/ Mt Blanc
Planning my first trip to alps between august 10th and 25th, at the minute im going by myseelf because none of my mates realy enjoy the outdoors. Ive experience at altitude from the himalayas and im always out on the hills in ireland. Looking for a bit of advice on chamonix, will i need to learn french? Any suggestions for cheap flights. The aim of the trip is to summit Mt Blanc and as many other mountains as i can including some of the austrian alps. looking to hopefully meet up with likeminded people that can speak english lol and possibly learn something but most importantly have a laugh.
So many threads about this on here. Have a search.
Look into the Conville course as a means of learning the basics of alpine mountaineering - it's a completely different ball game to the 'hills in Ireland'!
It really is worth trying to find someone to show you the ropes (!) because I doubt you'll meet many volunteers willing to take out a complete novice in the campsites/hostels etc. I certainly wouldn't spend my annual alpine trip teaching a stranger without getting paid for it in some way. I'd be quite happy, however, to tag a beginner onto our rope if they knew the basics...
Good luck Larko. But I second the view that Irish hills (even the glorious mournes) are a different game entirely to Alpine adventures and it def pays in the long term to learn gradually.
For Mount Blanc I would recommend being well acclimatsed, fit, able to nav in a whiteout, competent with all forms of roped climbing (soloing this early in your alpine career is inadvisable)and teamed up with someone similiar. Both good rope skills and climbing skills can suddenly become very important if something goes wrong so maybe consider getting someone from hotrock to head out or maybe a trip to Scotland if it gets cold again. 10th to the 25th in France (and Austria? Really) doesn't give you much time to build up experience.
Acclimatise well or you will be another of those people throwing up in the Vallot if not before. I only tried (and succeeded) on her on my 3rd trip to the Alps and I had the benefit of numerous knowledgable mates teachng me/catching me.
It is quite possible to learn all the skills you will need in Ireland but I suggest you start now. To start off I suggest you either find or pay somoene to teach you moving together over easy ground and how to lead easy grades VDiffs and Severes.
The most important French you will need is "Deux grande bierres s'il vous plait"!
Good advice offered here, but personally I would suggest that you don't get too fixated on Mont Blanc as your objective, particularly by the Bosses ridge. It is really seriously high, and altitude normally tends to be associated with suffering and unpleasantness, rather than any sort of enjoyable route. On the other hand there are all sorts of Alpine routes that are lower down that can be worthwhile as routes, rather than just a named tick, this will give you the chance to get Alpine experience and find out what the big mountains are all about. Actually the Bosses ridge is not a wonderful route to eventually climb Mont Blanc by, there are much better routes when you have aquired enough experience to go for them. In any case, you should have lower level objectives in case the weather high up is too bad to go for the Blanc, lower level peaks can still be perfectly doable in that case.
Chamonix is not necessarily the best place to go, especially not for a first Alpine trip - it is crowded, busy and gets quite a lot of bad weather. Lots of threads about where is best to go for a first trip, worth searching for them.
Finally I wouldn't worry too much about not having a partner, rather advertise for one closer to the time. Obviously the more experience you have gained, e.g. Winter in Scotland, not that that is any way trivial in itself, by then, the better you will appear to potential partners.
For cheap flights try Fleasy Jet.
> The aim of the trip is to summit Mt Blanc and as many other mountains as i can including some of the austrian alps ... and possibly learn something but most importantly have a laugh.
Looks to me like you've got 4 or 5 worthwhile objectives here, one of which is to climb MB. I wonder what order you'd put them in?
Simon4's advice seems sound to me.
Attempting to speak French, rather than assuming that they will speak English, can work wonders.
Just curious, was that you guys in the tents beside the wall at the col of Donard on Sat night?
Never been near Ama Dablam.
Not sure flexible your dates are, but if you are looking for like minded individuals, you could join the MCI and go on the annual MCI summer meet
Great way to network and get to know folks and join up for either guided trips or independent trips up various alpine peaks. Mont Blanc is a snow plod with crowded huts and no sleep. You might enjoy other areas more!
As for Chamonix - full of English speakers. Definitely not very representative of France as a whole :)
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