Hi I am new to this forum thought it was about time I joined a forum on climbing for some advice. Next year in june I am climbing mont blanc to raise money for cancer reaserch atm I am doing alot of circuit training, swimming, running and weights I shall also be doing some walking in scotland. I have done all the peaks in the uk including the yorkshire 3 peaks and the national 3 peaks. I would class myself as a intermediate climber this is why I have hired a guide to help me get to the top. Is there anything else i could do to prepare for this climb to make sure i have the best possible chance of summiting mont blanc. Thanks for taking the time to read this
Two basics: 1. do a course in crampon + ice axe usage, including self-arrest; and 2. get acclimatised in the week before your attempt (some nights sleeping in alpine huts, and climb at least a couple of 3500m+ alpine peaks, including a 4000er). Not cheap, but otherwise your chances will be minimal.
>"I have done all the peaks in the uk"
Impressive. I gave up. Some of those sub 250ft hills are pretty boring.
ditch the swimming. fingerboard and moon board training is what you need for the final V6 bouldery summit.
Just jokes of course. Get some practise in with crampons and ice-axe this winter if you can, which will save a bit of time learning the basics when you arrive, and should hopefully leave more time to acclimatise.
Oh, and make sure you've got a permit (which I'm sure your guide will sort for you). I think this year it became a spot fine, but someone here will be able to confirm...
Thanks for the quick replies I forgot to mention I'm with my guide for 6days 2 of which is acclimitstion and training. My guide never mentioned permits so I will have to email about that
I meant highest peaks 😂 my bad lol
>"I meant highest peaks 😂 my bad lol"
Ah, so just the ones above 250ft?
Take ear plugs for a better night's sleep in the huts. The symphony of farts and snoring in the Tete Rousse Hut is an awe-inspiring natural phenomena. I was honoured to contribute when I was there in September.
> Thanks for the quick replies I forgot to mention I'm with my guide for 6days 2 of which is acclimitstion and training. My guide never mentioned permits so I will have to email about that
That's good news.
You don't need a permit for the mountain itself, but you do need to book the hut(s); your guide should take care of the formalities.
Ah I follow yeah shes sorting that but i believe she can't get the booking in until April and then apparently it's like a rat race to get in.
Now you've proven yourself to not be a troll by breaking the rule of trolls not to reply, I can treat your query seriously.
The thing is, “climbing” Mont Blanc, with a guide, for charity, is a bit contrary to the ethos of all that climbing in the mountains means – freedom, self-reliance, appreciation of the natural environment, etc. etc. There is no doubt you’d not be the first and not be the last to do such a thing but it does attract scorn from some corners of the climbing community and is why you may be in for some cheeky replies.
Not-with-standing… You just need to be fit as you can be for the task, which is easy enough if you live less than an hour away from a big hill which you can go walk up and down a few times every weekend. If not, it’s going to be a whole lot tougher. It’s hard to simulate walking for 12 hours in one hour gym sessions but general running and intense interval training on stepper machines will go some way to help.
I am mainly climbing for charity mate because my mum passed away from cancer last christmas eve. I was going to be climbing it anyway but since that happened I decided to try raise as much as possible which isnt doing to bad so far as I'm at 600 and still 7 months to go. Interval training I am doing every other day on the running machine and bike also swimming. I am very determined to conquer it hence reaching out for more guidance.
Training for the new alpinism by Steve House will help you. You can then sort out your own training and understand why you are doing it.
> is a bit contrary to the ethos of what climbing in the mountains has come to mean to some people
FTFY, or w'evs
But kind of you to explain the downvoting for what should be an ambiguously good thing, raising money for cancer research.
Good luck. I hope your love of the mountains can grow beyond "the highest".
If there is a step machine then doing the intervals on this may be better than on a treadmill. Get some big days of walking in the UK mountain areas when you can, especially if you can do some in winter conditions to get used to crampons. Sounds like you're taking a sensible and thorough approach though! I'm sure it will be a great adventure, and good on you for raising money for a good cause!
