summit guide Andreas. There is no doubt that Andreas’ efforts were the deciding factor in my successfully summiting. I would have no doubt in recommending Mont Blanc Guides to anyone considering the mountain. The fact that they specialise in Mont Blanc only makes a huge difference I believe. Regard Keith.
I would like to thank Mont Blanc Guides and their team for the great experience they gave us. Starting from the welcome, over to the very nice and comfortable rooms, to the great and freshly cooked food, a big thanks to Katie and Matt right here. Also the Guides and the tours were just brilliant, friendly, funny, supportive, and outgoing.
All in all I would say there is not much you could have done better. I worked in hospitality for most of my life, working in Germany, Switzerland, USA, England, and Czech Republic in some very good hotels, so I know what I am talking about!
It was the friendliness of every single one of the team who made the biggest impression on me. I also thought it was a very nice touch that the owner of the company was there for Jen, when she had trouble with her knee and also had a small chat with us after finishing the tour. Thanks again for the great experience and all the best to the Mont Blanc Guides team. Best regards Manny.
Last year I chose MBG to attempt to climb Mont Blanc; unfortunately the mountain chooses you and the weather and avalanche risk prevented us from making any sort of ascent at all.
This year, I chose MBG again for my second attempt as they were professional, have an excellent course program and lovely accommodation.
They even handhold you a bit, especially if you’re a novice, with gear inspections and advice on equipment and food etc. They deploy some of the best guides around, I give huge credits to our guides Peter Mason, Mark Chauvin, Joe Stock, Simon Abrahams and Eric Larson for guiding us to the summit of Gran Paradiso and Mont Blanc.
They are very experienced, highly competent mountain guides with genuine down to earth attitudes, and between them they’ve climbed mountains across the globe. Our team this year were very lucky to have them guide us and we all made it to the top. Summit day was perfect – clear blue sky, long sunny day and not a cloud in sight! Thank you Mont Blanc Guides! Cheers, Laura.
I can’t thank Mont Blanc Guides enough for their friendliness and expertise on my course. Right from my initial emails they showed their dedication to their customers with quick and extremely helpful replies. I honestly believe that the team of guides on my ascent made the whole experience feel not only safer than it actually was, but also more enjoyable. After detailed briefs on the both ascents of Gran Paradiso and Mont Blanc and continuous feedback during the climbs, there was always time for a laugh or joke. There were times on the easy parts of the tracks that I felt like it was a group of mates going for a casual walk we were laughing so hard.
The guides Simon and Peter made both ascents, while Bruce and Graeme joined us on Mont Blanc. All have extensive experience and are extremely competent and friendly. The guide/client ratio was great, nice and small and clients were. I enjoyed the ascents so much, I wanted to do them again the next day and this was possible because of the advice on the web site.
The accommodation was great, the food was great and the hot tub after the return was a great way to try and get my head back to reality.
To be personally greeted by John after the descent at Saint Gervais was that added personal touch that shows how MBG’s customer service goes that much further to ensure the client is not only safe but happy. I would recommend MBG to everyone wanting the best possible chance to summit Mont Blanc. I certainly hope I get the opportunity to use MBG in the future. My only complaint was that the course ended…
Hi to you all. Well it’s been virtually a month now since my first ever trip to the Alps and as John said the difficult bits of the climb begin to fade but the good bits still remain, so much so that I’m itching to do something else now! Sadly I doubt my wife will stand any more sleepless nights whilst I toddle of up mountains but I’ll work on her.
Anyway now that the agony/euphoria has died down I felt it only right to say a big, big thank you to you all for what was possibly the most amazing set of experiences I’ve ever had. Ever since I was a small child I have dreamt of standing on some high snow-capped mountain but always believed that was only the province of ‘real’ mountaineers and not for the like of little old me! However thanks to you guys and not forgetting the girls Dee & Katie, you finally made a small boys (old mans) dream come true. To be honest as I’d never been to the Alps before other than flying over them to somewhere warm, having never been much above 4000ft never mind metres and knowing that any summit would be reliant on the vagaries of the weather, I came with a pragmatic view of just being there will be magical.
As such after having such a perfect day to summit Gran Paradiso I could quite happily have gone home satisfied there and then. But to then get Mont Blanc as well really was unbelievable. I cannot thank Andrea enough for his perseverance with us as I was acutely aware of the length of time we were taking and given the threat of afternoon storms was convinced we would run out of time and he would turn us around without summiting. Thanks again!
