Winter Alpine Course Chamonix Introduction - Level 1

Winter Introduction to Alpine Climbing in Chamonix - 5 Day Course

Chamonix is one of the best places to explore the world of winter alpinism - world-famous climbing routes and stunning high altitude terrain make the Mont Blanc Massif the dream destination for all mountaineers.

The Chamonix Experience winter alpine climbing course is designed for those with no previous winter mountaineering experience or for those who want to refresh their existing summer alpine climbing skills and get an introduction to winter climbing in the Alps.

You will learn essential mountaineering skills such as mixed alpine climbing, ice climbing, glacier travel and avalanche awareness - all amongst the spectacular peaks of the Mont Blanc Massif.

All aspects of the course will be carried out under the instruction of our fully qualified and experienced UIAGM mountain guides; they will teach you how to use equipment such as ropes, harnesses, ice axes, crampons and avalanche transceivers.

Our background in mountain rescue (PGHM Chamonix) means that safety is our highest priority and we will pass our expert knowledge on to you, teaching you how to assess your surroundings and explore the mountains safely.

Our winter alpine climbing course is run with small groups; this allows for flexibility to adjust the level to each participant as much as possible.

If 5 days is more than you are looking for then take a look at our shorter 3 day ice climbing course, or consider a day trip such as the Cosmiques Arete or the Petite Aiguille Verte - both classic Chamonix alpine routes.

More experienced climbers may be interested in our Advanced Winter Mountaineering Course - 5 days of serious ascents over all types of high alpine terrain in the Mont Blanc Massif and surrounding area.

The course will focus on the following four main areas:

Mixed Alpine Climbing Ice Climbing Glacier Travel Avalanche Awareness

The 5 day course starts with a skills day to introduce and refresh glacier travel techniques, ice axe technique, using crampons on steep snow and ice, crevasse rescue and avalanche awareness.

Over the next two days you will be operating in small groups and putting your new found skills to work with a day of ice climbing and a day of mixed climbing in the high mountains of the Mont Blanc Massif.

The last two days of the course will be carried out in even smaller groups, allowing us to access more technical ice climbing routes and giving you the chance to try out lead climbing.  You may also get a chance to do a longer, more technical winter route, depending on weather conditions and the decision of your mountain guide.

The locations used will be decided by your mountain guides based on where the best conditions are at the time; Chamonix is in a fantastic location right on the French/Swiss/Italian border giving us many possibilities including the Chamonix Valley, Trient in Switzerland and Cognes in Italy.

Level requirements

No previous mountaineering skills are required to join this course. Rock climbing, hill walking and summer mountaineering experience are all helpful but not required. The small ratios enable participants to progress very quickly.

You do, however, need to have a high level of fitness. To enjoy this course you need to be happy doing a 6-8 hour hike in the mountains without being destroyed the next day.  The fitter you are, the more you will get out of the course. This is a course for people who want to learn and you will be expected to show initiative - it'll be challenging but a lot of fun!