Winter Alpine Course
Chamonix is one of the best places to explore the world of winter alpine climbing.
This course is designed for those with no previous winter mountaineering experience or for those who want to refresh their existing summer skills and get an introduction to winter climbing in the Alps. The course is run with small groups, allowing for flexibility to adjust the level to each participant as much as possible.
The course will focus on the following four main areas: Mixed Alpine Climbing, Ice Climbing, Glacier Travel and Avalanche Awareness.
You will start 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 smaller groups. You will have a day's ice climbing and a day in the high mountains and put your new found skills to work with some mixed climbing.
The last two days of the course we operate in even smaller groups which allows us to access more technical ice climbing routes and a chance to try out lead climbing. You may also get a chance to do a longer, more technical winter route.
The locations used will be decided by your guides based on where the best conditions are at the time, possibilities include the Chamonix Valley, Trient in Switzerland and Cognes in Italy.
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 tour you need to be happy doing a 6-8 hour hike in the mountains without being destroyed the next day.
Click on the link on the right to download the full course itinerary.
Handy Hints from Mountain Base
- Get your fitness levels up before you arrive, you'll get much more out of the course if you do.
- If you don't have all the kit you can buy or rent anything you need in Chamonix, have a look at the kit list on the right to see what you'll need.
- Take plenty of small but energy-loaded snacks - this is a physical course and being active in the cold can make you hungrier than usual!