Gran Paradiso (4061m) is located within the Gran Paradiso National Park in the Val d'Aosta of Northern Italy. Being close to the Italian and Swiss borders it is a great place to observe the Mont Blanc Massif in France and the Valais Alps of Switzerland.
We offer a 3 day Gran Paradiso ascent. Many other providers offer trips as short as two days, but the simple fact is that the shorter the trip, the less chance you have of getting to the top. If you've not done any acclimatisation then a 2 day trip will feel pretty brutal !
Day 1 - After driving through the Mont Blanc tunnel we will take the lift up to Punta Helbronner and the Rifugio Torino. We will then head out onto the glacier where we will focus on learning how to use our crampons and ice axes. We will also look at tying on to the rope and moving efficiently as a team. That evening we will sleep in the Rifugio Torino - at 3400m above sea level this is an excellent place to acclimatise for Gran Paradiso.
Day 2 - We will have an early start before going for a glacial hike. A likely objective is the Col d'Entreves. Once back we will have lunch and then take the lift down to the valley before driving 45 minutes to the Gran Paradiso National Park. From there we will walk for 2 1/2 hours to the Rifugio Chabod. This is a very comfortable refuge serving excellent food and with staff who always make you feel welcome.
Day 3 - We usually get up early (around 5am), and after breakfast we will trek up to the glacier. Once there we will put on our harnesses, crampons, and rope up. The glacier is long and meandering, arriving at a shoulder of Gran Paradiso after around 2 1/2 hours. At this point the route meets alpinists coming from the Rifugio Vittorio Emanuelle. After another hour we arrive at the end of the mellow terrain, where we usually adjust the rope for steeper ground. From there it's only around 45 minutes to the summit. The summit journey involves a short scramble, and some fixed ladders up to the dramatic summit block, complete with statue of the virgin Mary. After taking photographs we will head back down onto the glacier and then make our way down to the Rifugio Chabod where we often have a pasta lunch before carrying on back down to the car park.
Gran Paradiso is a worthy objective for someone who is fit and motivated, but has no prior mountaineering experience. It can also be used as preparation for Mont Blanc. If you would like to do a Mont Blanc extension, just ask for details.
Guiding for 3 days
Transport throughout the trip
2 x refuge nights on Half Board
2 x hotel nights on Half Board
Lunches, drinks and snacks