NEW COURSE FOR 2018. The Mountain Progression Course is designed as a follow on from our Level 1 course, or as continued education and practice for alpinists with prior experience.

UIAGM MOUNTAIN GUIDES
Fully qualified English & French speaking guides ensuring optimum safety & expert tuition
1:2 GROUP RATIO
Allowing you to tackle more technical ascents to progress & build on your existing skill set
ICONIC CHAMONIX CLIMBS
Follow in the footsteps of many of the world's most famous climbers, in the birth place of modern Alpinism

ALPINE CLIMBING COURSE IN CHAMONIX – LEVEL 2

Climb harder, higher and learn advanced safety skills

From 1,390.00€

Price per person for minimum 2 and maximum 4 participants. If you prefer a private course, please contatct us for the price. 

View Dates
   

Intermediate tech level

 

Guiding ratio 1:2

 

5 days course

 

Available June - September

 

Instructional course

 

1 night on a mountain hut

The move toward autonomy in the high mountains and towards more committing and technically difficult mountaineering are the focus of this week. Our UIAGM mountain guides accompany you along the way, with custom tailored route selection and personal attention. You develop more quickly, safely, and can look forward to climbing the Alps’ bigger routes. 

There is a particular emphasis on pedagogy- your progress as an alpinist is our priority. You’ll learn new, more intricate techniques to complement your alpine portfolio. Special attention to safety, efficiency, and the correct application of given techniques on different types of terrain. Ice, rock, mixed, and steep snow, as well as safe glacier travel and crevasse rescue are included in the course - a well rounded, advanced alpine experience for students of the mountains! The ratio of client to guide is reduced to 1 guide per 2 clients from the 2nd day forward to insure you get the best possible tutorship during the week.

Learning Outcomes

  • Refinement of rock, snow, ice and mixed techniques
  • Correct tying and appropriate use of essential climbing knots
  • Correct use of the rope on the glacier, rock ridge/crest, climbing a bergschrund, and pulley systems used in crevasse rescue
  • Recognizing placement, building and using anchors in varied terrain types (ice, snow, rock)- deadman and special anchors
  • Installing and descending rappels in autonomy, with the use of a prusik on multi-pitch climbs 
  • Placement and removal of “natural” or “traditional” protection (cams, wired nuts, ice screws)
  • Course planning, analysis of the weather forecast and mountain conditions, evaluation of group ability
  • Gear choice adapted to the chosen objective and preparation of the backpack
  • Risk assessment in the mountains and good decision making
  • Orientation, choosing an itinerary and reading the terrain in the field 

Level Requirements

This is the logical follow up to our Level 1 Alpine Climbing course. It is also designed for participants with some mountaineering experience, without necessarily having already led a climb or an excursion in the mountains. A basic knowledge, some previous training, and prior use of equipment (rock shoes, crampons, ice axe) in rock climbing, ice climbing and general mountaineering are prerequisite. One should be able to follow French grade 5 on rock (US 5.8+), grade 4 on ice, and up to M3 or French AD+ in the mountains. Appropriate physical fitness is needed – the ability to move in the mountains for 6-8 hours at a regular, sustained pace without excessive suffering, over the week’s duration. 

Additional Services

Equipment hire

Please see the list of recommended equipment on the other tab. Most technical equipment can be rented here in Chamonix, please contact us if you would like prices and advice on whatever you need. Chamonix has dozens of outdoor shops selling everything from basic head torches to expedition standard sleeping bags, so whatever you don't already have you can find it here.

Insurance

We highly recommend that you take out specific insurance for mountain activities. We can organise this at a cost of 8€ per day for EU citizens and 12€ per day for non-EU citizens. This will cover you for search and rescue services, evacuation by helicopter and emergency medical treatment. You should also make sure that you have adequate travel insurance that covers you for the usual things such as cancelled flights, lost luggage, hospital treatment, etc. Please contact us to organise mountain rescue insurance for your trip.

Accommodation in Chamonix

If you wish to book accommodation in Chamonix we would be happy to recommend some local hotels, gites, self-catered apartments, or chalets and advise on the best locations. Please contact us if you would like help finding accommodation in Chamonix.

Airport transfers

We can help you to organise your transport to/from Chamonix. We work with well-established airport transfer companies which use new and comfortable vehicles and which have the capacity and know-how to handle everything from delayed and cancelled flights, to unexpected traffic jams with professionalism and efficiency.

To book your transfer, we will need the following: 
  • Your full name 
  • Mobile phone number 
  • Email address 
  • Your destination address 
  • Your flight details (date, time and flight number)
SHARED TRANSFERS: 

This is the most economic and ecologically friendly way of travel. The driver will meet and greet you at the airport, gather you and the rest of the passenger group together and then head off to your chosen destination. The door-to-door service means that you will be dropped off and picked up right at your hotel /chalet / apartment. From 40€ per person for one-way and 80€ per person for a return trip.