Are you buying new mountaineering boots for this trip? If so, spend couple of weekends walking in them to break them in prior to your trip. Also, put compeede patches on your heels. Do that preemptively. Apologies if this is obvious stuff for you. Apart from that, you should be fine. It sounds like you're already doing enough fitness training, and you will have time to learn all necessary skills from your guide during the acclimatization period. Good luck and enjoy! You'll love it.
> I am mainly climbing for charity mate because my mum passed away from cancer last christmas eve. I was going to be climbing it anyway but since that happened I decided to try raise as much as possible which isnt doing to bad so far as I'm at 600 and still 7 months to go.
Who on earth 'down-arrowed' this???
Good luck to you Anthony. Don't mind some of the people on these forums who will berate you for using the incorrect terminology or asking questions obvious to them, even though your profile states you're a newbie.
Yes I have already brought all new gear boots crampons ect shall be in scotland bedding them in and practising crampon techniques and ice axe arrests as I want to know as much as possible before june so i have a bit of an idea when the guide is showing me
Thank you. It doesn't bother me mate I would rather ask and look stupid than not ask and make a stupid mistake
Stamina for long days and acclimatisation are the two to concentrate on. In the UK, just concentrate on long hill days as much as possible.
> an unambiguously good thing,
> Stamina for long days and acclimatisation are the two to concentrate on. In the UK, just concentrate on long hill days as much as possible.
Absolutely. It's mostly about walking uphill with weight on your back.
You may find that six days is not long enough to acclimatise sufficiently, so, unless you already know how quickly you can acclimatise, try to extend this time if you can, even if it's just sitting or dossing at cable car stations.
I was actually thinking about going to Chamonix a few days before I meet my guide to get a jump on things, and then a few days after to site see and rest a bit before coming back.
First of all, good luck in your noble cause. My Mum also died of cancer which motivated me to do some cancer charity events too.
Others above have covered the key points really, but I will reiterate anyway plus add some ideas.
- Maximise hill walking / scrambling time. Doing a couple of days or even several in a row if you can get the time will help. Put together 8-12 hour dayswhen you can. Gradually increase your rucksack load to what you will be taking on Mont Blanc ( still very light really ). Running with hill work if possible when you can't get to the mountains.
- With the caveat that I don't know your climbing / scrambling ability, linking scrambles and descending scrambles will help if it is safe for you to do so.
- Consider doing some hill walks in the dark / with a head torch if you haven't tried it before. Perhaps sticking to familiar or very clear routes to start with.
- Get lots of crampon and ice axe practice. Get instruction if needed from a course, professional or perhaps a local club or suitably knowledgeable friend. (The latter can be hard to assess when you are a novice yourself ). Lots of good quality books and internet videos ( the latter not all brilliant but the BMC stuff is great ). I would recommend Bruce Goodlad's book for learning many alpine skills. Especially focus on neat footwork up and down a variety of angles, slopes etc.
- Remember to find out / try out suitable clothing so you have all you need and are very used to it.
- Remember to find out / try out what food / snacks / water you may need for long days in the hills. Think accessible snacks in pockets. Many people lose their appetite with altitude.
- I understand your guide will teach you / reinforce the alpine skills needed but you could try things like tying into the rope for glacier travel beforehand - see book mentioned above. Your guide will also build up your acclimatisation through routes beforehand. If you could get out to Chamonix before meeting the guide it is possible to start the acclimatisation process without venturing onto glaciers. For example starting with a walk in the Aiguilles Rouges which will give great views of Mont Blanc, taking the Grand Montets lift up and sleeping overnight either on the rocks near the base of the top station stairs or even in the station itself. ( Heated loo!)
Remember to enjoy the whole process; learning and honing new skills, gaining knowledge and confidence, perhaps meeting new people, enjoying the training and preparation as well as the routes you will do. Mont Blanc summit is just a bonus.
> It’s hard to simulate walking for 12 hours in one hour gym sessions but general running and intense interval training on stepper machines will go some way to help.
With apologies to Anthony for hijacking his thread, what do you mean by 'interval training on stepper machines'?