Overall I cannot express enough how wonderful the experience was, from my initial arrival at ‘the Castle’ to be welcomed by Katie and Matt who did such a fantastic job of looking after us (especially the cakes mmmmm!) the help and advice given by Matthieu and Klemen on the climbs and all Johns assistance in trying to get my boots right (the 3 little toes on my right foot still haven’t recovered!) credit where credit is due and I really cannot thank you all enough! Anyway it would appear you may have truly sparked something inside me which I doubt will dissipate so I’d better go and work on the wife again and with a bit of luck I will be back in Chamonix soon and if I do I’ll pop in to say hi and thank you all again. Phill Larter (21st August course)
Andy Barnes & Nikki Prescott
Hi Dee, This is a little belated but Nikki and I would like to pass on our thanks to all at Mont Blanc Guides for an incredible, memorable week. The course was very well organized and weather changes were exceptionally well managed. The knowledge, experience and personalities of the guides helped both of us achieve our goal of reaching the summit whilst learning lots at the same time. Special thanks to Bruce, Simon and Christian who made the whole week thoroughly enjoyable. Kind regards, Andy.
Hello, I am Takako who joined the course between Aug 31 and Sept 6. Since I did not have much time to write on feedback form, I would like to say thank you by this email as I got back my home in Tokyo safely. I really appreciate everyone from MBG as I had a wonderful time and was able to achieved one of my dream. John, I think the program is really great for having a chance to climb two great mountains in a week as mostly likely (as far as I know) other programs have training on just glaciers and not going up to summit. Under these program, my acclimatization went well and I did not feel uneasy at all during I was in mountain.
?Dee and Tracey, thank you for all communication done between and after booking. With your prompt response I was able to make decision very quick and was prepared for my adventure. And cakes were delicious too!! Matt and Katie, thank you for welcoming like a family. I felt I was at home and was able to stay relaxed though I joined the course alone.
And last but not least, Simon and Pete did a great job. They taught me not only technical skill but also kept encouraging and gave me confidence. This helped me a lot and eliminated my uneasiness which I always had since leaving my country that I could not keep the same pace with people who has longer legs than I do! Once again million thanks to all of you and hope to see you again next year! Cheers, Takako Yoshida.
Matt and Katy at the chalet made me feel very welcome and at home, Katy giving me some of her personal supplies as I was trying to tape up a bad toe and Matt even driving me back to my arrival hotel to get my luggage. The guides are rock stars, they have the mountains in their DNA. Such an ease and beauty to everything they do, they are complete professionals, cautious, aware, and realistic. Simon handling all the logistics of transfers, tickets, and hut arrangements made the climb feel easier, and they were all tough and firm when necessary. I always felt completely informed of the plan, timings, and procedures, and they also took pride in my success for which I give them absolute credit.
I can’t talk highly enough of John and his team at MBG. From the moment I found their (excellent) website, to the help, support and advice they gave me – answering questions before I booked, providing great support and advice before I arrived and also during the climbing week. Having tried twice previously to summit Mont Blanc I was keen to give myself the best possible chance this time around – and although nothing is ever guaranteed, if you want to increase your odds of being successful – don’t look any further than MBG, they really are the specialists when it comes to this “little hill”.
John and his team of guides have a great cocktail of being knowledgeable, good at what they do and most importantly being keen to ensure their clients are informed, and get the absolute maximum from their week. They take the time to explain what they are doing, pass on knowledge, and make the week a thoroughly fun and enjoyable experience.
I came away from the course having summitted both the highest mountain in Italy (Grand Paradiso) and the highest in Western Europe (Mont Blanc) – but also came away with incredible memories, invaluable insights into rope techniques, climbing efficiency and also a big smile from spending time in the company of some great guides, who also happen to be great people too. The accommodation was superb, the food excellent, the training climb was spot on, and the whole structure of the week really does put you in the best possible place to achieve your objectives. I passed many other groups on the mountain who I actually felt sorry for, not having booked with MBG. I wouldn’t hesitate to both use John and his team again and also actively recommend them.
Hi John, I wanted to thank you once again for the fantastic organisation, professionalism and commitment to getting us to the summit of Mont Blanc. You and your entire guide team made the ascent of the Alps’ highest summit appear much easier and safer than it actually is. Despite the difficult weather conditions your willingness to be flexible, your team’s extensive experience, terrain knowledge, access to live weather reports and last but not least good relationship with the management of the mountain huts made it possible for me and the entire group to summit. From start to finish the six days on the mountain were efficiently and skillfully organised.
