- collective equipment (ropes, carabiners, ...)
- slippers while in huts.
- Mountaineering boots that you can fit crampons onto (with rigid soles)
- A comfortable mountaineering backpack (40/50L)
- Ice axe, crampons, harness with locking carabiner, helmet
- One or two collapsible walking poles (depending on what you are used to)
- A thermos water bottle (1.5L)
- A pair of gaiters
- A sheet-type for sleeping bag (there are blankets in the shelters).
- A small toiletry
bag and a small towel fast drying (from specialized stores)
- A sunscreen
(face and lips).
- A headlamp
- A pocketknife.
- Toilet paper + lighter.
- Two plastic
bags (100 liters) to
protect the backpack from rain.
- A waterproof pouch/ carrier for your papers, money, phone, insurance / assistance
contract, and all your numbers
in case of emergency .
- Cap .
- Hat (or cap) for the sun
- Snow Goggles
- 1 pair of
very warm mountain gloves
- 1 pair of
gloves in fleece or wool
- 1 extra safety pair
of gloves (optional)
Breathable Technical Sub-pull (carline, light fleece ...)
- Fleece jacket
- 1 windbreaker
jacket and waterproof Gore-Tex
- 1 breathable
- 1 cozy mountain
- 1 wind pants
and waterproof Gore-Tex
- 2 pairs of
socks, a thin pair and thick pair of
- A pair of
- A sheet (there
are blankets refuge)
- 1 waterproof
pouch for your money, your
documents like identity card or passport, yours insurance
contracts / assistance and
emergency phone numbers
rental stores on
Before departure, it is important to have a good physical condition, corresponding to
the requirements and activities of the program. Every day
activity and the regular practice of a
sport with elements of endurance is
mandatory for high mountain activities.
This sport can be jogging, cycling,
swimming or hiking. For information
about the levels of difficulty
for our holidays, check the "Evaluate your abilities"
tips, however to confirm with your doctor: six months before departure plan to
make 1-2 endurance training sessions during the year at least 3 times per week, a hike during weekends - at least 6 hours with a positive elevation
of 400 m / hour over 3 hours.
Three months before departure 2 to 3 sessions endurance training per week and
increase the walking time during the weekends to 7:00 - 8:00 hours.
also prepare your acclimatization.
Thank you for informing the agency about your medical conditions and particularity concerning your health: food allergies, diabetes, heart and vascular
accidents you might had have, asthma, etc....
The summit of Monte Rosa peaks at 4634 m. This altitude requires
prior acclimatization. The ideal
would be to provide 4 to 8 days and to clime gradually between 2500 m and 3500.
Avoid the brutal climbs
above 4000 m; they can cause acute mountain sickness. A good acclimatization will help you feel ready for the
efforts in front of you on the day of the climb.
(Association for Research the Environmental Physiology) has published a booklet
entitled "Health and Altitude " in collaboration with the French
Federation of mountain climbing and with the help of the National Ski and
find advice to prepare your departure, the recommendations during your stay on
high altitudes and the useful addresses if you want a medical consultation before
A.R.P.E - 74 rue Marcel Cachin - 93017 Bobigny
You can also get valuable
information from IFREMMONT
institute related to training and
medicine research about mountain
activities. These doctors are
based in Chamonix and they are
considered as experts for altitude.
Adaptation of the body to cold and altitude
During your stay in the mountains,
where there so far any medical indications related to the altitude and cold
weather? It important to answer to this question and we highly recommend you to
consult with your physician. We can distinguish two types of stay: one below
1.500 m (accommodation and sport activities), and the one beyond that altitude.
effects/contraindications may occur for a stay beyond 1,500 meters, except in
exceptional cases even o the lower altitudes.
Medical side effects/contraindications
during your stay in the mountains may appear in the following forms:
Medical side effects, mainly related to the
altitude: heart attacks, serious heart failure/ insufficiency, coronary
illness, in general all sort of heart diseases. Please be cautious if you had
any kind of heart diseases before; no matter where they were stabilized by
treatment they may evolve despite the treatment.
