Intro to Alpine Climbing

What defines "alpine climbing"? Alpine climbing is movement over varied terrain on a variety of mediums including snow, rock and ice. The alpine world is most commonly thought of as anything above tree line, but it is so much more than that. Vast, complex glacier travel, lonely alpine rock climbs, steep ice gullies, and big peaks are just to mention a few worlds we enter in the alpine.

Come discover your love for Alpine Climbing with Borealis Mountain Guides!


2016 Course Dates:

Dates to be determined. They will be located in Chamonix, France.

We also offer custom dates for this 6 day course. Get in touch with us if specific dates work best for you!


2:1 Ratio

Take note of our small ratio of two students to one instructor. Most "Intro to Alpine" courses run at a much higher ratio of 5:1. While that does allow for a less expensive course, we believe that the quality of our small ratio will shine. The smaller ratio allows us to move quicker in complex terrain, opens up the opportunity for climbing more technical routes, provides you with more hands on learning, and a more personal experience.

Itinerary

While each day has learning outcomes, we believe that alpine climbing is best learned doing just that, alpine climbing. So while some days will have sections of more structured lessons, we try to make movement through the terrain, and on route a big part of the day.

Day 1: We spend the first day teaching and/or reviewing the basic building blocks of climbing to make sure the fundamentals are understood. We usually go to the local crag, Les Gaillands.

  • Knots (overhand family, figure 8 family, butterfly, flat overhand, water knot, double fisherman, stopper knot)
  • Hitches (prusik, clove, munter, autoblock, klemheist)
  • Overview of hard and soft goods (equipment care, understanding application and limitations)
  • Belaying
  • Lowering
  • Rappelling
  • Climbing techniques
  • Rock anchors

Day 2: One of the beauties of Chamonix, is that instead of wasting learning time approaching the snow as we do in some parts of the world, instead we get on a tram and ride up to the snow, either at Les Grands Montets or the Aiguille du Midi.

  • Cramponing technique
  • Ice axe use
  • Self Arrest
  • Snow anchors
  • Roped glacier travel

Day 3: We head back up a tram to find some crevasses to learn in and around.

  • Crevasse Rescue
  • Ice climbing

Days 4 - 6: We take the skills learned on days 1 - 3 and apply them to routes that fit everyones abilities and the best conditions. Options include:

  • Aiguille du Peigne
  • Cosmiques Arête
  • Aiguille de l'M
  • Aiguille du Tour
  • Aiguille du Chardonnet arête Forbes

cost $2000 (USD)

sign up for a course!