Advance your safety and rope work skills to become independent when climbing over mixed terrain of rock, snow and ice. This is a course for those who wish to become fully independent alpine climbers.

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 3

Plan your climb, find your route and advance your mountain safety skills

From 1,495.00€

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.

   

Advanced tech level

 

5 days course

 

1 night in a mountain hut

 

Guiding ratio 1:2

 

Groups of 4 maximum

 

Available December - April

NEW FOR 2022

Our Chamonix advanced winter alpine climbing course is the third level of our progressive winter mountaineering program. 

Following on from the success of our two previous levels of winter mountaineering courses and listening to our clients' recommendations, we decided to create a more challenging and advanced course for more experienced climbers.  

You will learn and practice how to plan and lead your own climbs. We will cover skills such as understanding the guidebook, choosing the appropriate route, consulting the weather forecast and conditions, selecting the right equipment, route finding and advanced safety and rope skills for lead climbing. Climbing rescue and emergency retreat techniques will be also practiced. At all times you will be guided and secured by your guide. 

Our advanced winter mountaineering course is based on small guiding ratios: one guide for four climbers on day 1 (the refresher day), then one guide for two clients for the rest of the course (four days), so you are not limited in difficulty and choice of routes. The small ratio allows more personalised and dynamic instruction and guiding. 

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

Do not hesitate to contact us if our existing course dates are not convenient for you. We will be happy to customise a set of dates according to your holiday plans.


Guiding ratios:

D1 1:4
D2 1:2
D3 1:2
D4 1:2
D5 1:2

Itinerary

As the course includes technical climbing with specific training in terrain that changes during the winter season, this itinerary is just an example. The exact itinerary will be decided during the course depending on the weather forecast, conditions and the overall level and progress of the group. Your mountain guide will carry out a daily assessment of the conditions and your capabilities to decide on the best routes to climb.

Arrival day

You will meet with your mountain guide and the other members of your group on the evening before the course starts. The exact time will be communicated to you by an email few days prior the course. 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 – Refresher day

Your guide will check what skills you already know and are confident at and what skills you need to know but are unsure or not very familiar with. You will practice those skills to gain the full confidence. We will go to one of Chamonix ice climbing areas to do the training.

Day 2 – Mixed climbing La Flegere

La Flegere and the Index area offer a great terrain to practice mixed climbing, ridge climbing, route finding and the protection placement. You will learn the short and long rope skills and climb a fun route. 

You will also start planning your climb for the day 5. There will be one aspect of the trip planning covered every day. 

Day 3 - Aiguille du Midi

Today is designated to the hazard evaluation and rope / climbing skills, which increase efficiency while climbing. You will learn the various tricks, which prevent a potential rope drag. This is also a great terrain to practice quick swapping between short rope and long rope techniques. 

Day 4 – Day 5 Overnight climb with night in Torino hut

The 4th day will be dedicated to safety skills such as the climbing rescue and emergency retreat techniques. The evening in the hut will be dedicated to the final stages of the climb planning for the next day. 

Finally, you will climb the route your team have chosen and planned for. Your trip planning will be supervised by your guide and you will be always secured during the climb. This is a great exercise putting together all the mountaineering skills you have learned until now. 

We return to Chamonix at the end of the day for a celebratory drink together!

Learning Outcomes

We will teach you how plan your climb from picking the appropriate route, consulting the weather forecast and conditions, reading the guide book, preparing the equipment, finding the route and climbing it. At all times you will be guided and secured by your guide.

Trip planning and climbing

  • Selection of appropriate objective and itinerary in relation to the weather forecast, conditions,and abilities of the team
  • How to plan for and what to consider when aiming for committed routes (where you can not turn back but you have to complete the entire climb)
  • How to chose the right equipment
  • Navigation
  • Techniques to reduce rope drag, climbing long pitches vs short pitches and appropriate belay techniques
  • Time keeping and decision making when to turn back

Safety skills

  • Hazard evaluation (cornices, seracs, avalanche, rock fall, bergschrunds)
  • Maximising safety and efficiency while climbing (especially on easy terrain), keeping in mind safety of the second on the rope
  • Short roping and efficiency in swapping between short and long rope, the relevant knots
  • Safety techniques for fast and secure abseiling (communication, use of prussic, building / selecting appropriate anchors)
  • Retreat techniques and climbing rescue

Level Requirements

This course is designed for climbers who completed our Winter Mountaineering L2 course. If you did not complete this course, you must possess the following skills: 

Technical level and experience

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

  • Multi pitch rope work skills (e.g. the essential climbing knots, how to belay your lead climber and how to safely rappel, etc.) 
  • Good experience in mixed climbing and be comfortable on AD grades
  • At least 5 multi-pitch rock routes in either sport or traditional climbing
  • At least 3 days of ice climbing
  • At least 3 alpine mixed routes (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.

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

Climbing harness

Climbing harness

3 x Screwgate carabiner

3 x 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

Snowshoes

Snowshoes

Telescopic poles

Telescopic poles

Crampons

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

Optional items - Check with us if needed

Ski touring skis

Ski touring skis

Skins

Skins

Ski touring boots

Ski touring boots

Avalanche safety equipment

Avalanche safety equipment

Other essentials

Sunglasses

Sunglasses

Water bottle - Ideally two 1L bottles

Water bottle - Ideally two 1L bottles

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 - lightweight

Sleeping bag liner - lightweight

Included or not

Included

Guide Fees

5 days of guiding and instruction by a UIAGM qualified mountain guide.

Mountain hut

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

Travel insurance including a mountain search and rescue insurance is mandatory on all our trips (we can organise the mountai search and rescue insurance for you on request). We highly advice to have a policy covering the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation. When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

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.

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.

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