The fact that we had a high guide to client ratio made it easy for the stronger of us to climb without worrying that someone who is not coping with the altitude or is coming down with a cold will prevent the entire team from summiting. I also wanted to mention that the the team of guides you work with is of the highest calibre and their local knowledge, fantastic attitude and focus on safety is exceptional. Last but not least the cost of the entire trip, although appearing to be slightly higher than some of your competitors, is actually inclusive of all expenses and fees and as I can myself confirm is excellent value for money. Standing on the top of Mont Blanc will forever be a cherished memory and an achievement I can always look back to and feel proud of. Regards, Plamen.
Hi Dee, just wanted to say a huge thank you to John and everyone in the MBG team for two terrific weeks climbing this and last year. Joy and Mike were outstanding hosts in Chalet Prarion keeping us all superbly comfortable, well fed and as always going the extra mile to ensure we had everything we needed. Miles (last year) and ‘English Mark’ (this year) along with their respective teams of guides (Liz, Simon, Eric, Andrea and ‘American Mark’) were all so superbly professional and understanding of a range of capabilities and experience, and always with a weather (!) eye to our safety.
Thank you also for your support from the MGB office. Each course taught me new skills, extending and challenged my boundaries and introducing me to a host of new friends. Eventually standing on the summit of Mont Blanc – just awesome!!! A huge and much deserved thank you to everyone and best wishes for the remainder of the 2012 season. Cheers,Colin.
Jon, just a quick note to thank you for a fantastic week. You will probably realise that we have all put a lot of effort in over the last 9 months or so to give us the best chance of making the summit and it has been so worthwhile. The whole experience from the initial briefing, the training climb in Italy to the main event was organised and professional. Your delivery was always calm and composed which offered so much confidence to the client. Your decision making in the most difficult situations not only gave further reassurance but also highlighted the seriousness of the task ahead for those deemed capable of an attempt.
I guess that your main attribute has to be fitness and mountaineering skills/ experience, which you clearly have in abundance; your leadership and communication skills are even more impressive! You should be very proud of yourself. Thank you for making a dream come true for me and more importantly making sure that I came home safely to look after my family. I wish you all the best and maybe see you again in the mountains. Many thanks, Steve.
Hi John, I hope you enjoyed the étape as much as I enjoyed the course. I had a fantastic time and it has sparked an interest that I certainly will be pursuing. Even though the weather was not kind to us to make the summit of Mont Blanc, the Paradiso summit and the Cosmiques (my wife reminded me that it was 32 years ago that we first saw them) made for experiences I shall never forget and provided many stories for me to tell at my 50th last weekend.
So, thank you very much to you and all of the team at Mont Blanc Guides (Mark, Mike, Frances & Dee) and Nomadic Ski. I had a fabulous time and really enjoyed staying and climbing with you all. I hope to catch up with you, may be next summer for a cycle or perhaps this winter for guided skiing. Many, many thanks. Kevin.
Hi Dee & John, I wanted to to drop you a line to thank you all very much for making my trip the experience of a lifetime. From the first contact with the office to the point of saying goodbyes having successfully made the summit, I have to commend you all on your level of professionalism. The pre-course admin was fantastic regardless of the amount of questions I posed and the subsequent alterations I made to my booking.
All the guides were friendly, approachable and above all, subject matter experts in the field of mountaineering, instilling confidence in their abilities from the outset. The accommodation was great and the chalet hosts, Mike and Joy added value to the whole package. A fantastic week all in all so thanks again! Best regards, Matt.
Just wanted to say thanks to all the team at Mont Blanc Guides. I had an amazing week and that?s mainly thanks to the superb service of MBG. I have friends who are looking to climb next year and I will most certainly be recommending you guys. From the advice, the transport, the motivation, the safety, the accommodation to the general good atmosphere created, I could not have asked for more from that week. Thanks again and all the best for the future. David Doyle, Dublin, Ireland.
Thank you for a great week. All aspects of the trip were very professional and the guides Liz, Mark, Frances, and John were fantastic and played a big part in making it a really special week. The chalet provided an ecellent standard of accommodation, and Yvonne was a great cook. It was hugely satisfying to reach the summit as a lot of training and preparation went into it. The itinerary really make sense as it was great to stand on the summit without the crowds. Many thanks, Alex.
