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Cogne Ice Climbing Camp - Level 1

Introductory 5 Day Course Ice Climbing in Cognes - ideal for beginners and intermediates

Cogne is a world class area when it comes to ice climbing. Located in Italy, 1.5 hours drive from Chamonix, Cogne offers stunning ice falls of all grades in a beautiful and wild environment.

There are two valleys to choose from in Cognes; the Valnontey and Lillaz, both of which have an amazing quantity of ice routes. There are over 130 routes routes in Cogne, ranging from as easy as grade 2 going up to the expert grade of 6. 

The goal of our 5 day ice climbing course is to teach you all the essential rope and climbing techniques, build your confidence in climbing on ice and lead you to climb routes that you would never normally attempt without a mountain guide.

The days are intense and packed with tuition and single-pitch / multi-pitch ice climbing. The length and difficulty of the routes will be chosen accordingly to your skills and fitness level.

Come and enjoy!

If you do not have 5 days to spare then we recommend doing our 3 day ice climbing course in Chamonix. If you already have some ice climbing experience and want to broaden your skills then our Winter Alpine Course will take you to the next level of mixed rock and ice climbing in the high mountains and glaciers of the Chamonix valley.

Description

This 5 day ice climbing course is set in Lillaz, a picturesque village at the end of the stunning Cogne valley in Italy. You will stay in a comfortable hotel where you will enjoy delicious Italian cuisine for breakfast and dinner. Don’t miss out on the hot chocolate - a drink which has entirely new meaning in Italy!

Our UIAGM Mountain Guides will be present at all times during the course to ensure your safety and teach you the best ice climbing techniques.

The idea of our introductory ice climbing course is to climb these fantastic ice falls without destroying them! So the right technique to anchor your ice axes and crampons is the most important thing.

During the course you will learn 

  • How to understand and accurately analyse the ice
  • How to improve your balance and body position
  • How to anchor your ice axes and crampons as accurately as possible
  • Safety procedures, use of ice screws and different systems of protection
  • Abseiling & belay techniques on ice

Level Requirements 

There are no prerequisites to attend this course but we highly advise you to be physically fit and to have some rock climbing experience.

Your group will be divided into climbing teams of two and each team will be led by a qualified UIAGM Mountain guide. There will be an emphasis on teaching basic ice climbing skills, using crampons and ice axes and improving technique with routes from French ice grade 3-5.

Price

1690€

Price per person for groups of minium 2 and maximum 4 participants. 

Course Dates

2017
Start Date End Date Spaces
Dec 18 Dec 22 4
Dec 25 Dec 29 4
2018
Start Date End Date Spaces
Jan 01 Jan 05 4
Jan 08 Jan 12 4
Jan 15 Jan 19 4
Jan 22 Jan 26 4
Jan 29 Feb 02 4
Feb 05 Feb 09 4
Feb 12 Feb 16 4
Feb 19 Feb 23 4

G
  The Course is guaranteed to run


Included

Guide Fees

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

Accommodation (half board)

4 nights in a hotel in Cogne. Accommodation is on shared basis with breakfast and dinner. 

Transport

Return transport from Chamonix to Italy.

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 Aiguille 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

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 persoanlised kit list.

Accommodation

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.

Insurance

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

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.

Arrival Day in Chamonix

You will meet your group and your mountain guide in the Chamonix Experience office on the evening before your ice climbing course begins. You will receive all the details about your guide and the meeting in an email a week before start of the course.

The meeting is a great opportunity to ask any questions about the course and to check with your guide that you have the right equipment.

The detailed itinerary will depend on the weather, snow and ice conditions and these can vary very much from week to week. Therefore right now we can give you only a rough outline of what will happen on your course day to day.

Day 1 - Ice Climbing in Valsavaranche

We start bright and early, meeting in Chamonix at 6.30am and driving through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy, the drive is approximately an hour.

We will go straight to Valsavarenche, an excellent ice climbing area where there are more than a dozen routes to suit all capabilities. Your guide will spend today teaching you the basic techniques of ice climbing and ensuring that you know how to use the equipment.

