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Ice Climbing Introduction Course 5 Days

Introduction to Ice Climbing Course in Chamonix - 5 Days

Ice climbing in Chamonix is an incredible experience in a mind blowing environment of frozen waterfalls, glaciers and icy peaks. We are extremely lucky to be situated right on the French/Swiss/Italian border, opening up many possibilites such as La Cremerie in Argentiere, Trient in Switzerland and Cogne in Italy. During this course you will get to explore them all!

The Chamonix Experience introduction to ice climbing course is lead by fully qualified UIAGM mountain guides with a wealth of experience and unrivalled knowledge of the Chamonix valley and surrounding areas.

Your guide will teach you how to climb, abseil and belay on icefalls using equipment such as ropes, harnesses, crampons, screws and ice axes. The course is designed to suit those with some experience in rock climbing or mountaineering. We accept beginners but it is important that people have a good level of fitness to get the most out of the course.  

Our course is run in small groups allowing us to assist with each participant’s level as much as possible.  We offer high quality ice climbing venues with expert coaching by fully qualified mountain guides.

If you already have some experience of ice climbing then maybe our Winter Alpine Course would be better suited to people who wish to build on existing skills and learn new ones.

Description

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
  • Multi-pitch ice climbing

Price

1050€

Price per person for groups of minimum 4 and maximum 6 participants. We can run smaller groups (2-3 participants) for an additional 150€ per person. 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

Any date on demand

Included

Guide Fees

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

Group Equipment

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

Local Transport

Any local transport that is required during your course.

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.

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.

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.

Day 1 - Single Pitch Ice Climbing

Your first day will be an introduction to ice climbing in an area with mainly single pitches on moderately steep ice falls. There are many excellent locations in the Chamonix valley to do this; La Cremerie in Argentiere, the Col des Montets, Cascade du Chapeau and so on.

The goal is to teach you how to use the equipment, and to use it safely. Your guide will also show you the different basic climbing techniques and you might start to lead a few easy pitches. This is a relatively gentle day to prepare you for the week ahead.

Days 2-5 - Multi-Pitch Ice Climbing

During the following days, you'll be taken to different areas to climb multi-pitch routes.

Your mountain guide will choose the climbing venue according to the weather conditions and the capacities of the group.

You'll be working on protections placement, rope work, and climbing technique. The aim is to equip you to climb moderately difficult ice falls independently by the end of the course.

Ice climbing in Chamonix
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

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

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.