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Alps Hiking Challenge for Macmillan Cancer Support

Italy, France, Switzerland Trek TOUGH
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About the Challenge

The Mont Blanc region is one of the world’s most renowned hiking regions with high snow-capped peaks and permanent glaciers that tumble down the mountainsides. Throughout the lush valleys you can hear the traditional melody of cow-bells from the grazing herds.

Our three days of trekking take us from the Chamonix valley base high up into the mountains. Alpine paths and forested tracks allow us to experience the beauty of this region: jagged peaks and glacial lakes, steep towering cliffs and thundering waterfalls.

This physically demanding challenge lies close to home and offers some of the most spectacular views in Europe as reward for your efforts.

Alps Hiking Challenge for Macmillan Cancer Support

  • Depart London and fly to Geneva. On arrival we meet our awaiting transport and drive (two hours) into and through the Chamonix Valley. Our first campsite lies a few miles beyond Chamonix itself, in Tre-le-Champ.

    (Lunch not included)

  • After a good breakfast we walk to the small railway station and transfer (½ hour) to the small Swiss town of Vallorcine, 1260m. We start walking on forest tracks that are well-graded but steep in places. We trek up above the tree line where we can enjoy the view out over the Vallorcine valley, before the final push to our high point: the Tete de Balme, 2321m. A 360-degree panorama awaits us with views along the spectacular Chamonix Valley to Mont Blanc, westward across to Lake Emosson and east-wards a vista of Swiss peaks. We are currently standing on the Swiss / French border. We descend along the same track to the Col des Posettes, 1997m, and climb again to Aiguillette des Posettes, 2201m. From the second peak we descend along the spectacular ridge line with great views all around us. The ridge is steep in places and gradually descends into the tree line and back down to the same camp site as last night, where we enjoy a much-deserved cup of tea and dinner!

  • A tough day awaits us, starting with a steep walk from camp to the Col des Montets, 1461m. From there we continue up a steep and tough zigzag path to approximately 1800m, where the path levels onto the Balcony Route: a mid-level contouring path running along the length of the Chamonix valley. This is one of the most spectacular walks in the entire Alps region. The summit of Mont Blanc is our constant companion with its needle-sharp spires, sheer cliffs, huge crevasse-fractured glaciers and hanging valleys with spilling, gushing waterfalls all facing us on the opposite valley wall. The views are constantly changing as our perspective moves and numerous narrower tributary valleys and more distant mountain peaks come in and out of view. On our side of the valley the path is well-graded and surrounded by greenery, with isolated lakes. The chances of seeing mountain ibex, marmots and chamois are high. In the afternoon we pass the mountain hut at Flegere and continue through dense forest along a good track, eventually climbing out of the tree line up to Planpraz, where we take the cable car down into the Chamonix Valley to camp.

  • This morning we make our way back to the cable car and return up to Panpraz at 2000m. We then follow a steep track leading to a zigzag path up to the Col du Brevent. This is a beautiful but tough trek with amazing views to the north and west. We continue high up on the ridge and climb to the highest point of our entire trek: the summit of Brevent at 2525m. From the peak we have tremendous, uninterrupted views of all of the surrounding peaks, including magnificent views of Mont Blanc in all its glory. Any closer and Mont Blanc would be too close to see its full scale, but we can see the glaciers, crevasses and sheer cliffs in perfect detail. Our route takes us across open mountain landscape before we descend steeply on well-graded paths that snake down through the trees to our finishing point at Les Bossons (1012m.) This is a tough descent with some very steep sections. Our finishing point marks the end of a great Alpine adventure in some of the best scenery in Europe! We enjoy a well deserved celebratory meal tonight! Night hotel.

    (Dinner not included)

  • After breakfast we leave camp and drive the 1.5 hour journey back to Geneva airport to catch the flight back to London UK.

    (Lunch not included)

Prices may vary depending on date.

  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £250 Fundraising target £2,000 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £250 Fundraising target £1,500 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £250 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £800 Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure


    N.B. If you sign up to the full payment option, you commit to fundraising a total of £1,120



    • Scheduled flights and all transport
    • All accommodation
    • All meals (exceptions detailed in itinerary)
    • Discover Adventure leader/*doctor (depending on final group numbers)
    • Support vehicles and local guides, porters, cooks, drivers, etc.


