Introduction Level | Private Guiding
✦ Experienced UIAGM/IFMGA mountain guides
✦ Alpine 4000m peak
✦ Fun, exiting and tough challenge
✦ Low guiding ratio
The Grand Paradiso, 4061m in the Italian Grauen Alps, is the only 4000m peak in Italy entirely situated in Italy, as all other 4000m peaks in Italy are located in the Monte Rosa massif shared with Switzerland.
The Grand Paradiso is a beautiful climb and quite a popular outing.
You start the hut approach at the end of the Valsavarenche valley in the Grand Paradiso National Park. You won’t find a big alpine resort or cable cars wooshing tourists up each side of the mountain. It’s just pure mountain beauty.
Grand Paradiso is not a technically hard 4000m peak. Its alpine grade is just F+, but late-season, more complicated glacier conditions can make climbing harder. Climbing the Grand Paradiso is a great way to get a taste of climbing a prober 4000m peak.
The ascent of the Grand Paradiso is often used for groups as training and acclimatization before climbing higher mountains in the Alps.
We propose the Grand Paradiso as a private climb or part of our 5-day Grand Paradiso program.
Please note that we have chosen to limit the group sizes to a maximum of three participants per guide for the Grand Paradiso summit attempt. This is a lower ratio than many other agencies. As the conditions have changed over the last few years on the glacier section and towards the summit of the Grand Paradiso, we feel this is necessary for safety.
We can arrange climbs for participants as young as 15 years. Anyone younger than 18 years old must have a parent or guardian accompanying them.
Please request a quote by contacting us. We will calculate a price considering the group size, mountain hut, guide expense, number of days booked, etc.
Please also fill out our “Participation Form” below. It will be easier for us to advise you before signing up if we have this information. This also allows you to share important details we can give to the guide.
1. Day – Transfer from Chamonix – Valsavenrenche – Walk to the Chabod refuge
We drive together or meet at a designated rendezvous point in the Valsavenrenche Valley. A beautiful path leads through a larch forest on a skillfully made path of meticulously placed rocks. We enter the middle mountain, get the first views of tomorrow’s objective, and monitor the first part of the route up the Lavacieu glacier.
2. Day – The Climb of the Grand Paradiso 4063m
We leave the hut early and often need to use our head torch for the first 1h of walking up a path leading out to the glacier. As we step onto the glacier, we put on crampons and rope-up for the rest of the climb toward the summit. Depending on the state of the glacier, we a couple of hours up to a saddle where we meet groups coming up from the Vittorio Emanuelle hut.
This glacier section can be an easy snow walk, but it can also pose serious obstacles with deep crevasses that must be bypassed, particularly so late in the season. During the summer of 2022, you had to cross ladders resembling what you see from the Khumbu ice-fall.
We move further up towards the summit. Often, a rimaye (bergshrund) has to be scaled on ladders to reach the summit block. An easy scramble (yet exposed) on a well-protected route gives access to the very elegant summit, where we join a fixed Madonna statue and can enjoy the prominent view of the highest peak in a long distance.
After a few photos, we head down. We either continue the same way we came up or go down to the other hut for a second night.
3. Day – Descent to the valley – return to Chamonix
Note: If you want to do the Grand Paradiso as a two-day climb, this is also possible for the more experienced, fit and endurable individuals or groups. The price will be slightly lower than the three-day trip, as we only have one hut night. The guide-wage will be based on a 3-day engagement.
Please consult our “General Mountain Climbing Gear” for a list of equipment to bring.
Tour Grade: 2/C
Please read through the requirements for participating in this tour and follow the link to the “grading page.”
If conditions are dry, we will be on rough terrain and have to do some rock-scrambling before putting a foot on the glacier. From here, we wear crampons going up the glacier. We will encounter a snow & ice slope of up to 30/35 degrees. The final rock ridge to the summit is often covered in rime, and we keep the crampons on. When the ridge is dry, we might climb without the crampons.
The guide will safeguard the group on a Via Ferrata-style route on the last rock ridge. It isn’t so hard, but quite exposed to the steep sides of the ridge. Anyone who fears heights can wait further down to avoid this section.
To climb the Grand Paradiso, you must be fit and good on your feet. Going to the hut is a 2-3 hour hike with 900m height gain. The second day is tough, with +1300m to the summit at altitude. The 2100m descent to the valley is long and tiring if you do the Grand Paradiso in two days. For many, this is too long.
As a three-day climb, you cut the descent in half and can enjoy a nice and relaxing afternoon in the hut. The third day will be a nice morning hike to the valley.
If you are booking the Grand Paradiso as a single climb, you will benefit from having had previous experience with the use of crampons and have done some easy mountaineering routes. If you are new to mountaineering and the alpine equipment, we can advise other more suitable outings.
If you would like to train the basic alpine techniques while acclimatizing before attempting the Grand Paradiso, you should look at our 5-day Aosta Valley Adventures, which offers such a program.
Course Specific Information
Other interesting routes:
Normal Route – Vittorio Emanuele
The normal route from the Vittorio Emanuele hut is the easiest route to the summit of the Grand Paradiso and can be a good option if the Chabod hut is full or the glacier conditions are too difficult.
Voie Bertolone – North Face – Grade D
The beautiful North Face of the Grand Paradiso is a great challenge for those wishing to climb steep snow and ice. The face is best when we still have a good snow-covering from the winter—a maximum of 1 client per guide.
Getting to Chamonix or the course venue
For most of our clients, the easiest way to get to Chamonix or the Alps, in general, is by plane. The nearest airport is Geneva.
Read more about getting to Chamonix here – Click here.
Not everyone wants the same accommodation type, so we rarely include Valley accommodation. Check our suggested hotels, B&B, and campsites on this page – Click here.
If you want us to include hotel nights in the price, please let us know what standard you are looking for.
You must take out search & rescue, repatriation, and cancellation insurance. Read more about insurance here – Click here.
We believe our finest task is to give every client a unique mountain experience without taking unnecessary risks. The experience of the mountain guide, access to the most recent weather forecasts, and information sharing between guides are some of the important elements for making good and sound judgment calls. Suppose conditions or other situations render an attempt at a peak dangerous, avalanche conditions of a ski tour no longer possible, etc.. In that case, the guide will do his/her best to devise a good alternate plan. This might be a 100% change of the program. Emphasis is put on staying safe and having a great time!
In some of our courses, we stay in mountain huts. On hut-to-hut trips, they are part of the itinerary; at other times, we use them as the starting point for a climb or ski tour.
The mountain huts offer basic accommodation in bunk-style rooms. Blankets and duvets are in the huts, so you don’t need to bring a sleeping bag. It is obligatory to bring a sleeping bag liner.
We are served a simple breakfast and a 3-course dinner (soup, main meal, dessert).
We will let the guardian of the hut know if you are on a special diet (vegetarians, allergies, etc.). Vegans will need to bring supplementary food.
There are hut slippers available for use inside the hut.
It’s helpful to bring cash for personal expenses (water, soft drinks, beer, lunches, etc.)
There is mostly no tap water in the huts, and you must buy bottled water.
You will be able to charge your phone.
Some mountain huts have showers. You must mostly pay for this; only a few huts can provide towels.
Make a booking
Please read through all the course information. Please make sure that you have the required level to join the course.
Contact us if you have any questions.
Read more about the booking process here – Click here.
We will need all to join a course to complete our “Participation Form.”