PRIVATE TRANSFERS: 

Private Transfers are the quickest way to get to and from the airport. Your driver will meet and greet you at the airport and guide you to your vehicle. There is no waiting for other passengers. Private transfers are available for one to eight person bookings and travelling together and you are guaranteed sole occupancy of the vehicle for your transfer. And, of course, it's a door-to-door service, so you won't be lugging any bags very far. 250€ per car for one-way and 500€ per car for a return trip.

Practical Information

Course dates

Do not hesitate to contact us if our existing course dates are not convenient for you. We will be happy to customise a set of dates according to your holiday plans.

Getting to Chamonix

Chamonix is one of the easiest alpine resorts to get to, being just over an hour's drive from Geneva international airport. Lyon, Turin and Milan airports are also all within a few hours drive. The best way to get from Geneva airport to Chamonix is by transfer bus, either shared with other passengers or private. You will be met in the arrivals lounge by your driver and dropped at your accommodation in Chamonix; there is no extra charge for your luggage or equipment. We work only with the most reliable transfer companies in the valley and are happy to organise your journey for you, please contact us for prices and booking.

Staying in Mountain Huts

The high alpine huts are one of the big attractions to mountaineering or trekking in the Alps. They allow us the time to enjoy the mountains with only light packs and without having to worry about meals or finding somewhere to sleep! Most huts have only very basic facilities. Sleeping arrangements are in mixed sex dormitory-style rooms with bunks; there can be up to 20 people in one room.

Washing facilities are limited and generally there is no running water in any of the huts although this may vary in some huts. There are basins in which you can use bottled water to wash and clean your teeth, but they are NOT generally in private cubicles and are mixed sex. Toilets are generally septic-tank type (so non-flushing) and again mixed sex. You need to be prepared for simple living in the huts and appreciate they are located at high altitude and in inhospitable terrain.

The guardian and his/her team serve a 3-course evening meal and breakfast - food is usually nourishing and filling. Beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks are also available. All food and drink in the huts is delivered by helicopter and consequently prices will be high e.g. between 5 -10€ or 10CHF for a 1.5litre bottle of still water.

There are a few basic hut ‘rules’ that you need to follow so that you (and your fellow climbers) have a pleasant stay:

1) On arriving at the hut you must take off your boots and leave these together with your ice axe, crampons in the foyer. Be sure to store these carefully as the hut is likely to get very busy and you’ll need to find all your kit in the morning rush!

2) House slippers are provided and must be worn in the hut

3) Your guide will register you with the guardian and will assign you your bunk

4) Follow the instructions of your guide and keep requests to the guardian and his team to a minimum – they are usually very busy sorting out groups, cooking meals, keeping the hut clean

5) In the morning your guide will often want to leave early – be sure to have all your kit ready to go the night before. Be organized and everything will be much easier!

6) It is recommended to bring earplugs for the nights – but make sure that you wake up on time!

7) Top Tip: clearly name or place a small amount of coloured tape on your boots, axe, crampons, harness and skins to help you identify them amongst all the others

Our Guides

All Chamex mountain guides are fully qualified, highly experienced and passionate about what they do. Everyone who works as part of the Chamex team has been thoroughly vetting and is trusted by us to give our clients the best experience possible - you are in safe hands! If you would like to know more then you can meet the Chamex team here.

Itinerary

The course itinerary is an example of a typical week with good weather, sound conditions, and fit, able clients. The guides will change plans depending on the weather, client aptitude and ambition, and the current state of the mountains if needed.  

Arrival Day

Rendez-vous the evening before the week starts in the Chamex office to meet the guide. The week’s program will be presented, and any questions will be answered to insure a smooth start to the course. 

Day 1

Rock climbing at the Brevent! Working on rock climbing technique, rappel (abseil) method, and the placement and removal of natural, traditional protection are the basics for the first day. Facing the Mount Blanc, there are few places better suited, and with better views, than the Brevent. Rope use/ organization and familiarization with the skills needed for lead climbing, climbing single and multi pitch routes, rappels and climbing technique are on the agenda. 

Day 2

The client to guide ratio is reduced to 1:2. This allows you more personalized instruction, and to climb more difficult and committing routes. (For example- the Cheré Gully on the Triangle du Tacul) The emphasis is on ice and mixed terrain, accessed from the Aiguille du Midi.  Practicing your ice and mixed skills, under the eye of your guide for learning maximum efficiency in the alpine domain. A review of previously learned material (protection placement, rappels) and safe glacier travel tactics are practiced. 

Day 3

Rock climbing on Chamonix’s famous granite! Traditional climbing requires the team to have the ability to recognize when and where to use the appropriate material. A multi pitch route like the Nabot Léon on Aiguille de Blaitière or Normal route of Aiguille du Peigne is a great classroom. Gear selection, organization, and application on the best cracks and slabs in the valley make for a great learning day on some of the best, most storied alpine rock in the world. The skills from the previous day’s outings are also revisited. 

