The Mountain Progression Course is designed as a follow on from our Level 1 course, or as continued education and practice for alpinists with prior experience.
Fully qualified English & French speaking guides ensuring optimum safety & expert tuition
Allowing you to tackle more technical ascents to progress & build on your existing skill set
Follow in the footsteps of many of the world's most famous climbers, in the birth place of modern Alpinism
The move toward autonomy in the high mountains and towards more committing and technically difficult mountaineering are the focus of this week. Our UIAGM mountain guides accompany you along the way, with custom tailored route selection and personal attention. You develop more quickly, safely, and can look forward to climbing the Alps’ bigger routes.
There is a particular emphasis on pedagogy- your progress as an alpinist is our priority. You’ll learn new, more intricate techniques to complement your alpine portfolio. Special attention to safety, efficiency, and the correct application of given techniques on different types of terrain. Ice, rock, mixed, and steep snow, as well as safe glacier travel and crevasse rescue are included in the course - a well rounded, advanced alpine experience for students of the mountains! The ratio of client to guide is reduced to 1 guide per 2 clients from the 2nd day forward to insure you get the best possible tutorship during the week.
Price per person for minimum 2 and maximum 4 participants. If you prefer a private course, please contatct us for the price.View Dates
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The course itinerary is an example of a typical week with good weather, sound conditions, and fit, able clients. The guides will change plans depending on the weather, client aptitude and ambition, and the current state of the mountains if needed.
Rendez-vous the evening before the week starts in the Chamex office to meet the guide. The week’s program will be presented, and any questions will be answered to insure a smooth start to the course.
Rock climbing at the Brevent! Working on rock climbing technique, rappel (abseil) method, and the placement and removal of natural, traditional protection are the basics for the first day. Facing the Mount Blanc, there are few places better suited, and with better views, than the Brevent. Rope use/ organization and familiarization with the skills needed for lead climbing, climbing single and multi pitch routes, rappels and climbing technique are on the agenda.
The client to guide ratio is reduced to 1:2. This allows you more personalized instruction, and to climb more difficult and committing routes. (For example- the Cheré Gully on the Triangle du Tacul) The emphasis is on ice and mixed terrain, accessed from the Aiguille du Midi. Practicing your ice and mixed skills, under the eye of your guide for learning maximum efficiency in the alpine domain. A review of previously learned material (protection placement, rappels) and safe glacier travel tactics are practiced.
Rock climbing on Chamonix’s famous granite! Traditional climbing requires the team to have the ability to recognize when and where to use the appropriate material. A multi pitch route like the Nabot Léon on Aiguille de Blaitière or Normal route of Aiguille du Peigne is a great classroom. Gear selection, organization, and application on the best cracks and slabs in the valley make for a great learning day on some of the best, most storied alpine rock in the world. The skills from the previous day’s outings are also revisited.
You’re off on a big route, with a night in a high mountain hut. Decision making and course planning with your guide, as well as participation in the evaluation of the conditions and the weather forecast for help you learn to choose an appropriate route. On the way to the hut we cover glacier rescue skills (pulley systems and fixed rope climbing, snow anchors, step by step course of action) and any other elements not yet seen or needing repetition or perfection. Course timing, map skills, gear necessary, and the day’s strategy – all parts of effectuating a safe, successful alpine climb.
The Mt Blanc range hosts a plethora of great mixed routes for all abilities.
You finish your week with a long mixed route in the mountains- a culmination of the week’s efforts, a challenging, fun route and a beautiful summit. (ex. Arète de Flèche Rousse on the Aiguille d’Argentiere) The challenges involved in the ascent of a big alpine itinerary are all present- route finding, timing, glacier travel, mixed climbing, long technical descent- a fitting finale and the ultimate, logical application of the week’s course content. Your guide will supervise, coach and tailor your ascent. A beer and a debrief back in Chamonix to top off a great week- enjoy a rest day, and start planning the next trip!!
This is the logical follow up to our Level 1 Alpine Climbing course. It is also designed for participants with some mountaineering experience, without necessarily having already led a climb or an excursion in the mountains. A basic knowledge, some previous training, and prior use of equipment (rock shoes, crampons, ice axe) in rock climbing, ice climbing and general mountaineering are prerequisite. One should be able to follow French grade 5 on rock (US 5.8+), grade 4 on ice, and up to M3 or French AD+ in the mountains. Appropriate physical fitness is needed – the ability to move in the mountains for 6-8 hours at a regular, sustained pace without excessive suffering, over the week’s duration.
Fleece or woollen layers
Light puffer jacket
Windproof and waterproof jacket
Windproof and waterproof trousers
Screwgate carabiner x 3
Pair of technical ice axes
Ice climbing crampons
25-30 litres rucksack
60 cm tape sling or cordelette for prusik
Water bottle - Ideally two 1L bottles
Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)
Headlamp with fresh batteries
Lightweight sleeping bag - summer season
Lightweight footwear to wear in mountain huts
Please see the list of recommended equipment on the other tab. Most technical equipment can be rented here in Chamonix, please contact us if you would like prices and advice on whatever you need. Chamonix has dozens of outdoor shops selling everything from basic head torches to expedition standard sleeping bags, so whatever you don't already have you can find it here.
We highly recommend that you take out specific insurance for mountain activities. This will cover you for search and rescue services, evacuation by helicopter and emergency medical treatment. You should also make sure that you have adequate travel insurance that covers you for the usual things such as cancelled flights, lost luggage, hospital treatment, etc. Please contact us to organise mountain rescue insurance for your trip.
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.
We can help you to organise your transport to/from Chamonix. We work with well-established airport transfer companies which use new and comfortable vehicles and which have the capacity and know-how to handle everything from delayed and cancelled flights, to unexpected traffic jams with professionalism and efficiency.
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 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.
UIAGM / IFMGA qualified mountain guides with years of experience in guiding all around the world.
610 Route Blanche