Training in Alpine Mountaineering. 3 day Course.

Course Aims: The aim of this instructional course is to deliver the skills necessary for self-reliance when travelling in alpine terrain. It is a hands-on instructional course where you will have the opportunity to lead your own rope on suitable alpine terrain. If you enjoy being in the mountains but lack the confidence to lead alpine routes or just want to improve your safety margins, efficiency, and speed then this course is for you.

Cost and Ratio: Sfr700 (1:3 ratio per guide minimum), plus hut half pension (approx. sfr75 x 2), picnics and lift pass at Champex (sfr20).

Dates:   Course 1. Friday 9th Saturday 10th Sunday 11th July 2021
              Course 2. Friday 16th Saturday 17th Sunday 18th July 2021
              Course 3. Sunday 25th Monday 26th Tuesday 27th July 2021
              Course 4. Friday 7th Saturday 8th Sunday 9th August 2021

Experience Required: You will need to be able to rock climb to grade 5 (in rock shoes) or grade 3 in mountain boots and have a good level of fitness such as being able to sustain a 300m per hour climb rate.

Venue: The course will be based at the Orny and Trient hut as this is an ideal venue for alpine training having excellent rocky alpine ridges and a glaciated setting. We shall meet at Champex Lac (Valais)

The skills we aim to cover are:

Movement over rough terrain, scrambling and rock climbing
Safety of steep terrain, rock climbing, anchors, belaying techniques, abseiling, prussiking
Axe and crampon technique on ice and snow.
Alpine ridge climbing techniques, body coils and hand coils, short rope, long rope, pitches and the judgement of where and when to apply these techniques.
Glacier travel, crevasse rescue, route finding and crevasse avoidance
Navigation and interpreting the guidebook. Planning your day


Day 1. 9am. Meet at Champex Lac take the lift and walk to the Orny hut (3hrs). The afternoon will be spent looking at movement over rock. Knots, belaying, anchors, body coils, hand coils, abseiling. The evening will be look at navigation skills in the hut. We shall spend the night at the Orny hut.

Day 2. The morning will be spent on alpine ridge climbing, short roping/ long roping /pitching and abseiling on the Aiguille d’Arpette. The afternoon we shall look at glacier travel and crevasse rescue on route to the Trient hut where we shall spend the night.

Day 3. A day to climb the Aiguille du Tour (3540m, 3hrs) and an opportunity to put these skills into practice.  We traverse the glaciated Trient plateau to climb the rocky ridge of the Aiguille du Tour which needs glacier travel, short roping and pitching skills to summit. We descend to Champex lac for a course debrief.


Photos of students on this course with me, although in different locations…