I'm also planning to do Mont Blanc next year and, unfortunately, I don't have easy access to any big hills (the bane of living in London).
I'm mainly doing sessions on the Stairmaster to get fitter (and work on leg endurance). I generally do at least 2 sessions a week:
- 1 x 1 hour where I just go as fast as I can while maintaining a constant pace for 1 hour: I'm currently up to 240 floors in 1 hour
- 1 longer session where I go slower, but for a longer time: I'm currently up to 2 hours 26 minutes (500 floors in that time)
Next step I'm planning on is to introduce some weight into the equation, so do the same kind of sessions, but while wearing a rucksack.
Do you reckon I would be better off with interval training? The thing is I find it easier to just get into a rhythm and crack on with it at a constant pace, instead of messing about with the speed of the machine (it also allows me to watch Netflix at the same time - 2 hours+ on a Stairmaster gets boring quickly).
Thank you for that detailed advice very much appreciated. I'm thinking of maybe using The Aiguille du Midi to help acclimitize before I meet my guide as I am wanting to get a jump on things so we can concentrate more on the training and not me feeling like crap.
To go faster for longer you must first go faster.
I think it’s commonly accepted within the exercise community that by spending short periods at higher levels of output, followed by a rest then repeat for X number of sets is more beneficial to increasing your aerobic capacity than a steady pace.
Back in my old cycling days we were doing 3min on, 1min off x15 but that was a bit hardcore.
After a 10min warm-up, maybe 5-7 sets would be more realistic, you really want to stop when the quality of the efforts try start to tail off.
Unless you are doing lots of other stuff too then I’d suggest the intervals twice a week plus your long session.
Your 2hr session demonstrates an impressive boredom threshold but great if you can do it as will have you training you fuel supply in a way sub 1hr won’t.
Having said all that there must by better sources than I for guidance.
> I'm thinking of maybe using The Aiguille du Midi to help acclimitize before I meet my guide
Much too difficult and dangerous by any route without experience and a partner.
I'd avoid using any cable cars or the train at all in your first few days, you'll acclimatize faster. A good trip would be to walk up (with packed rucksack) to Montenvers from the valley via Plan du Midi, and then on to the beautiful Envers hut to stay the night (it's a long slog, but no glaciers involved), with fantastic views of the Drus and the Grandes Jorasses; taking the train back down in the morning is allowed ;-)
I read somewhere that just taking the midi car up in the morning and down in the afternoon was a pretty good way to acclimatise.
To be honest, I'm quite surprised to see interval training recommended, because pretty much everything I've read about long uphill slogs such as MB says that slow and steady is better than going too quick and having to stop - that's why I've been focussing on long, but quite slow and steady sessions.
That being said, when I'm doing the shorter sessions, what I often do is start at, say, speed level 6, then go up to 8/9/10 for as long as I can, then back to 6 to catch my breath, rinse and repeat. Don't know if this counts as 'interval training', but it seems to be working so far.
I've only been training more seriously for this for about a month now, so I intend to have even longer sessions as I get fitter (my goal is 4 hours at a steady pace, without stopping). I do do a bit of other stuff too (walk at least 10k each day, climbing/bouldering twice a week), because I'm trying to shed some of the extra weight I'm carrying around, but with a full time job and a part time uni degree to work on, it's quite hard to find the time for even more training.
> I am very determined to conquer it hence reaching out for more guidance.
Just a small thing, but nobody ever conquers a mountain. If you get back safely (which of course with a guide you will) the mountain has just let you off this time.
Hope it works out for you and it turns out to be the start of the rest of your life.
The best thing to do in an hour long training session is very much different to how you tackle the event.
Take a look at marathon training plan... lots of interval training for an event where you would want to run at even pace.
Lets be clear, doing a one hour interval session is very much second best to nipping up Ben Nevis.
You get up early in the day before light pick a hill you know well and will enjoy and a route that will give you a good day On getting back to your car dust your feet clean socks and then get going and do it again
this is typically like the time you will wish you could just sit down relax or turn back
doing the same hill back to back is tough on your mind
save your knees if training to carry up hill , add a stone at the bottom didisgard at the top
I may be wrong but I assumed Anthony meant taking the cable car up to the Midi, hanging around the station and then returning by cable car.
