Dan's 40th - Mont Blanc ascent

Daniel is going to turn 40 soon and he's fine with that - no biggie! He has a secret ambition though... he would like to summit Europe's largest mountain - Mont Blanc. 

As anyone who knows Daniel will know, he has researched this to the nth degree! He has found a guiding company he feels comfortable with, has devised a training schedule to get fit for climbing at altitude, and has a vague idea of getting around to this some time in the next few years....

Well, there's no time like the present! Niamh, Aoife and I would like to make his dream a reality as a 40th birthday surprise but we need your help...


Over the last little while I have managed to squirrel away sufficient funds to cover the cost of the climb - the accommodation and guiding - but that is only part of it... At 4000+ meters, summiting Mont Blanc requires significant kit and equipment, not to mention getting to Chamonix and back. The kit list is extensive:

·       Ice axe – for general mountaineering

·       Standard steel mountaineering Crampons - can be hired

·       Helmet – standard hard plastic climbing helmet

·       Trekking Poles – at least 1 trekking pole that can be reduced in size and stored when not needed

·       Mountaineering B3 Boots and Gaiters – these must fit and be comfortable

·       Rucksack – 30-50L with a rain cover feature 

·       Waterbottle 1L – not a platypus type

·       Harness, with 2 screw gate carabiners.

·       Sun protection: sunglasses (category 4), goggles, sun hat, Factor 50 High Mountain sunscreen, lip salve/block

·       3 sets of socks and thermal tops.

·       Lightweight (GORE-TEX® or similar) hardshell hooded top and bottoms – make sure pockets are accessible even when wearing a harness.

·       Warm hat

·       2 pairs of gloves - one pair should be warm, thick mountaineering gloves suitable for conditions at 5000m. The second pair should be a thinner pair suitable for mid mountain conditions.

·       Insulating layers - a thin lightweight fleece and a synthetic or down jacket. A synthetic or down jacket is perfect because you can put it over all your other layers (including GORE-TEX®) if it is really cold without taking anything off. This is very quick and very warm and practical.

·       Mountaineering trousers – wind proof/water resistant trousers for hillwalking/mountaineering.

·       Lightweight thermal leggings (longjons) – it can be very chilly on the summit day.

·       Personal first aid – blister kit, aspirin, or Paracetamol.

·       Head torch and spare batteries.

·       Earplugs (there is always someone snoring at night!)

·       Sleeping bag liner - for huts 

·       Insurance - for alpine climbing activities

·       Cash (euros) for extra drinks / snacks in huts (€20 per hut night)

·       Travel - to Chamonix and back


This is technical stuff, and it shows in the cost. But I know that it will be worth it to see Daniel achieve his dream...

The big ask:
Instead of 40th birthday drinks or a party (which Daniel is adamant he's not interested in), I'm hoping that friends and family will contribute towards the cost of the kit required to get Dan to the summit of Mont Blanc  (most likely in 2019 to give him time to train!)

Every little helps, so if you would have stood him a pint for his 40th - please put the cost of that pint into this fund instead, to help him to achieve his big ambition.

Thank you so much for your support!


Please, keep it under your hat! (So don't share via Twitter!) We plan to surprise him with this on his birthday (and will video his reaction) on 29th May 2018.


Christine, Niamh and Aoife xxx



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Christine Oliver 
Deal, South East England, United Kingdom
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