Mainly due to the effect of altitude, related to
reduced amount of oxygen - hypoxia, body reaction called “polycythemia".
People who have had a stroke recently or ones who
are at increased risk of a stroke cannot stay on these altitudes. Those who
have had strokes before controlled, treated and followed should seek medical
advice before they get to these heights.
Due to oxygen deficit in relation to altitude!
Respiratory problems may have temporary or relative
side effects temporary depending on the severity thereof; those who have
problems with asthma have to be careful because of the cold and dry mountain
Epileptics and those with problems
related to the balance cannot stay in high altitudes. Those taking treatments,
and those who did not have a major crisis for a long time, must adjust their
treatment because opportunities for new relapse related to the increased
activity, stress and hyperventilation created by the altitude.
- Dermatological :
People sensitive to cold or strong sun and those
who have skin diseases should consult their doctor or specialist primarily
living for high altitudes should protect themselves before any significant
sport activity at certain heights specially if sanding in the cold.
You should consult with your specialist. Exposure
to winter activities depends on the stage and progress of your pregnancy and
- Other side effects
For osteoarthritis, recent trauma, poorly
controlled diabetes, uncontrolled hypertension, recent illness requiring any
monitoring or treatment you should consult with your doctor!
- The effects of altitude on the body:
Altitude results in a decrease in
atmospheric pressures. This reduction has a direct impact on the amount of
oxygen available for the human body. Under these conditions, altitude causes
oxygen deprivation forcing the human body to adapt on higher ventilation from
the normal one (hyperventilation) forcing the red blood cells creating what
Furthermore, the direct effect of
the increase breathing, on the organism, is increased heart rate, called
The oxygen decrease is proportional
to the altitude.
Your oxygen ventilation rates at sea
level "100". On altitude of 1,000 meters, it will rate 88%, and 78%
on 2,000 meters, 69% on 3,000 meters, 60% up to 4,000 meters.
The direct effect on humans is a
relative decrease in what we call VO2max. Its effects are still negative on the
body, at least at first, but slowly adapting to the height allows a number of
athletes to prepare for competitions at sea level due to this polycythemia
(increased red blood cell), which allows to recover for a short time a
"natural doping" of the human body.
How to fight against the harmful effects of altitude?
A priori in France, there are no
sufficiently high altitude to cause serious and urgent problems of acute
mountain sickness. However, the only solution, in case of emergency is to
descend the person, as soon as possible, to lower heights. In case of urgency,
it is done by helicopter, but in normal circumstances, one may descend quickly
by car or train.
The effects of altitude are taken into
consideration, but the pleasure of ski touring in the mountains during the
holidays the benefits go beyond the deficiencies.
You may suffer unknowingly from some disadvantage, however, only the pulmonary
edema or brain edema remains a serious potential danger that may lead to death.
It only takes to descend to lower heights. A hyperbaric chamber is also a
If case of any doubt, consult your doctor before your holiday, if not for
yourself but for the sake of your children, children are more susceptible to
Source: article by Dr. P. Bacquaert
on the medical information website athletes and sports professionals and
Your guide has a first aid kit. In
consultation with your
doctor, prepare your personal
pharmacy according to your medical profile and the nature of the intended stay.
- An analgesic
- An anti-inflammatory
drugs (tablets and gel).
- A broad-spectrum
- An antispasmodic,
antidiarrheal, antiseptic intestinal,
- And double skin
dressings, compresses, tapes adhesive
- An antiseptic.
- Sunscreen and
- Coated tablets to purify water (type Aquatabs).
Bottle of water is very expensive in heights and on the
mountains (up to 8 euros a bottle!).
- In addition: eye drops, tweezers, light tranquilizers and sleeping
pills and / or earplugs, tonic for veins (against heavy
- Personal medication.
Take a few pills from each package of medication, do not need to carry a box of
The guide will also have a pharmacy first aid kit.