John and the team, thanks for a fabulous and very fulfilling week in the mountains. I’ve never done anything like it before but I will certainly be doing more of it when the occasion permits. May I express my particular thanks to Miles for unparalleled safety leadership, and a special word of appreciation also to Simon, whose adjustment of the pace of ascent along with kind words of encouragement got me to the top of Gran Paradiso when I was about ready to quit. As this was effectively an introduction to alpine mountaineering for me, it doesn’t bother me at all that the weather prevented us getting up Mont Blanc; the week’s activities more than fit the bill for me.I look forward to meeting the team again as soon as I can schedule it around my work commitments. Many thanks and best regards, John.
Just a quick note of thanks to everyone involved in organising and running our trip last week (starting wed 30th June). It was a brilliant week. The group was fantastic and guides excellent. John, Liz and Marti early on and then joined later by Mark and Eric for the summit attempt…..we couldnt have asked for more. They were calm and professional even when faced with our total lack of experience! These qualities delivered our complete respect but they were also “human” and made the week enjoyable too. John, I still cant believe you got me to the top! Nearly a week later and I cant get used to being back in the UK. It really was a life changing experience! Thanks to everyone, including the rest of our group, for a wonderful experience. Regards Paul Foster
Thanks for a great trip, it was top class from start to finish, congrats to John for such a fine business, Bruce in particular made the course so professional and I found his relaxed manner and vast experience cast any doubts or concerns I might have had aside, he is an excellent ambassador for and excellent company. Also the chalet and the food was excellent, and with my hospitality roots I tend to be very critical on these matters, but the location and comforts were top class.
Although we never made the top, I really felt that Bruce was as determined as any of us to take the best shot at it, and had no doubts that it was the right decision to turn around, and I was very satisfied in the knowledge that we took our best shot at it, and on a personal level, satisfied! so in my books that a personal summit to achieve in itself. Regards John Burke.
Hi John (and team), I?ve joined your course early June 2010 and from the first day I was really satistified with the professionalism of the organisation as well as the facilities which were included (comfortable chalets, a private cook). Despite all the effort and organisation the weather didn?t seem to be that great as a strong wind was blowing in the village as well as up in the mountains. Also the forecast was pretty bad, so a back up plan was being made behind the scenes while we were having our challenging rock climbing course as an alternative on the first day. Since the weather was bad on the French side of the Mont Blanc it was proposed to start climbing and acclimatisation on the Italian side of the massive.
That was a fantastic alternative! Then the weather changed a little bit giving us a very small time window to reach the top of the Mont Blanc. With just a few hundreds of meters climbing ahead of us we had to turn back because of a heavy storm turned out to be there in the top again. I would definitely recommend your organisation to anyone who is interested in climbing Mont Blanc, especially since you have a tailored approach for the group and every individual (if necessary) and because of the flexibility you could offer a group in case of bad weather. Thanks again! Mario Voorbij.
Hi John, just wanted to say a huge thank you for an incredible week in the Swiss/French Alps. We may have been unsuccessful in our Mont Blanc summit attempt, but I seriously had one of the best weeks of my life. Aside from the spectacular scenery, I’d like to thank you in particular for the course you ran. You were incredibly informative, understanding and, most importantly, patient (I was basically starting from zero mountaineering experience). I’d also like you to pass on my thanks to Eric, our other guide, who was also fantastic.
Must also give a mention to Jo and Ashley who catered for us at The Castle. Really exceptional food and good company too. Rob and I will definitely be returning for another crack at Mont Blanc in the coming year or two. We’re confident that for future trips we’ll be able to acclimatise on our own, and hire a guide for a couple of days for the main ascent. I’ve learnt a whole new array of skills that will stay with me for a life time. Thanks again John. Best of luck for everything in the future, be it family, business or aeronautics! Take care, Ed.
Hi John, I was on your course of 15-21 August; I’m back in Denmark now, but would like to thank you for a great course! The way you, Simon, and Yves handled everything was highly professional, and the whole course was well planned, clearly showing that you are indeed the Mont Blanc specialists! On the day the course started I had a chat with Carolyn, and we both had mixed feelings. Neither of us was very keen on “group tours”, as we normally like to do things in our own way and at our own pace. I still feel that way, but at no point during your course did I feel like it was a group tour.
The concept you have made, with smaller groups doing things out of sync with everyone else is highly recommendable. As you might remember, we all 10 made the top. Surely the good weather and a super group that just clicked made the whole experience extra good. But I think that most of us would have enjoyed the course even if we had had to make an alternate climb due to bad weather. Thank you for a great experience, which will last a lifetime! Cheers Michael Huus.