> doing the same hill back to back is tough on your mind
> save your knees if training to carry up hill , add a stone at the bottom discard at the top
Please don't! You could mess up a lot of lives! What if you ended up with a new Munro? The "compleatonists" would go crazy
I don't know if you have been to altitude before but I feel that going up to the Midi station is not likely to be the best way you can acclimatise, bearing in mind you are probably solo and without alpine skills as yet.
Whilst the effects of altitude are the same for everyone the adaptation to altitude can be different for different people. Some general thoughts which may help assuming you have several days before you meet your guide:
- As McHeath points out it is usually better to be doing some exercise at altitude rather than hanging around.
- When busy the Midi lift operates a system where by when you get up you are then given a return time which I think is only a couple of hours later.
- Ideally build up acclimatisation in steps. A rough guideline might be heading for between 2,500 and 3,000 metres before descending. Then head for 3,500 metres before descending. Then 4,000 metres before descending. Monitor yourself carefully, stay hydrated and fed. Remember Mont Blanc is actually nearer 5,000 metres than 4,000. Your guide will ensure you are acclimatised as much as possible but you are right in thinking the more you do before hand the greater your chances of enjoyment and success.
Bearing these things in mind here are two suggested itineraries:
If based in Chamonix consider walking up to the Albert Premier Hut from the valley ( it is possible to get a couple of lifts up part of the way ). At 2702 metres this is a great height and an awesome walk. You may be going here with your guide later. Stay as long as possible at or above the hut, have a picnic. One caveat; check in the Office de Haute Montagnes before you go as early in the season there may still be some snow or even avalanche danger along the route. If the route is unsuitable an alternative would be to walk up to the Brevent at 2525 metres then take the path along to perhaps the Index station or even beyond to Lac Blanc or Tre Le Champ before descending back to the valley.
Going higher in Chamonix usually means glaciers so for you a second trip could be to either take the Grand Montets lift and bivvy overnight at 3295 or go to the Torino Hut at 3371 where there are dormitories / food / great coffee for an overnight stay. If you have lots of disposable cash you could go to the Torino Hut, get the lift across to the Midi at 3842, stay as long as you can before returning to the Torino Hut for the night and then descending. Try going up and down the stairs rather than just sitting gawping at the view - but do that too!
The second itinerary would be to head to Switzerland. Camping near Tasch and then get the bus / minibus / taxi to Zermatt. You can walk from the valley to the Rothorn at about 3,100 metres and return to the valley. A second outing up to the Gornergrat and along the ridge to as close to the Stockhorn as you can at 3,405 metres. There may well be snow but you needn't go on glaciers. Also great views of other peaks you may want to do one day.
Great advice here!
@Anthony - going straight up to 3800m right away could well mean simply paying 60€ for a raging headache, better to plan it in steps as suggested by Mark.
Good luck. From what you say you will have no problem fitness wise or skills wise for a guided ascent of Mont Blanc.
One thing is to consider is the weather and conditions. Sometimes, quite often in the mountains, the best plans just do not happen and to push on blindly because you "have" to do it can be foolhardy.
So have a plan B that is acceptable to you, both for your emotional state and your sponsors.
Sorry about your mum.
Cancer Research is a worthwhile cause.
Be careful when you come to actually do your fundraising that you're really clear that *none* of the money raised is going on the trip, guide, equipment, etc. so thta every penny goes to the charity - and post a picture of the receipt from the charity afterwards on your justgiving or whatever. There's understandable skepticism about some of these endeavours and it's always good to see an honest one.
Asteclaru, I also live in London and have tried Mont Blanc twice, once on normal route, turned back by weather near Vallot and once sucessfully via 3 Monts. Both are very long slogs for which you need crampon and ice axe skills and, on the normal roues with scrambling up the Gouter arette.