    • Meals as detailed in itinerary
    • Celebration meal
    • Sleeping bag & sleeping mat
    • Personal travel insurance (to cover personal injury, cancellation/curtailment, lost items etc)
    Download Challenge Details

Detailed Information

  • Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick on scheduled airlines and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). 

    Your journey may involve a transit en route, details of route and flight times will be confirmed several months before departure.  We do not always use the same airline for each destination; if you wish to know the probable carrier and flight times, please call for details.  We do not always use the same airline for each destination; if you wish to know the probable carrier please call for details. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.

  • Accommodation is usually on a twin-share basis in hotels or camp. Occasionally we may use hostel-style accommodation. Please tell us if you know somebody else on the trip that you would like to share with and we will try our best to accommodate your request. If you don't know anyone else in the group don't worry, we always pair you up with someone of the same gender, and a similar age where possible. We do not charge a single supplement if you are a solo traveller in a shared room.

  • We camp in two-man tents; these are usually expedition-style (ie sleeping room only). Camps are usually simple, in remote locations with great views! We have communal dining areas (usually with tables and chairs/stools) and toilet tents, and the local crew look after us very well. We stay in hotels (of a 2-3* standard or equivalent) at the start and end of the trip; standards may vary between different hotels, but they are generally clean and comfortable with good facilities.

  • The food provided is plentiful, often local in style and freshly-cooked, and will give you plenty of energy. Sometimes we enjoy a buffet-style lunch-stop, other times we might have packed lunches. On some trips we stop at small local restaurants. Dinners are generally eaten in camp or at the hotel, depending on accommodation. In some regions there may be less variety than you are used to, and in others fresh meat or produce can be harder to come by. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally on travel / free days, giving you the opportunity to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit different budgets.

    Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we may be in very rural or remote areas and among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat we strongly recommend you bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice.

  • Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader. Usually leaders are based in the UK or other English-speaking countries and lead for us regularly throughout the year in many different countries. In some instances, trips are led by in-country guides with a wealth of knowledge about the region; they have been trained by us to provide the level of support expected on a Discover Adventure trip.

  • Our local support crew is made up of local guides, assisted by drivers, porters, cooks and other support staff, depending on the type of trip. Local guides know the area well, and are a great source of knowledge about local lifestyles. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. In some destinations we work together as a team with local guides to help set up or break camp, or prepare meals. Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your trek, and you will be provided with a guideline amount in advance. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something!

  • Your luggage, food, water and equipment is transported for you from one night-stop to the next. If there is easy road access this is done by vehicle; if not porters, mules or even camels might carry your bags, depending on the destination and terrain.

    Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.

  • Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary, should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration - such as medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.

  • This is designed to be a challenge, and it is vital that you train sufficiently for it. We will supply you with a thorough training guide once you have registered. We expect all participants to train hard in advance, but we respect everyone’s limits and do not expect everyone to maintain the same pace. Inadequate training is likely to have an impact not just on your chances of completing the challenge, but enjoying it too - and we want you to have the time of your life!

    Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience, fitness and ability as well as all ages and backgrounds. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. If you have concerns about your fitness or if you have reduced mobility please do contact us for a confidential chat about whether this challenge is appropriate for you.

    For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners may find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.

  • Entry requirements vary depending on your destination and nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is valid, and any visas are obtained in good time. Check the FCO’s advice on entry requirements for your destination to be sure. To find out if you need a visa you can check requirements on our website; please ensure you allow plenty of time.

    Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (especially tetanus). We recommend you check Fit For Travel for further details. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.

Trek Training Weekend


£170 Special Offer - Only when you book at the same time as registering for your main challenge

Discover Adventure Trek Training Weekends take place in Snowdonia National Park, Wales. This training weekend is designed to put you through your paces to enable you to gauge fitness levels and gain advice from our experienced leaders.


GRADE | tough (3)

Trip grade 3 web

Trip grades range from Challenging (1) to Extreme (5).

TOUGH trips can involve tough terrain, with some very rigorous days; weather, altitude and/or basic living conditions will add to the challenge. They demand good stamina, fitness and a determined attitude.

See Trip Grading Explained.