This course is dedicated to climbers and alpinists with some previous experience in climbing on ice. The goal is to advance your climbing technique and safety skills on ice.

ICE CLIMBING PERFORMANCE COURSE

4 days of ice climbing in Chamonix and the Aosta valley

From 1,295.00€

Price per person for groups of minimum 2 participants. 

View Dates
   

Intermediate tech level

 

4 days of climbing and tuition

 

Guide ratio 1:2

 

2 nights in a 2* hotel

 

Available December - January

Four days of ice climbing with an alpine guide. We want to make ice climbing safe, fun, and challenging. The guides will share their experience and knowledge with an emphasis on teaching the techniques you can use to progress not only in terms of climbing technique but also in terms of trip planning, rope work, safety skills and risk management.

The emphasis will be on your personal progression as an ice climber, while getting the maximum amount of time on the ice and enjoying the classic, scenic, and countless frozen waterfalls in the Chamonix and Aosta areas. 

The goal is to become more comfortable on ice, learn the intricacies of evaluating conditions and choosing routes, and learn to place ice screws, lead safely, manage ropes, and organize belays, anchors, and descents (rappels or walk-off…)

We will split the course between Chamonix and the neighboring Aosta Valley, Italy. As with any mountain-based itinerary, your UIAGM guide will select the best places to optimize available conditions to suit the group’s needs.  

Your trip starts with a “warm” up day around Chamonix. The focus will be on getting all the equipment sorted, finding any potential problems, and organizing the group for the rest of the week. Ice climbing technique and safe belaying skills are taught.  As ice climbing requires specific gear, it’s best to sort everything out close to town, where any missing or poorly fit equipment may be bought/ changed. The ratio on the first day is 1:4, and the guide can evaluate abilities and formulate a plan for the following days.

More ice! The guide to client ratio drops to 1:2 from day 2 - assuring maximum safety and a tailored itinerary and personal instruction to allow you to progress safely and quickly. As the week progresses each day will look to repeat learned skills and add new techniques specific to ice. The goal will be to develop your skills to the point of leading an ice climb (for those who wish to do so!) and get as many miles on ice as possible to perfect your swings and kicks. We’ll also look at descending routes with rappels or on foot, and examine the various objective hazards specific to ice (avalanches, falling ice, and temperature changes). At the end of the week climbers should be well rounded in the basic aspects of ice climbing, and tired!  

Learning Outcomes

  • Familiarization with the tools necessary for climbing ice. (From proper layering to ice tools, ropes, ice screws, etc.)
  • Correct belay and rappel technique, and the special needs in the winter environment (ice and snow on the ropes, danger of falling ice) 
  • Climbing technique - Ice axe swing, reading the ice to find good tool placements, managing stress and fatigue, footwork, strategies for confronting delicate conditions 
  • Leading ice! Placing safe screws, finding good ice, route finding, rope skills, and organizing anchors on ice screws
  • Descent planning and organizing the ropes for rappels or walk off descents, managing wet or icy ropes and the nuances specific to winter mountaineering
  • Planning an ascent. Using available resources to determine where and when to climb.

Level Requirements

Technical level

You have to have previous experience in climbing with crampons and ice axes (alpinism or ice climbing) for this course. This is the logical follow-up to our introduction to ice climbing courses or for clients with experience on alpine summits or week-long alpine courses. 

Physical fitness

You have to have good level of physical fitness. Ice climbing is a relatively athletic activity and spending full days outside in a cold environment is physically tiring.

Itinerary

Arrival day

Evening meeting in the Chamex office with your UIAGM mountain guide and the other members of the group to discuss logistics and work out any needs for equipment rental or purchase. 

Day 1 – refresher day and 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, Vallorcine, Cascade du Chapeau and so on. We will use this day to evaluate the group level and refresh the basics such as belaying & rope work. A “sample” day to prepare for the rest of the week and to familiarize the group with the gear and the general environment. This is a relatively gentle day to prepare you for the week ahead.

Days 2-4 - Multi-Pitch Ice Climbing

During the following days, guide to client ratio will be 1:2 to help to customize your experience. In small groups we can move more efficiently and focus on your specific needs. 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.

Dates

Ice Climbing Performance Course dates - 2018

Start date Spaces
Price from
 
December 20, 2018
G
1,295.00€
December 27, 2018
2
1,295.00€
L
   Limited Availability
F
Fully Booked
G
Guaranteed
2
Two More to Guarantee

Ice Climbing Performance Course dates - 2019

Start date Spaces
Price from
 
January 03, 2019
2
1,295.00€
January 10, 2019
2
1,295.00€
January 17, 2019
2
1,295.00€
January 24, 2019
2
1,295.00€
January 31, 2019
2
1,295.00€
February 07, 2019
2
1,295.00€
L
   Limited Availability
F
Fully Booked
G
Guaranteed
2
Two More to Guarantee

Included or not

Included

Accommodation (half-board)

2 nights accommodation in a hotel with breakfast and dinner included.

Guide fee - 4 days

4 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 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

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 personalised 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 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.

Equipment

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

3 x Screwgate carabiner

3 x Screwgate carabiner

Belay device

Belay device

Climbing helmet

Climbing helmet

Snowshoes

Snowshoes

Pair of technical ice axes

Pair of technical ice axes

Ice climbing crampons

Ice climbing crampons

25-30 litres rucksack

25-30 litres rucksack

Lanyard

Lanyard

60 cm tape sling or cordelette for prusik

60 cm tape sling or cordelette for prusik

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

Towel

Towel

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