It sounds like you are a lot gym fitter than I was but you may want to get some long hill days in as well. What we did for training was go to the South Downs ( near Fulking is good) and just walk up and down the face as many times as possible; you can get 1,000m of ascent of you try hard!! Try and keep off the paths if possible, slogging up a steep grass face is not that far off slogging up a steep snow face in terms of effort and better for technique than just a step machine. 8 hours going up and down the slopes with a rucksack and big boots will give a much better idea of what MB will be like.
We also had a couple of weekends in Brecon Beacons, not too bad from London, good for long days and lots of ascent and then North Wales for scrambling: North face of Tryfan then up Brissly Ridge ( I think ).
>What we did for training was go to the South Downs ( near Fulking is good) and just walk up and down the face as many times as possible; you can get 1,000m of ascent of you try hard!! Try and keep off the paths if possible, slogging up a steep grass face is not that far off slogging up a steep snow face in terms of effort and better for technique than just a step machine. 8 hours going up and down the slopes with a rucksack and big boots will give a much better idea of what MB will be like.
Brilliant idea! Far better than going for long walks in the Lakes or similar. All you need then is some kind of mask that gives you 4000m+ oxygen levels.
Hey, thanks for the advice. I do have some winter experience, and I'm doing MB as an extension to Jagged Globe's Intro to Alpine Techniques course, so I'm not worried about that aspect of it. I'm also not a complete stranger to walking in big boots or carrying a rucksack (did 4 days on the TMB recently, with the longest day being 1100 m up/1350 m down - I was fine the whole trip, but, obviously, MB will be much harder as you also get the altitude).
South Downs/Brecon Beacons sounds good, but how easy is it to get to on the train (I don't have a car)? My plan was actually to get to Llanberis (easy enough - train to Bangor then a taxi to Llanberis) and just go up and down the Llanberis Path on Snowdon. I'll do that as I get closer to the trip (going the last week of August/first week of September), but I still want to do as much as I can in the gym in the meantime.
1) It's a big mountain. You need the required snow/ice skills to survive, so learn those - your guide can have a heart attack & drop dead or twist an ankle, so you need to be able to get yourself or both of you out of trouble.
2)Do you know what you're like with altitude? Some people simply can't deal with it, so if you don't know it would be worth you going up in a cablecar somewhere high for an afternoon and walking round the station a fair bit to see how you feel. It would be daft to spend money on the trip and raise sponsorship only to find out that your body can't cope with altitude.
As you say, there's a big difference between planning an expedition that will be funded by donations, and dedicating an expedition to a cause close to your heart.
> save your knees if training to carry up hill , add a stone at the bottom discard at the top.
Reminds me of a time I was training. I'd go to the foot of Win Hill at Yorkshire bridge, fill up 4 x 2 litre pop bottles from the waterfall at the bottom, and carry them up. Then I'd just empty them at the top.
One time, four young guys at the summit started telling me off:
"You should be saving water", "what a waste" and even " there are children in Africa who have to walk miles to get water and you are pouring it away"!
Rog, Thanks for the sarcasm and patronising reply. If you had bothered to look at what Asteclaru, to whom I was replying. said, he is based in London, as am I. My suggestion was based on that. You will also see I pointed out it would be great to get some proper hills in like Tryfan. But we don't all have the luxury of the Lakes on our doorstep and 6 hours each way is a long way to go for a training day, or even weekend, out.
Out of interest, how many 4,000m+ peaks do you have in the Lakes? ;-)
I'm afraid you have completely misunderstood my reply. I was NOT being sarcastic, or ironic. My words can be taken completely at face value. Your idea of creating something very similar to flogging up steep snow is very original (meant in a good way, no irony) and I think would be excellent training. I admit my comment about a mask was not meant as a practical suggestion, though it would make for a better simulation if it were possible.
I suggest, to make it a comfortable and therefore enjoyable ascent. You arrive maybe a good few days before your course. Take a couple of high level hikes eg Balcon nord or sud. or up towards the Aiguille Crochues or albert premiere. Giving yourself a goodtime to acclimatise will assist with the climbing and you will be on it/enjoy it more.
and my advice would be don’t sweat it too much... your guide will give you x 1000 better advice than most on here leading up to and during your week so best of luck!!