Mark Eavers & Neill Curtis
Hi John, we just got back and felt that we should send you an e-mail; we just wanted to say thank you for an amazing experience. The course you run is the most professional but friendly and satisfying thing that I have ever had the pleasure to participate in. Everything just felt right from when we arrived at the chalet in Les Houches to meeting the guides to stepping onto the mountains. I would be very grateful if you would pass on my/our thanks again to Mark who was the ultimate professional but who also made you feel like you had known him for years and instilled trust and confidence fom the start.
Also from me I would like to thank Liz from the bottom of my heart, as without her I would never have made it to the top. I suffered with my asthma but under her guidance and Mark’s faith I managed to succeed at something which I had dreamt of for 30 years. At the time words could not express my gratitude to the two of them. If you want to, feel free to pass on my e-mail to anyone who in the future may want to know how your courses are run. It would be a pleasure to share my experience. So thank you again and you never know our paths may cross again if I fancy another mountain. Yours faithfully Mark Eavers / Neill Curtis.
Andrew & Matthew Warman
Dear John/Mark/Miles/Miles and team, just to say thank you and all your team for the experience of a lifetime. Reaching the summit meant a great deal to me for many reasons as you know and without the support from you and your team, we would not have made it. The programme put in place ensured that acclimatisation was reached with utmost professionalism and achieving this with a great sense of humour really helped. It was clear to see why the smaller peaks were climbed first, as this had a bearing on reaching the summit, and the feeling of being in safe hands made the climb even more enjoyable. We couldn’t have wished for a better group of guides, as it was their encouragement that ensured that my son and I reached the summit.
The whole trip was fantastic, yes it was hard going at times but with the support of team around us we all knew we would pull through. This climb was made easier by all the staff’s willingness to help and coach where required, from the chalet staff to the guides themselves, and my son and I owe these people a great debt, as without them the summit would still be a distant dream. I hope to go back to Chamonix in the near future, not just for a holiday but to keep in touch with the guides with whom we bonded with so well and to thank them all once again. Many many thanks for an overwhelming experience. Andrew Warman.
What a fantastic week I had last year with you despite the weather precluding a summit bid. The decision by the guides not to attempt Mont Blanc was absolutely the right thing to do, their first priority was to the safety of their clients as well as the whole team, and given the stormy conditions it would have been foolish to continue. I had no hestitation, however, in returning again with you this year for another try, given your excellent safety record and professional, competent guides.
You can imagine my delight when a window of opportunity in the weather allowed a successful climb to the summit of Mont Blanc – and for someone like me (on the ‘wrong side of 50’) that was a real testiment to the guide’s ability, skill and patience. Thank you to all at ‘Mont Blanc Guides’ who allowed me to realise and achieve a 36 year dream I’ve had since my teenage years. I’m the happiest man in the world! Simon Dell.
Hi John and team at MBG! I just wanted to write a quick mail to say thanks for a great week! When finally deciding to have a go at Mt Blanc, I found you guys on the internet with no prior experience of your company. All my expectations were filled with a margin. This is what I liked the best, in no particular order:
– The guides you work with are really experienced and nice! We climbed with Christian, Francis and Eric. Extremely safety conscious and really nice guys. They seemed to like working together and we liked climbing with them.
– The chalet where we stayed was really nice. It moulded our group together quickly and the dinners and breakfasts we had there were long and filled with joking and retelling things that had happened on the mountain.
– The tour: the first 3 days in themselves are worth a trip down to Chamo, with Aguille de Tour and Petite Fourche. I think you can “market” that more — I was really glad to have “bagged” two more nice peaks without even expecting it before I came down.
I would really recommend you to anyone wanting to climb the mountain. I am sad you don’t do other trips as well because I would come back as a customer. I am actually a fan of the “do one thing and be the best at that” rather than offering the same standard menu of stuff as everybody else 🙂 Just a shame that there aren’t more on offer with the quality you guys have! Many thanks and best regards, Charlotte Laike.
John, I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say a big thank you to you and your team, both on the mountain and in the office. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with MBG the week before last. We got lucky with the weather in the end but I appreciated all that you did in managing our expectations earlier in the week when it didn’t look so good. Personally I’d like to say thanks for your patience in getting the ‘Fat Ducks’ up to the top of hill – I know that you were probably wondering what we were doing some of the time !
