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Ice Climbing Course Chamonix

Ice Climbing in Chamonix - 3 day course suitable for beginners & intermediates

 

Chamonix Valley has great ice falls of various difficulties to suit climbers all levels; from beginners to experts. The ice falls are located all over the valley with the most well known being at the Col des Montets, Argentiere, Les Houches and Servoz. The best season for low altitude ice climbing in Chamonix is from December to February.

There is also the high altitude ice accessible from the Aiguille du Midi or Les Grands Montets lift stations, which makes ice climbing in Chamonix possible all year round. 

Our 3 day ice climbing course is a great opportunity for those who have never climbed on ice before or have ice climbing experience but want to refresh their technique and learn new skills.

Our IFMGA / UIAGM Mountain Guides will take you and your ice axes to some of the best frozen waterfalls in the Chamonix region and teach you everything you need to ice climb confidently and safely.

The course is exhilarating, instructive and a lot of fun!

If you have more than 3 days to spare we can recommend our 5 Day Ice Climbing Course in Cogne for a more complete experience. If you've already done some ice climbing and would like to build on what you've already learnt, our Winter Mountaineering Course will take you to the next stage of mixed ice and rock climbing in the high mountains and glaciers of the Chamonix valley.

 

Description

We have designed this 3 days course because not everyone can afford to spend a full week away from home or work. The course is intense and it will give you the necessary skills to climb on ice confidently and safely.

We will be based in Chamonix but depending on ice conditions your guide may choose to take you over the border to Switzerland or Italy in order to find the best icefalls.

During the course you will learn 

  • 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 

This course is for everyone who has been rock climbing before or has done some mountaineering. We accept beginners but it is important that people have a good level of fitness.

Price

695€

Price per person for groups of minimum 2 and maximum 6 participants.

 If you are interested in a private 1:1 course, please contact us for the price. We will be delighted to create a custom made itinerary for you.

Course Dates

2017
Start Date End Date Spaces
Dec 15 Dec 17 6
Dec 22 Dec 24 6
Dec 29 Dec 31 6
2018
Start Date End Date Spaces
Jan 05 Jan 07 6
Jan 19 Jan 21 6
Jan 26 Jan 28 6
Feb 02 Feb 04 6
Feb 09 Feb 11 6
Feb 16 Feb 18 6

G
  The Course is guaranteed to run


Included

Guide Fees

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

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

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.

Additional Transport

Transport out of the Chamonix valley, for example into Italy or Switzerland, is not included. If conditions are better elsewhere your guide will discuss the options and any extra travel costs with you.

Accommodation

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

Insurance

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

Lift Passes

We will advise you on which lift passes you will need prior to your trip. If lift passes are required we can preorder them for you on request.

Ice Climbing 3 Day Course Itinerary

The following is a sample itinerary and not a guaranteed schedule - your course will be planned to take the weather, ice conditions and the ability of the group into account.

Day 1 - Ice Climbing in Chamonix

On your first day your guide will take you for a day of introduction on a gentle single pitch ice fall - La Cremerie in Argentiere is a popular spot and is perfect for starting out on.

The goal of the day is to show you the different techniques, explain to you how the equipment works and make sure that you understand all the safety aspects. You will be able to climb several pitches and train hard for the following days.

Day 2 - Multi-Pitch Ice Climbing in Chamonix

On the second and third days you will be taken to different areas to climb multi-pitch routes, either in the Chamonix valley or elsewhere.

Your guide will choose the ice climbing routes according to the conditions and your capacities.

Day 3 - Ice Climbing in Italy or Switzerland

Depending on conditions your guide may take you over the border to Trient in Switzerland or Cognes in Italy, to sample some different ice climbing routes.

There are plenty of options to choose from both in Chamonix and the surrounding area so your guide will make the best decision for the group.

Ice climbing in Chamonix
Ice climbing in Chamonix
Ice climbing in Chamonix

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

Thin gloves

Thin 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

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

La Cremerie

La Cremerie is an ice climbing route in Argentiere, near to Les Grands Montets. At an altitude of 1350m and with gently sloping angles it is the perfect venue for beginners to master the basics of ice climbing in the Chamonix valley.

Shaded from the sun and sheltered from the elements, La Cremerie often remains in good condition until quite late in the winter season. Long wide single pitch routes make it a popular location for practising ice climbing skills such as top roping, lead climbing and abseiling.

Near to the take-off and landing zone for Chamonix Mont Blanc Hélicoptére, you might also get the added thrill of having helicopters whizzing over your head as you climb!

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.