Rog, In that case my apologies. Flogging up and down the face of the South Downs certainly helped us.
In terms of the mask, I was chatting with a professional athlete a couple of weeks ago and he said they do use some kind of mask to simulate high altitude training no idea where you could get it from or how much it would cost.
Sounds as though you are well prepared and have some good experience, best of luck and fingers crossed for the weather.
Re my suggestions, South Downs easy, train to Brighton and then either walk or catch a bus up to Devils Dyke or similar. Brecon Beacons not sure, rather more difficult without a car I think.
Good idea to go to North Wales nearer the time. If you can do some more scrambling routes it may be better experience though good to have someone with you. I think Llanberis path is quite gradual and will be very busy. Maybe Crib Goch or go to the Ogwen valley from Bangor (bus or hitch?) and do Glyders or, my favourite, Tryfan. I don't know N Wales that well so worth checking out some easy scrambling or steep walks.
Sleeping in a hyperbaric tent is all the rage at the moment so I am informed!
Apologies accepted. Re-reading my post I can see how it could easily have been read in the way you did, so probably half my fault. ☺
Should that be hypobaric? Hyperbaric says high pressure to me, but I know nothing about it.
> Sleeping in a hyperbaric tent is all the rage at the moment so I am informed!
You can altitude train yourself by keeping up heavy physical exercise while suffering from undiagnosed asthma - the doctors confirmed this after discovering a high red blood cell count. It probably isn't recommended, though :D
You should get your heart checked out. A friend was diagnosed with asthma as a kid and spent all her childhood being rubbish and slow at anything physical. She eventually discovered she had a hole in her heart in her late teens. Her body had compensated for this over the years to the extent that blood drawn off would set like a black pudding within minutes due to the ultra high red cell count. She's no longer with us .
> You should get your heart checked out. A friend was diagnosed with asthma as a kid and spent all her childhood being rubbish and slow at anything physical. She eventually discovered she had a hole in her heart in her late teens. Her body had compensated for this over the years to the extent that blood drawn off would set like a black pudding within minutes due to the ultra high red cell count. She's no longer with us .
Have had a million tests including that - because of the odd symptoms (just severe breathlessness, no actual attacks) asthma was the last conclusion they got to after ruling out everything else over about 3 months. Anyway I just posted it here in a light hearted way in response to the talk of hypobaric chambers I do have a low heart rate (resting 42-45 ish) but that's apparently not abnormal for me and is common in runners.
> In terms of the mask, I was chatting with a professional athlete a couple of weeks ago and he said they do use some kind of mask to simulate high altitude training no idea where you could get it from or how much it would cost.
> Should that be hypobaric? Hyperbaric says high pressure to me, but I know nothing about it.
Hyperbaric is the correct name for these tents/chambers!
> Hyperbaric is the correct name for these tents/chambers!
A hyperbaric chamber isn't going to be any use for altitude training, though, it's rather the opposite (and is of use for diving training).
I looked into getting a hyperbolic chamber but was told it was a bit excessive.
> Hyperbaric is the correct name for these tents/chambers!
Ok, I stand corrected. I imagined it would be like the distinction between hypothermia and hyperthermia.
> Ok, I stand corrected. I imagined it would be like the distinction between hypothermia and hyperthermia.
It is. It's just that there isn't much cause for simulating low oxygen levels/low air pressures - they tend to be used for recovering people from the bends and the likes - if you want to altitude train, the easiest way is to go and stay at altitude - far harder to do for a higher pressure!
Hyperbaric means "of high pressure".
HypObaric chambers also exist, though:
You're going to have to excuse me but I really don't understand turning something that, although challenging, is basically a pleasurable hobby, into a 'charity' event. If you want to give to charity great, work a bit more and give the extra away.
Some of the advice re climbing Mt Blanc is really OTT. If you're not going to be dragged up it you need to be able to confidently move on snow slopes up to 40 degrees, and scramble Grade 1/II. The more experience of these you have the better, but that's about it. As for fitness, well it's a long tough day; if you can do, say, a 10 - 12 hour day in the UK without being wiped out you should be able to do Mt Blanc, after a couple of acclimatising climbs beforehand. Something like the Domes de Miage or Aiguille d'Argentiere should do the trick; the hut walks won't do any harm either.
