Alps Hiking Challenge


Alps Hiking Challenge 2018

Join us

Join Team Macmillan for a stunning trek through one of the world’s most renowned trekking circuits of Mont Blanc.

Registration fee: £250

Full fundraising minimum requirement: £2000

This vibrant challenge takes us through 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.

By taking part in this amazing challenge every step you take will help ensure no one has to face cancer alone.

Sign Up Today and select one of 3 ways to fundraise:

  • Full Fundraising Option (Fundraising target £2000 and the costs of the challenge will be covered)
  • Part Payment (Fundraising target £1500 and pay a contribution of £500 towards the costs)
  • Self-Funded (Fundraising target £1200 and fund your whole trip costs)

This event is available on the Team Macmillan App!

If you have signed up to hike your way to victory, the Team Macmillan app brings together everything you need to make the most out of your event. Features include:

  • Find the key information for your event
  • Countdown to the event day
  • Interactive map to help you plan your event day
  • Add the date to your calendar
  • Contact the Macmillan event team
  • Social media updates
  • Training calculators
  • Personal trainer advice
  • Strava group links
  • Download your training guides
  • Track and promote your JustGiving page with custom messages

Available for iOS and Android.

When does the trek take place?

The trek will take place from 12 - 16 September 2018.


What do I have to do to take part?

Simply sign up online with Discover Adventure and pay your £250 registration fee at the end of the registration process. We will then be in touch after receiving your registration and will send you out a fundraising pack in the post.


When do I have to pay my sponsorship by?

You will then need to raise a minimum of £2,000, of which £800 must be received by Macmillan Cancer Support four months prior to departure. The remainder must be with us within one month of the event taking place. If you selected either the Part-Payment option or paying own costs when registering please see your t&c’s for breakdown of your fundraising deadlines.


How much will it cost Macmillan?

Your registration fee of £250, plus the first £800 of sponsorship, will be paid by Macmillan on your behalf to our tour operator, Discover Adventure, for the costs of your participation.


How does Macmillan benefit?

At least 60% of the £2,000 minimum sponsorship will be treated as a donation to Macmillan. If you raise over £2,000, 100% of the surplus will directly benefit Macmillan.

Macmillan is proud to have one of the best cost:income ratios in the sector, meaning more of your hard earned sponsorship is spent on our vital services and not on trip costs.


What if I can't raise the minimum sponsorship?

We will provide you with a fundraising pack full of ideas on how to reach your target. You will also have the support of the Challenge Team and our extensive network of Macmillan fundraisers throughout the UK.

However, if you do not manage to raise £800 four months prior to departure you will either have to forfeit your place on the challenge or make up the shortfall yourself.


Who organises the trip?

This trip is conceived and operated by Discover Adventure Ltd, ATOL 5636, whose booking conditions apply.


What is included?

  • Return flights: London - Geneva- London.
  • Accommodation: three nights camping, one night in a comfortable hotel.
  • All food other than meals detailed in itinerary. All camping equipment other than a sleeping bag and sleeping mat.
  • Full support with local guides, porters, cooks, Discover Adventure leaders and doctors.
  • Macmillan Cancer Support representative

What is not included?

  • Insurance: Our tour operator, Discover Adventure, offers insurance specifically created to cover you for the activity you will be undertaking.
  • Some meals are not included and these are detailed on the itinerary.
  • A discretionary tip for the local guides, drivers and cooks.
  • We also recommend around £100-£150 for personal expenses.

What sort of person takes part?

The group will be made up of around 30 people, both men and women, from all backgrounds, abilities and ages, although you must be 18 or over to take part. Whilst some take part with friends, most people come on their own, so it's a great way of meeting new people. You will find that the group quickly bond and support each other throughout the challenge.


What is the hiking like?

This trek is graded by Discover Adventure and has been awarded a rating of 3 which is tough. The rating system is from 1 to 5 (extreme). Main challenges lie in the hilly walking, with some steep rocky sections and long, tiring ascents. There are some high ridges and it can be exposed.

The terrain is varied, with valley paths and high ridge-climbs. The trek is very hilly, with some steep rocky areas and rivers to cross. The highest altitude reached is 2525m.


Where will we stay while hiking?

Accommodation is three nights camping and one night in a hotel. All camping equipment other than a sleeping bag and sleeping mat.


What will the weather be like?

Temperatures can vary widely, though generally it should be warm and sunny; rain is always a possibility and it may be blustery. Cold winds are common when high up on the mountains. Average temperatures range from 11-26°C.


Am I fit enough?

Our challenges are designed to suit people of average fitness. However this is a challenging trek due to the terrain, climate and some long days so if you do not already walk on a regular basis you will need to commit to some considerable training during the preceding months. We will provide you with a full training plan to help with your preparation.


Do I have to carry my own kit?

Throughout the trek we will be accompanied by porters who will carry all our equipment and supplies. You will carry a day pack to hold any equipment you might need during the day.


Do I have to meet any medical requirements?

Everyone on the challenge is required to complete a medical form, which will be provided in your fundraising pack. If you are over 65, answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions or have a BMI of 35+ the form must also be signed by your GP. Individual surgeries may charge for this service. It is also essential for you to consult your doctor about necessary vaccinations.


What else do I need?

A valid 10-year passport with at least one year to run is essential.

Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (including Tetanus).


Can I offset my carbon footprint?

One of the key determining criteria Macmillan looks for when selecting a tour operator to organise our events is a demonstrable appreciation of environmental concerns. Our tour operator Discover Adventure has links with 'Climate Care', a service that enables participants to neutralise the carbon emissions caused by taking long-haul flights.

For full details of how to offset your carbon emissions visit the Discover Adventure website.

If you have any further questions, please contact us by calling 020 7840 7887 or emailing


How do I convince my friends that this is not a holiday?

While you are sure to have an incredible time on the challenge, our challenges can never be described as holidays. You will need to spend months training and fundraising, before undertaking a demanding physical challenge.

The days on the challenge will be long, facilities will be basic and the conditions tough. All of this takes time, effort, dedication and commitment and is far from just a holiday.

Of course, if you would prefer to cover the costs of the challenge in order to ensure that 100% of your sponsorship goes towards the work of the charity we would be delighted to discuss this option with you.


Day 1: Depart London

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)

Day 2: Tre-le-Champ - Tete de Balme 2321m - Tre-le-Champ

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!

Day 3: Tre-le-Champ - Col des Montets - Lac Blanc 2352m - Chalet de la Flegere - Planpraz

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.

Day 4: Chamonix – Le Brevent 2525m – Chamonix

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 and camp site at Les Bossons (1012m.) This is a tough descent with some very steep sections. Our camp site and 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!

(Dinner not included).

Day 5: Depart Geneva

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)

Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.

"A truly amazing experience. Humbling, unforgettable and life changing"

Sam - Team Macmillan Hiker 2015

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