Day 4

You’re off on a big route, with a night in a high mountain hut. Decision making and course planning with your guide, as well as participation in the evaluation of the conditions and the weather forecast for help you learn to choose an appropriate route. On the way to the hut we cover glacier rescue skills (pulley systems and fixed rope climbing, snow anchors, step by step course of action) and any other elements not yet seen or needing repetition or perfection. Course timing, map skills, gear necessary, and the day’s strategy – all parts of effectuating a safe, successful alpine climb.

Day 5

The Mt Blanc range hosts a plethora of great mixed routes for all abilities.

You finish your week with a long mixed route in the mountains- a culmination of the week’s efforts, a challenging, fun route and a beautiful summit. (ex. Arète de Flèche Rousse on the Aiguille d’Argentiere) The challenges involved in the ascent of a big alpine itinerary are all present- route finding, timing, glacier travel, mixed climbing, long technical descent- a fitting finale and the ultimate, logical application of the week’s course content. Your guide will supervise, coach and tailor your ascent. A beer and a debrief back in Chamonix to top off a great week- enjoy a rest day, and start planning the next trip!!   

Dates

Alpine Climbing Course in Chamonix – Level 2 dates - 2018

Start date Spaces
Price from
 
June 04, 2018
2
1,390.00€
June 11, 2018
1,390.00€
June 18, 2018
2
1,390.00€
June 25, 2018
G
1,390.00€
July 09, 2018
2
1,390.00€
July 16, 2018
2
1,390.00€
July 23, 2018
G
1,390.00€
July 30, 2018
2
1,390.00€
August 06, 2018
L
1,390.00€
August 13, 2018
2
1,390.00€
August 20, 2018
2
1,390.00€
August 27, 2018
2
1,390.00€
September 03, 2018
L
1,390.00€
September 10, 2018
2
1,390.00€
September 17, 2018
2
1,390.00€
September 24, 2018
2
1,390.00€
L
   Limited Availability
F
Fully Booked
G
Guaranteed
2
Two More to Guarantee

Included or not

Included

Guide Fees

5 days of guiding and instruction by a UIAGM qualified mountain guide.

Accommodation (half-board)

1 night in a mountain hut with breakfast and dinner included.

Local Transport

Any local transport that is required during your course.

Group Equipment

Ropes, safety equipment, etc will be provided when needed by your guide.

Office Support

Our team is based at the foot of the Aiguillle du Midi cable car and will be happy to help you with any questions you may have before, during or after your trip to Chamonix.

Not Included

Lift passes

To keep the itinerary flexible, we do not include the lift passes in the course price. We will advise you what lift passes you will need on day to day basis and organise them for you. The total price will vary depending on the weather, conditions and the selected climbs (about 200€ maximum). 

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you take our Search and Rescue mountain insurance - we can organise this for you on request.

Accommodation in Chamonix

Accommodation in Chamonix is not included in the price but we would be happy to advise or organise it on request.

Travel to Chamonix

The price does not include flights, airport transfers or any other travel to/from Chamonix. However, we can organise airport transfers for you on request, please contact us for details.

Personal Equipment

Please see the "Equipment" tab to find out what you will need. Anything that you do not already have can be rented here in Chamonix, if there is anything you need then please contact us and we will be happy to organise it for you.

For private customised guiding, please contact us directly to confirm your perdoanlised kit list.

Food & Drink

The price does not include lunch or snacks. You can bring your own food and we can stop for a picnic, or there may be the option to buy lunch at a mountain hut. Please make sure that you are carrying sufficient water and snacks as we will be in the mountains for a number of hours.

Equipment

Clothing

Mountaineering boots

Mountaineering boots

Thermal underwear

Thermal underwear

Fleece or woollen layers

Fleece or woollen layers

Light puffer jacket

Light puffer jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Thin gloves

Thin gloves

Gaiters

Gaiters

Sun hat

Sun hat

Climbing shoes

Climbing shoes

Technical gear

Ice Axe

Ice Axe

Harness

Harness

Telescopic poles

Telescopic poles

Screwgate carabiner

Screwgate carabiner

60 - 120 cm tape sling

60 - 120 cm tape sling

Belay device

Belay device

Climbing helmet

Climbing helmet

Pair of technical ice axes

Pair of technical ice axes

Ice climbing crampons

Ice climbing crampons

Crampons

Crampons

20-30 litres rucksack

20-30 litres rucksack

Extras

Sunglasses

Sunglasses

Water bottle (1 litre minimum)

Water bottle (1 litre minimum)

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Headlamp with fresh batteries

Headlamp with fresh batteries

Sleeping bag liner

Sleeping bag liner

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