At the end of the day we will check into our hotel and enjoy a well-earned dinner.

 

Days 2 - 5 Ice Climbing selected routes in Lillaz and Valnontey

The rest of the course will be dedicated to improving techniques and skills you have learned on the first day while climbing some of the most stunning icefalls. 

The routes will be selected according to your level and progress. We will encourage you to push your limits while keeping you happy and safe. 

We will visit different valleys with good variety of ice climbing with amazing routes for climbers of all levels. 

Lillaz is a beautiful valley full of frozen waterfalls that offers many different ice climbing routes.

Another great option is the selection of icefalls in Valnontey, just south of Cogne. Located in the Gran Paradiso National Park, the Valnontey valley has some fantastic ice climbing routes on 200m high rock faces.

On the last day, at the end of the afternoon we will drive back to Chamonix, aiming to be back by around 6:30pm.

 

 

Clothing

Mountaineering boots

Mountaineering boots

Warm hat

Warm hat

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

Warm gloves

Warm gloves

Gaiters

Gaiters

Technical gear

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

Snowshoes

Snowshoes

35 - 45 litres rucksack

35 - 45 litres rucksack

Pair of technical ice axes

Pair of technical ice axes

Ice climbing crampons

Ice climbing crampons

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

Washbag and toiletries

Washbag and toiletries

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)

 

For Geneva airport - Chamonix / Chamonix - Geneva airport:

 

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.

 

Mountain rescue insurance

We don’t include mountain rescue insurance in any of our courses but we strongly recommend that you have it. Mountain rescue may be very expensive, particularly if helicopters are involved. Check with your travel insurance provider if you are covered for the specific activity you are going to do with us.

However, we can organise the mountain rescue insurance for you.The cost is 8€ per person per day for EU residents and 12€ per person per day for non-EU residents. Details of the insurance cover are different for EU and non-EU residents, please contact us for more informations.

 

Food

This trip includes breakfast and dinner every day. You will responsible for organising your packed lunches, drinks and snacks. You will need to bring some cash to pay for these, about 20€ per day.

We suggest you have plenty of snacks that you can take into the mountains with you each day; things like cereal bars, dried fruit and nuts, chocolate, sugary sweets or your favourite trail snacks are ideal. 

Equipment hire

We highly recommend that you book any equipment with us at least 2 weeks in advance as the hire shops can have limited availability in the busy season.

You can collect your equipment the evening before the start of the course and return it in the evening at the end of your course. We work with the following Chamonix ski hire and mountain shop :

• Concept Pro Shop which is conveniently located directly next door from our office. Open 7/7 08:00-19:00

Optional equipment


  • Thermos – not essential due to weight, but it can be comforting to have a hot drink on a cold day.

  • Water Bottle – should be at least 1.5 litres and durable. 

  • Camelbak hydration systems are not recommended for winter sports as the tube tends to freeze up.

  • Extra Gloves - a pair of spare gloves is essential.

 

Lillaz Gully, Cogne

The Lillaz Gully is a superb and varied ice climb in a beautiful place. 

Access is from the village of Lillaz, with a 1 hour approach scrambling up the snow covered summer stream.

The gully offers 6 pitches of technical ice climbing up to grade 4/4+ with a tricky mixed crux. 200 meters of pleasure for this scenic climb. On a clear day you have fantastic views of Mont Blanc.

The descent is just 45 minutes through the forest on the other side.

Cascade de Lillaz, Cogne

Ice-climbing-cognes-02

Cascade de Lillaz is in a beautiful valley in the Cogne region of Italy, just an hour and a half drive from Chamonix. It has an easy approach of 10-15 minutes walk from the village of Lillaz.

This icefall is 200m or 6-7 pitches of beautiful grade 3 ice climbing. The first pitch has three options of various difficulties with sections of between 60º and 85º steep ice. The second pitch has a 15m section of 70º ice. The third pitch has 20m section of 80º ice and the 4th and 5th pitches are easy sloping ice climbs.

Cascade de Lillaz is perfect for beginners but also has enough variation to keep experienced ice climbers very happy.