There are no permits required, that's just spin from the media. In season there is a Guide from the Brigade Blanche, stationed just short of the Tete Rousse, who checks names on a list for hut bookings.
Anthony - your Guide will have made hut bookings via the electronic system so you don't have to consider any of this.
If you havn't already, get some scrambling practise in, up and down stuff. The broken rib from the end of the Grand Couloir up to the old Gouter is pretty simple, akin to UK Grade 2, but requires care, there is loose rock and stones and there's people above and below you. Bon course!
In reply: Kilian Jornet using hypoxic training for acclimatisation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZ9Qi99yZvY&
> I looked into getting a hyperbolic chamber but was told it was a bit excessive.
Looking at some of your posts I think you've been well advised. (Just a leg pull!)
It's hard to know over whose head exactly what has gone.
Sorry for slow reply I have been very busy with work. All the money raised is purely for cancer reaserch I have brought all my own gear and paid for my guide out my own pocket. I wouldn't expect someone else to pay for a trip that I have chosen to do. Thank you for the message mate https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/michaels-giving-page-387
Because why not raise money for an awesome cause whilst doing something I love doing and it's excatly that a challenge it's the highest I have done and slightly out if my comfort zone.
Thank you for pointing that out as I havent actually clarified to people that 100% of donations will be going to the chairty, which it will be doing I have brought all my own gear paid for the guide plane tickets. I shall amend some of my chairty pages.
Lots of good advice here already. I would just add, don't underestimate how much stronger the UV is at altitude, reapply factor 50 regularly, every hour or so, and get some cat 4 sunglasses with side protection.
Hi Anthony, you've had a lot of good advice including quite a bit on where to train in the UK. Have you considered a training weekend further afield?
As you're London based and car-less: 22h00 bus from Victoria to Paris-Bercy; 10 minute walk to Paris-Gare de Lyon; 45 minute train to Fontainebleau. You'd arrive there about 08h00 or so.
Then hike to, or Uber, to start of Le Circuit des 25 Bosses (the 25 bump circuit) - 17km, close to 900m height gain, some pretty good scrambling. A good time with a 7kg sack is around 5-6 hours.
The Circuit is the traditional training ground for those living in Paris region working up to bigger trips to the Alps.
When you're done, train back to Paris, some sightseeing and dinner, then night bus back to London. Leave Friday night, you can back home by Sunday lunchtime.
The whole trip for under £100 if you book your buses a month or two ahead. About the same as going to Snowdonia, but with added advantage of filling your sack with wine on the return leg.
If you want to cram in some world class bouldering too, then with discretion, one can bivvy in the forest and get the bus back on Sunday. Everywhere you look in the forest, you'll find something to climb on. Good clean sandstone, plentiful guide books in English, you can't go wrong.
A useful site: https://alpes-aventure.com/le-circuit-des-25-bosses/ (in French. Has maps, photos, video, GPX files and ideas of timings at different way points to gauge your fitness). Google translate should help: the French is quite plain, so easily translated.
Good luck with your endeavour!
Firstly well done for engaging with the process and comments on here, it can be quite daunting to the newbe and probable worse than MB. A for training here's my 2p worth. For all of those who live in London and think you have no mountains, look up from the pavement, I saw mountains all around me! As for gym training, why not pick a gym that's situated on the top floor of one of these mountains, don't pay the membership. Visit the gym by taking the stairs, as you reach the door of the gym, turn around and go back down, do this multiple times, 2 times a week, later put on a rucksack and build up the weight! You'll end up fitter and with more money in your pocket than you would have if you went through the door! When you get to Chamonix, assuming your near the center, you can acclimatize like most others do by taking the 1km high trail up to Planpraz, follow under the Brevant cable car pylons, take the winding trail back down, nice walk actually, might be a bit snow cover early season mind! Good luck!
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