Perfect your safety and rope work skills to become independent when climbing over mixed terrain of snow, rock and ice.
This is a course for those who wish to become fully independent alpine climbers. Whether you already have plenty of climbing experience or whether you are fairly new to this type of activity, this course is for you.
The course is open for a maximum of 4 people, who will be accompanied by a mountain guide throughout the week. The guide’s role is to pass on their expert knowledge whilst giving you maximum independence. You will be the one who makes decisions under the attentive supervision of the guide. The guide will always there for you in case of doubt, difficulty or to give you the benefit of their extensive experience.
During the 5 days you will experience all sorts of terrain and different conditions, developing your existing skills and learning new ones. Your will and determination will be put to the test, but you'll achieve more than you believed possible!
Due to the demanding nature of the course we do have some minimum requirements for participants, please see below for details. If this course sounds too advanced for you, you might like to consider our Introduction to Alpine Climbing course to get a thorough grounding in the basic skills of mountaineering.
The goal of this week is to practice in a real environment all the rope and safety techniques needed for a safe ascent in varied alpine terrain (snow, rock, ice and mixed). You will be placing your own protection and making your own belays. You will learn how to decide the right length of a climbing pitch in accordance with the terrain, how to read the terrain and the route finding. You will learn a few escape techniques in case you have to abandon your route. You will learn how to build a safe rappel and how to descend using various techniques, prusik and the “reminder” tool. You will learn lots of “tricks” which guides acquire over years of experience and which will make your ascents more efficient and safe. Furthermore you will learn about the dynamics and spirit of the partnership on a rope. The efficiency of team work and the mutual encouragement and support known as the “mountain spirit” - a skill which is equally essential in mountains as it is in life.
To sign up for this course you have to fulfil all 3 requirements listed below.You are an experienced rock climber and you are solid lead-climber of routes of minimum French grade 4. You know how to use crampons and ice axes and are comfortable climbing snow and ice slopes of 50 degrees. You have done at least one alpine route (either with a mountain guide or with your friends).
If you are not sure that you have the required level, you can sign up for 1 day of alpine climbing with us before taking the course. The Petite Aiguille Verte is a perfect alpine route to gain or refresh your crampon / ice axe techniques and check what mixed climbing is all about, or you can book a private mountain guide for the day and plan a different itinerary.