It was a great all round week, you’ve got a great product and package there and I will have no problems in recommending you to fellow adventure travellers. I love the addition of the video to the website, it looks great and gives a real feel for the climb. Thanks once again, have a rest now before the snow comes and I’m sure I’ll bump into you in Cham again in one of the winter seasons. Take care, James.
Once again I would like to repeat my comments to you and MBG about the standard of professionalism and care that your guides took with the group. In my case and 2 others,Marianne and Ben, they went that bit extra to ensure that all our group successfully summited. Ric, Miles and Big Neal in particular are a credit to your industry in this instance. Considering his recent paternal status,(and lack of sleep, never mind the celebrations)Small Neal was a hit with the SA boys, and the incessant chatter of Frances, and his views on life and the universe kept us all constantly amused.
If I was asked to recommend a company to take a group of inexperienced mountaineers to Mont Blanc, I would have no hesitation in putting MBG at the top of the list, on the assumption that your careful selection of guides ensures the high standards presented. Kind regards, Rory.
Dear John, James, George and I have now been home for a week and it is only now that the momentous events of our week in the mountains with you are settling down in some sort of order in my mind. I have been describing my week as one of emotional and physical highs and lows and, thanks to Yan’s and Graham’s fantastic support and encouragement, and endless patience too in Graham’s case, we can look back with great satisfaction on reaching the summit of Mont Blanc on such a perfect day on Thursday 24 July.
We will treasure the memories of the week for years to come, especially the comradeship and humour amongst our group, and Graham’s absolute professionalism, support and encouragement which enabled me to succeed. So many, many thanks for a great week and a host of memories and, from Sara my wife, lots of thanks for getting us all home safely. I’m attaching a couple of pictures which encapsulate our week and which reflect our joy and relief at what you helped us achieve. With heartfelt thanks to you all, Julian, James and George.
Hi John, I’m back home now with the family and wanted to thank you for one of the most memorable experience i’ve ever had. You’re passion and knowledge of mountaineering and especially the Mont Blanc massif is incredible. The guides (especially Francis & Michael) were fantastic and were highly regarded throughout the group.
I must admit that I had many moments of doubt throughout the week and on summit day that I would actually make it, but with encouragement from you, Francis and other group members I am so pleased to be able to say I made it! I would highly recommend Mont Blanc Guides to anyone considering embarking on this wonderful experience and I’m happy for you give my email or mobile number to anyone wanting to ask questions before booking with you. Take care, Elliot.
John, what an awesome week. You employ the services of some seriously skilled guides. I learned so many new skills and so much about myself. Just goes to show that life goes on after reaching fifty. Thanks especially to Dave “Hollowfinger” Hollinger who wasn’t afraid to give me a kick in the pants when it was needed. If I had a message to pass on to other potential clients I would say yes it’s important to focus on achieving your goal of climbing the Mont Blanc but if it doesn’t happen don’t be disappointed.
You are first and foremost going to enter a different world regardless of what peak you end up climbing. A true simple world where basics matter, a mouthful of water, a piece of chocolate, a halt, a smile of encouragement. You’ll gain an experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Great trip. Great organisation. Well done. Mont Blanc Guides do not just move the goal posts they hide them in a place where no one else has shown interest in reaching. Like I said on Friday I have some unfinished business….. Best regards, Ken Welsh.
Dear John, apologises for the delay but just about up to speed with the joys of office work. Thank you for a fantastic week and for a safe ascent (and descent) of Mont Blanc. I think I even got used to staying in the huts by the end (its all a frame of mind). The guides you employed were brilliant characters who all added to the enjoyment of the event. Accommodation at Skiers lodge was luxury after the huts! Best wishes to you and Claire, with kind regards Clive.
Hi John, amazing how time rushes past – just realised it’s over 2 weeks since I got home and I’d been meaning to get in touch. Really just wanted to say thank you for a fantastic holiday. I really enjoyed both the ‘training’ and the Mont Blanc climb (perhaps despite appearances!) and thought the guides and also the logistics were great – the chalet is a beautiful base for the trip and the training route seemed to work really well. Your insight and knowledge about altitude sickness was really helpful and I will always remember you telling me to just keep breathing! Anyway, it looks like you’ve got a great setup and I really enjoyed it – as I know all the family did. Best wishes, Clare.
Dear John, thank you for a brilliant week. Your professionalism, organisation and enthusiasm all made for an unforgettable experience. It really showed how much time and effort you have put in to getting the Mont Blanc trip right – from the accommodation in Les Houches, the shop you recommended for boot hire and the guides you use through to the effectiveness of the training and acclimatisation days and the timing of the summit attempt to avoid the crowds and get a better night’s rest.
