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A2

Summer Alpine Climbing Course – Level 2

NEW COURSE FOR 2018

The Mountain Progression Course is designed as a follow up to our Level 1 course, or as continued education and practice for alpinists with some experience. The move toward autonomy in the high mountains and towards more committing and technically difficult mountaineering are the focus of this week. Our UIAGM mountain guides accompany you along the way, with custom tailored route selection and personal attention. You develop more quickly, safely, and can look forward to climbing the Alps’ bigger routes. 

There is a particular emphasis on pedagogy- your progress as an alpinist is our priority. You’ll learn new, more intricate techniques to complement your alpine portfolio. Special attention to safety, efficiency, and the correct application of given techniques on different types of terrain. Ice, rock, mixed, and steep snow, as well as safe glacier travel and crevasse rescue are included in the cursus- a well rounded, advanced alpine experience for students of the mountains! The ratio of client to guide is reduced to 1 guide per 2 clients from the 2nd day forward to insure you get the best possible tutorship during the week.


Course Content/ Objectives:

  • Refinement of rock, snow, ice and mixed techniques
  • Correct tying and appropriate use of essential climbing knots
  • Correct use of the rope on the glacier, rock arète/ crests, climbing a bergschrund, and pulley systems used in crevasse rescue
  • Recognizing placement, building and using anchors in varied terrain types (ice, snow, rock)- deadman and special anchors
  • Installing and descending rappels in autonomy, with the use of a prussik on multi-pitch climbs 
  • Placement and removal of “natural” or “traditional” protection (cams, wired nuts, ice screws)
  • Course planning, analysis of the weather forecast and mountain conditions, evaluation of group ability
  • Gear choice adapted to the chosen objective and preparation of the backpack
  • Risk assessment in the mountains and good decision making
  • Orientation, choosing an itinerary and reading the terrain in the field 

 

Description

Level requirements

This is the logical follow up to our Level 1 Mountain Progression course, or for participants with some experience in the mountains, without necessarily having already lead a climb or an excursion in the mountains. The basics concepts, some previous training, and prior use of material (rock shoes, crampons, ice axe) in rock climbing, ice climbing and general mountaineering are prerequisite. One should be able to follow French grade 5 on rock (5.8+), grade 4 ice, and up to M3 or French AD+ in the mountains. Appropriate physical conditioning is needed – the ability to move in the mountains for 6-8 hours at a regular, sustained pace without excessive suffering, over the week’s duration. 

Guide/Client Ratio:

Day 1- 1:4

Day 2- 1:2

Day 3- 1:2

Day 4- 1:2

Day 5- 1:2

Price

1390€

Price per person for minimum 2 and maximum 4 participants. If you prefer a private course, please contatct us for the price. 

Course Dates

2017
Start Date End Date Spaces
Sep 04 Sep 08 4
Sep 11 Sep 15 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)

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

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

Lift passes

To keep the itinerary flexible, we do not include the lift passes in the course price. We will advise you what lift passes you will need on day to day basis and organise them for you. The total price will vary depending on the weather, conditions and the selected climbs (about 200€ maximum). 

Insurance

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

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.

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.

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.

The course itinerary is an example of a typical week with good weather, sound conditions, and fit, able clients. The guides will change plans depending on the weather, client aptitude and ambition, and the current state of the mountains if needed.  

Arrival Day

Rendez-vous the evening before the week starts in the Chamex office to meet the guide. The week’s program will be presented, and any questions will be answered to insure a smooth start to the course. 

Day 1

Rock climbing at the Brevent! Working on rock climbing technique, rappel (abseil) method, and the placement and removal of natural, traditional protection are the basics for the first day. Facing the Mount Blanc, there are few places better suited, and with better views, than the Brevent. Rope use/ organization and familiarization with the skills needed for lead climbing, climbing single and multi pitch routes, rappels and climbing technique are on the agenda. 

Day 2

The client to guide ratio is reduced to 1:2. This allows you more personalized instruction, and to climb more difficult and committing routes. (For example- the Cheré Gully on the Triangle du Tacul) The emphasis is on ice and mixed terrain, accessed from the Aiguille du Midi.  Practicing your ice and mixed skills, under the eye of your guide for learning maximum efficiency in the alpine domain. A review of previously learned material (protection placement, rappels) and safe glacier travel tactics are practiced. 

Day 3

Rock climbing on Chamonix’s famous granite! Traditional climbing requires the team to have the ability to recognize when and where to use the appropriate material. A multi pitch route like the Nabot Léon on Aiguille de Blaitière or Normal route of Aiguille du Peigne is a great classroom. Gear selection, organization, and application on the best cracks and slabs in the valley make for a great learning day on some of the best, most storied alpine rock in the world. The skills from the previous day’s outings are also revisited. 

Day 4

You’re off on a big route, with a night in a high mountain hut. Decision making and course planning with your guide, as well as participation in the evaluation of the conditions and the weather forecast for help you learn to choose an appropriate route. On the way to the hut we cover glacier rescue skills (pulley systems and fixed rope climbing, snow anchors, step by step course of action) and any other elements not yet seen or needing repetition or perfection. Course timing, map skills, gear necessary, and the day’s strategy – all parts of effectuating a safe, successful alpine climb.

Day 5

The Mt Blanc range hosts a plethora of great mixed routes for all abilities.

You finish your week with a long mixed route in the mountains- a culmination of the week’s efforts, a challenging, fun route and a beautiful summit. (ex. Arète de Flèche Rousse on the Aiguille d’Argentiere) The challenges involved in the ascent of a big alpine itinerary are all present- route finding, timing, glacier travel, mixed climbing, long technical descent- a fitting finale and the ultimate, logical application of the week’s course content. Your guide will supervise, coach and tailor your ascent. A beer and a debrief back in Chamonix to top off a great week- enjoy a rest day, and start planning the next trip!!   

Clothing

Mountaineering boots

Mountaineering boots

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

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

Pair of technical ice axes

Pair of technical ice axes

Ice climbing crampons

Ice climbing crampons

Crampons

Crampons

20-30 litres rucksack

20-30 litres rucksack

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