The advanced winter mountaineering programme is designed for mountaineers inclined to learn and improve their alpine climbing skills and who have interest in climbing harder routes, either mixed climbs, ice climbs or gullies at high altitude.

Low guiding ratio
These courses are run in 1:2 guiding ratio to allow fast learning progress, flexibility and more technical climbs.
Small groups
Groups of maximum 4 participants per course allow flexibility, personal approach and faster learning.
Advanced safety skills
You will learn advanced safety skills such as hazard recognition and evaluation, trip planning and group management.

WINTER MOUNTAINEERING COURSE CHAMONIX - LEVEL 2

Advanced Winter Mountaineering - 5 Days of Alpinism in the Mont Blanc Massif

From 1,350.00€

Price per person for groups of minimum 2 and maximum 4 participants. 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.

   

Intermediate tech level

 

5 days course

 

Guiding ratio 1:2

 

Groups of 4 maximum

 

Available December - April

Our Chamonix advanced winter alpine climbing course is the second level of our winter mountaineering programme. Following on from the success of our introduction to winter mountaineering course and listening to our clients' recommendations, we decided to create a more challenging and advanced course for more experienced climbers.

If you want to explore the Chamonix valley and climb some serious ascents in the Mont Blanc Massif, this course is designed for you. Our advanced winter mountaineering course is based on a 1:2 ratio (one guide to two clients) for the full five days, so you are not limited in difficulty and choice of routes. Over five days we cover ice climbing, mixed climbing (rock and ice), snow and ice gullies, use of protection in these types of terrain, and safety techniques.

If all members of the group are good skiers it is possible that we can offer access to some of the areas on skis, in order to save time and energy!

 

Learning Outcomes

  • Trip planning  (selection of appropriate itinerary, weather forecast, etc). 
  • Hazard evaluation (cornices, seracs, avalanche, rock fall, bergschrunds)
  • Selection and preparation of the right equipment. 
  • Route finding on multi-pitch climbs
  • Building of belays and rope work during the ascent team work (communication and efficiency)
  • Advanced techniques in ice/mixed/ rock climbing. How to climb fast and efficiently
  • Safety techniques for fast and secure abseiling (communication, use of prussic, building / selecting appropriate anchors)
  • Retreat techniques
  • Lot of fun climbing

Level Requirements

Technical level and experience

This course is for those who have already done some summer or winter alpine climbing. As well as a good level of fitness you should have the following experience:

  • Basic rope work skills (e.g. knots, how to belay and rappel, etc.)
  • Basic crampon and ice axe skills
  • At least 5 multi-pitch routes in either sport or traditional climbing
  • At least one day of ice climbing
  • At least one alpine route (summer or winter)

For the climbing experience above, the grades are not important and lead climbing is not required.

Fitness level

It is essential that you are physically very fit. You will be expected to climb fairly long routes and have enough strength left to descend back to the valley. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need advice about how to train and prepare for this course.

Preparation

We recommend taking our Winter Alpine Climbing Introduction Course, our 5 Day Ice Climbing Course or one of our summer alpine climbing courses prior to this course.

Additional Services

Airport transfers

We can help you to organise your transport to/from Chamonix. We work with well established airport transfer companies using new and comfortable vehicles, with the capacity and know-how to handle everything from delayed and cancelled flights, to unexpected traffic jams with professionalism and efficiency.

To book your transfer, we will need the following: 

  • Full name 
  • Mobile phone number 
  • Email address 
  • Your destination address 
  • Flight details (date, time and flight number)
Shared transfers

This is the most economic and ecologically friendly way of travel. The driver will meet and greet you at the airport, gather you and the rest of the passenger group together and then head off to your chosen destination. The door-to-door service means that you will be dropped off and picked up right at your hotel /chalet / apartment. From 40€ per person for one way and 80€ per person for a return trip.

Private transfers

Private Transfers are the quickest way to get to and from the airport. Your driver will meet and greet you at the airport and guide you to your vehicle. There is no waiting for other passengers. Private transfers are available for one to eight person bookings and travelling together and you are guaranteed sole occupancy of the vehicle for your transfer. And, of course, it's a door to door service, so you won't be lugging any bags very far. 250€ per car for one way and 500€ per car for a return trip.

Mountain rescue insurance

We don’t include mountain rescue insurance in any of our courses but we strongly recommend that you have it. Mountain rescue may be very expensive, particularly if helicopters are involved. Check with your travel insurance provider if you are covered for the specific activity you are going to do with us.

However, we can organise the mountain rescue insurance for you. The cost is 8€ per person per day for EU residents and 12€ per person per day for non-EU residents. Details of the insurance cover are different for EU and non-EU residents; please contact us for more information.

Equipment hire

We highly recommend that you book any equipment with us at least 2 weeks in advance as the hire shops can have limited availability in the busy season.

You can collect your equipment the evening before the start of the course and return it in the evening at the end of your course. We work with the Concept Pro Shop that is conveniently located directly next door from our office. Open 7/7 08:00-19:00

Accommodation in Chamonix

If you wish to book accommodation in Chamonix we would be happy to recommend some local hotels, gites, self-catered apartments, or chalets and advise on the best locations. Please contact us if you would like help finding accommodation in Chamonix.

Itinerary

Advanced Winter Mountaineering Itinerary

Please note that the itinerary proposed below is an example of what can be done in ideal conditions. Your mountain guide will carry out a daily assessment of the conditions and your capabilities to decide on the best routes to climb. You will meet with your mountain guide and the other members of your group on the evening before the course starts. The purpose of this meeting is for you to ask any questions you may have regarding the course and to verify that you have all the equipment required.

Day 1 - Mixed Climbing in Argentiere

We might start off the course by climbing a snow and ice gully next to the Argentière glacier. Your mountain guide will pick a good spot to review your technique. This will be a little refresher of your climbing skills on a multi-pitch route, with your guide instructing and giving you help when needed. It is also the perfect day to discuss the hazard evaluation and trip planning. 

Day 2 - Ice Climbing in Cogne

Today we head through the Mont Blanc tunnel to one of Europe's best ice climbing spots in Cogne, Italy. This will be a great day to improve your anchoring techniques and your body position while climbing steep sections. Your guide will teach you how to stay safe on belays and abseiling.

Day 3 - Ice Climbing in Montriond

Today we will climb a long multi-pitch ice route in the nearby region of Montriond, where there are many frozen cascades to choose from amongst the gorges and beside the lake.

Day 4 - Aiguille du Midi

Two days of climbing with an overnight stay in a mountain hut awaits us. We start by taking the Aiguille du Midi cable car up to the top and then traversing across to the Goulotte de la Passerelle ice gully. After a day of high altitude climbing, we spend the night in the Cosmiques refuge.

Day 5 - Mont Blanc du Tacul

We finish our course with a stunning route up Modica Noury, a beautiful icy gully up on the east face of Mont-Blanc du Tacul. We return to Chamonix at the end of the day for a celebratory drink together!

Included or not

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.

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

Accommodation in Chamonix

Accommodation in Chamonix is not included in the price but we would be happy to advise or organise it on request.

Insurance

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

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.

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.

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

Gaiters

Gaiters

Thin gloves

Thin gloves

Technical gear

Ice Axe

Ice Axe

Harness

Harness

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

Pair of technical ice axes

Pair of technical ice axes

Ice climbing crampons

Ice climbing crampons

Snowshoes

Snowshoes

Telescopic poles

Telescopic poles

Safety Equipment

Avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe

Avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe

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

Related courses

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