Whilst I, like many, was interested in climbing Mont Blanc, the peaks we climbed on the first few days were also really rewarding as well as being fantastic training. And on Mont Blanc itself I very much appreciated all your encouragement and support in helping me reach the summit. The spectacular views from the top are something I will never forget. I would unreservedly recommend Mont Blanc Guides to anyone who is thinking of climbing Mont Blanc. Please do feel free to use any of the above in advertising. All the best and good luck for the rest of the season. Cheers, Mark.
John, we may not have been able to climb Mont Blanc last week but I had a fantastic time. Really impressed with the organisation, professionalism and the friendliness of the guides. Although the weather thwarted us it was great how John, Oli and Lionel quickly created an alternative programme – completing the Cosmiques Arete felt as good as climbing Mont Blanc. Thanks for a really memorable week …. yes I’ll be back. Best regards Eric.
Hello John, I was on last weeks trip, and just wanted to drop a line saying thank you for organising such a great week. The guides were brilliant, in particular John and Lionel who I seemed to link up with most. I felt ‘safe’ all week, and managed to do many things that my confidence would usually stop me attempting. A job really well done, very professional, and great fun. Hope to return next year, and get to the top, it’s the only photo tht is missing!
Thanks again John, all the best, Paul (Brown). PS One big complaint though. Can you ask Andrew to organise cups that you can get your fingers/thumbs into so you can hold your coffee without burning your fingers!! 🙂
Due to an unusually large amount of snowfall we were unable to attempt Mont Blanc. The snow conditions were very treacherous (especially the Grand Couloir) and so after discussions with the guides we were given the option to climb up to the Tete Rousse hut and have a closer look at the conditions or to use the day to do find some alternative activities.The guides were really helpful in advising us to make a rational decision about the climb and, although we were very disappointed not to have the chance to give Mt Blanc a proper attempt, we felt we were given very good advice on the pros and cons of the options and also a very clear analysis of the safety aspects of the route. John was very good in rearranging our schedule to make the most of the remaining four days we had.
He was able to book as all in to the Vittorio Emanuele hut on Gran Paradiso (the highest mountain in Italy at 4,061m) and we had two superb days climbing that peak (and if anyone thinks it isn’t a challenge we met Kenton Cool doing the same thing with his clients!). The G.P. is a super climb and the vertical ascent is comparable with Mt Blanc as you start from around 1,900m. The final ridge (see photo) is pretty spectacular and the views form the top are great – looking across to the Matterhorn and back to Mt Blanc itself. The other highlight of the week was spending Friday climbing the Arete des Cosmiques (which leads up to the cable car station on the Aiguille du Midi).
This was snow covered rock and more technical than Gran Paradiso and gave us a first insight into developing some more climbing skills. So, while we did fail in our main aim of climbing Mont Blanc due to the weather, the week was a great success and we all came away feeling we had probably had a more varied and rewarding week in many ways. The diversity of the activities that John and the guides were able to arrange at such late notice was superb. Oh….and we need to go back and do Mt Blanc at some point!
Hi John, please pass on our sincere thanks to Matthieu, Simon and Dave for being such excellent guides throughout a fantastic week. We were well looked after, treated with real professionalism and had a great time despite conditions being too dangerous to attempt Mt Blanc. I think it was Chris Bonnington who said that the difference between those who get to the top of Everest (eventually!) and those who don’t is that those who succede do so because they know when to turn round. For anyone questioning whether or not to do Mont Blanc in dodgy conditions I would urge you to leave behind your ambition for one mountain and listen to the guides.
They know what they’re talking about and wouldn’t have this conversation with you unless it were necessary. Gran Paradiso is not Mont Blanc but the views were awesome. As for me I’d rather a week of Cosmiques ridge stuff any day over plodding up a snow field so if the chance comes grab it with both hands; you can always come back another year for the big one. Thanks again for a great week which we will recommend to others. Perhaps we’ll be back next year?! Regards, Tim.
John, Just to say a big thank you for your leadership and instruction during our week in Chamonix , and especially for our climb up Mont Blanc . It was all round an exhilarating experience with some lows and many highs, all the time with one aim in mind – and we all made it! I hope that SA John has fully recovered after his arduous descent – a tribute to his strength and will power that he got back to the hut whilst feeling so ill. I thought the set up of the training, your instruction and coaching throughout, and your handling of the difficulties up the mountain were all excellent and a reflection of your own rigorous training and deep experience.
