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Introduction to Alpine Climbing

Summer Introduction to Alpine Climbing in Chamonix - 6 Day Course

If you have always dreamed of climbing mountains and you don't know where to start, this course is specially designed for you.

Chamonix Experience alpine climbing course is a challenging week of mountaineering, rock climbing and glacier travel in the French Alps. Our professionnal UIAGM/IFMGA mountain guides are here to teach you essential mountaineering techniques for all the different terrain that you can find in the Alps.

By the end of the week you will be familiar with how to safely travel across glaciers, traverse rocky ridges, climb rock faces and tackle steep snowy slopes. You will learn how to use equipment such as ropes, harnesses, ice axes and crampons and how to work as a team to safely plan trips into the mountains.

As well as learning new skills and strengthening existing ones, you will also get to explore some of the classic Chamonix climbing routes and stay overnight in a mountain refuge. A highlight of the course is crossing the high altitude glacial terrain of the Vallee Blanche, one of the most famous alpine routes in the world.

The Chamonix Experience alpine climbing course is a genuine mixture of learning and enjoying great alpine climbs in the Mont Blanc Massif.

Description

This is a hands on week - you’ll be learning as you go. Topics covered will include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • basic rock climbing skills
  • lead climbing
  • setting up anchors
  • abseiling
  • traditional gear placement
  • multi-pitch route climbing
  • rope management
  • safe glacier travel
  • use of ice axe and crampons

You will also learn about route planning, using maps, compasses and analysing weather forecasts to plan and carrying out an overnight trip. If you already have some experience that's great and you will build on what you already know. Our mountain guides will adjust the pace and level of the course to suit the participants.

For the last two days of the course you will be joined by a second guide, this will enable you to climb a more involved route.

       

YETI LODGE

Our courses are based at Yeti Lodge; comfortable, recently renovated chalets in the lovely village of Argentiere at the north end of the Chamonix valley. Yeti Lodge offers beautiful views and a real alpine experience; chalet facilities include hot tub, sauna, wifi connection and secure parking. 

The course accommodation is on a shared basis in twin/double rooms with shared bathrooms. Included in the course package is continental breakfast (freshly baked croissants, pain au chocolate, bread, fruit, cereals, yoghurt, fruit juices and tea/coffee), afternoon tea and three course dinner.

The cost of the course including accommodation at Yeti Lodge and mountaineering equipment is 1765€ per person

Price

1255€

Price quoted above is per person for groups of minimum 4 and maximum 6 participants, excluding accommodation.

We reccommend that you stay at Yeti Lodge. 6 nights at Yeti Lodge with breakfast and dinner brings the total cost for the course to 1765€ per person. Yeti Lodge also provides the following equipment free of charge: crampons, ice axe, harness, helmet.

Course Dates

Any date on demand

Included

Mountain Guide Fees

Our course includes 6 days of guiding and instruction by experienced UIAGM qualified mountain guide.

All our guides have been chosen for their lovely personality and high standard of skills.

Accommodation (half-board)

1 night in a mountain hut with breakfast and dinner included.

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

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.

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.

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.

Arrival in Chamonix

Arrival day and check-in to the Yeti Lodge. Your Chamex mountain guide will come to meet your group in the evening before dinner to go through the plan for the week and answer any questions you may have.

If you've booked rental equipment with us you should pick it up before the meeting, your mountain guide will also check your equipment to ensure that you have everything you need for the course.

Day 1 - Rock Climbing in Chamonix

Today the focus will be on rock climbing on one of the classic Chamonix routes.

You will learn about and practice rock climbing, belay techniques, rope management, abseiling and gear placement.

You will climb second and on lead, under the expert guidance of your mountain guide.

Day 2 - Glacier Training

You will spend today on the glacier learning crampon and ice axe techniques, learning how to place ice screws, setting up belays on ice and perfecting your ice climbing skills.

An alternative option would be to climb Petite Verte at the top of Grands Montets and do the training during the climb. This will depend on weather conditions and the decision of your mountain guide.

Day 3 - Vallee Blanche Traverse

Today we will put our glacier travel skills to practice on a traverse of the world-famous Vallee Blanche.

You will learn how to read the glaciated terrain of the high mountains and what dangers to look out for; your mountain guide will share his expert knowledge of the area with you.

This glacier trek passes under some of the spectacular 4000m peaks surrounding Mont Blanc.

Day 4 - Alpine Climbing & Orientation

Today will be focused on alpine climbing and orientation in the mountains of the Chamonix valley.

You will learn essential rope work and safety techniques to be used in alpine terrain.

Day 5 - Classic Climbing Route & Overnight in a Mountain Hut

In order to practice what you have learned during the first 3 days, your mountain guide will take you on one of the classic climbs of the Alps.

This 2 day adventure might include such routes as:

- Normal route on the Moine
- Flèche Rousse on Aiguille d'Argentière
- Dent du Géant
- Gran Paradiso, Italy

You will spend the night in a mountain refuge and continue climbing the following day.

Day 6 - Classic Climbing Routes

Today you'll wake up bright and early in the mountains and complete a second day of exploring the exceptional alpine terrain of the Chamonix valley with your mountain guide.

You'll return to Argentiere at the end of the day to have dinner and spend the last night with your group.

Leaving Day

The course package ends with breakfast and the chance to say goodbye and swap photos with the other members of your group.

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

Sun hat

Sun hat

Climbing shoes

Climbing shoes

Technical gear

Ice Axe

Ice Axe

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

Crampons

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

Sleeping bag liner

Sleeping bag liner

Dent du Géant, SW Face

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The magnificent steep peak of the Dent du Geant (giant's tooth) is well visible from everywhere in the Mont Blanc region, it is one of the peaks over 4000m in the Mont Blanc Massif. With its summit at 4013m, it offers excellent high altitude granite climbing and great views.

The most accessible and most climbed route is the SW face also known as the Burgener slabs (160m, D- or 4c). This itinerary has been equipped with fixed ropes for those who would struggle over the crux parts.

This climb can be done in one day, taking the first lift to the Punta Helbronner, or as part of multi-day programme with a night at the Torino hut.