So, thank you, and I will certainly recommend others who wish to climb to go with Mont Blanc Guides! All the best (you have probably been back up there again already!). God bless, Peter.
John, Just a short note to say thanks for the great trip we had last week. I know from talking to the boys that we really enjoyed the time and patience shown by you and the rest of your guides. I’m definitely going to be recommending you to a few other people so I look forward to receiving some commission! On a personal note, I’d like to take the opportunity to single out Rick for the patience he showed in getting myself and Espen up and down when we were both feeling pretty shattered. Cheers, Sanj.
John, just a short note of thanks. I had a tremendous time – and while the weather certainly helped – the company, the instruction and the easy organisation were perfect. You have a good set up in Les Houches and I wish you every continued success. Cheers, Scott
Tim Robinson & Richard Erin
I and 3 others successfully summited Mt Blanc under the capable tutelage of Mt Blanc Guides, (guided by John Taylor). Some questions you might be asking… Did you feel safe with Mt Blanc Guides? Absolutely. Did you feel you got value for money? Absolutely. Is Mt Blanc dangerous? I guess risks can’t be totally eliminated but I really didn’t feel uneasy or unsafe with JT around – being a guide, he comes seriously qualified. The bottom line is your life is his future so he’s not going to muck around. How fit do you really need to be? My experience (one climb!) suggests Mt Blanc is about endurance. Try running a couple of miles in wet sand, non-stop.
Speed isn’t important. If you can do that, my guess is you should be physically able to summit. JT paces you well and can bring in other guides to split a group up if needs be. What about hiring kit? Its cheaper than buying, kit is readily available and even with boots, it really isn’t an issue. What about food? Its good – no complaints whether in the valley or in the huts. Would you recommend Mt Blanc Guides? Unreservedly. JT’s justifiably proud of his qualifications and expertise and an engaging bloke to boot. You might just need to remind him to bring his pack!” Tim Robinson.
Well, what a great week! – truly uplifting, and what a fine bunch to do it all with. Thanks to you all for making it such an enjoyable and memorable experience. John, particular thanks to you for your expertise and good judgement, and yes, here comes the endorsement!… ‘I couldn’t imagine a finer Mont Blanc experience’…there we are – it’s official now, so feel free to quote me. Richard Erin.
Hi John, Just a quick note to say thank you again for what was a really great week. I was really impressed with the set up, the professionalism, and the laughs we had from day one. I definitely wouldn’t have got to the top had you not pushed me along (and also supplied the music!) – I really appreciated your support and patience, I know I was somewhat high maintenance from time to time! Anyway, hope you have a great week with your next group and may well see you again in Chamonix next year. All the best to the rest of the guides. Best regards, Karen.
John, Had a brilliant time with you and your team last week, and chuffed most of the boys made it. It is all the guys have been talking about and we are talking about next years challenge (do you think we could handle the Matterhorn ?) Hope to see you again soon and we will send some of our best photos for you to use in publicity material if you wish. I am happy to deliver a glowing testimonial to any potential customers if that helps. Thanks again, Alan.
Hi John, just wanted to drop you a line to thank you and Cathy for the hard work you put in to get us up Mont Blanc and especially for the opportunity to do the traverse. I had a great time. The accommodation, training and guiding was all of a very high quality. Thanks again for helping me to achieve one of my goals on my “Things to do before I die” list. Neil (are we there yet…) Taylor .
Had a great time John, enjoyed the three summits traverse, was a fine fine day. You’re doing a fine job! (please send a cheque for ?100000000000 made payable to “unbelievable complements.co.uk”) ha ha. Best regards Tony.
Andy Mitchell & Mike True
John, thank you very much for your help in climbing Mont Blanc and for putting together such a terrific week for us. You were fantastic…and made the process much simpler and really enjoyable. I’ve been raving to all my friends about our week, and I’ve even written an article that I’m going to try to get published!!! ((I’ve never done this before, so dont hold up too many hopes!)
If you’re ever in the London area give me a shout and I’ll organise Geoff and Tapper for a drink…and maybe a quiet sing song?? Remember my offer, I’m happy to receive a call from any interested parties to talk them through what its all about and give them the “client’s perspective”. I hope the business goes well-you’ve got a great product. All the best, Andy. John, thanks for such a great week and for all you did to make it a week to remember. Cheers, Mike.