People per Guide
Jun, Jul, Sep
Type of Trip
If you are looking to get into the fascinating world of high mountains, I have the perfect programme for you, starting from Chamonix, in France. Join me on this 5-day alpine climbing introductory course in the French and Swiss Alps and learn the skills and technniques you need to enjoy amazing mountaineering experiences.
Over the past 20 years, I’ve had the pleasure to introduce dozens of people to the thrilling and joys of mountaineering. This 5-day programme is perfect for aspiring alpinists with big ambitions, eager to learn how to venture into high mountains on their own.
My goal is that at the end of these 5 days you have the basic skills you need for an autonomous mountain tour. We will meet in the charming town of Chamonix, a mecca for mountaineers from all over the world.
During this alpine climbing course, we will stay each night in a different mountain hut, venturing into the Glacier du Tour, traversing the impressive Trient Glacier, and climbing the Aiguille du Tour and the Tete Blanche. You can check the day-by-day itinerary below.
We will go over the following topics:
- Glacier travel and crevasse rescue
- Essential climbing knots and how to correctly tie into the rope
- Use of crampons and ice axe on snow and ice
- Introduction to rock climbing
- Belaying on different mediums – rock, snow and ice
- Huts and route selection, planning and preparation
- Navigation and interpretation of maps, weather forecasts
My teaching method allows you to make decisions and to put what you have learned into practice, under my personal supervision. By the end of the course, you will have enough skills and training as to venture yourself on a mountain adventure on your own.
You need to be in good physical condition to join this course, but you don’t need to have previous mountaineering experience.
So don’t miss out on this opportunity and join me on this course in Chamonix! Check the dates below, book your trip and learn the skills you need for further mountaineering adventures.
Price per person
- Guiding fee
- Half-board meals during trip
- Transport during the trip
- Group equipment
What happens if I need to cancel the trip?
If you decide to cancel, you’ll get a 100% refund (minus fees) if the cancellation is notified up to 60 days before the start of the tour, a 75% refund (minus fees) if you cancel between 59 and 30 days before the start of the tour, and a 50% refund if you cancel between 29 and 21 days before the start of the tour. If you cancel less than 21 days before the first day of the tour, you won’t receive a refund. Take into account, however, that if accommodation, flights or transfers were included in the trip you booked, then a different policy may apply as the guide will be bound by the provider’s cancellation policy.
What happens if the guide cancels the trip because of bad weather/unsuitable conditions?
If bad weather or unsuitable conditions force the guide to cancel the trip, he or she will: a) propose a similar activity at a different place where conditions are better, or b) propose to postpone the activity until a later date, or c) cancel. If you refuse option a), our cancellation policy will apply. Please note, however, that the call to cancel a trip due to bad weather can only be made by the guide (not the client).
What happens if the guide doesn’t show up or cancels for personal reasons?
If the guide cancels for reason of injury or other, you will get a 100% refund on your trip.
Evening meeting in Chamonix, France, to discuss logistics and the week that lies ahead.
Albert 1er Hut - Glacier du Tour
The course gets underway with a quick list ride to reach the Col de Balme and from here we hike to the Albert 1er Hut – our first hut of the week. After a lunch break, we spend the afternoon venturing onto the Glacier du Tour. Here we will practice how to walk using crampons, using an ice axe and about different rope techniques as we explore the numerous caverns and crevasses found here. Evening at the Albert 1er Hut.
Tour Glacier-Trient Glacier-Cabane d'Orny
The day starts off early – with your first alpine start. We head up the Tour Glacier to reach a steep pass that allows access to the vast Trient Glacier. The views are majestical from here as we head off across the glacier, past the Trient hut to reach the Cabane d’Orny – or Orny hut.
In the afternoon, you will become familair with a different medium – rock climbing. You will learn about different knots, how to belay, abseil and move with balance up the steep rock walls. All the while admiring the stunning views of the glaciers and surrouning peaks. Early evening route preparation for the following day’s ascent.
Night at the Cabane d’Orny.
Aiguille de la Cabane-Cabane de Trient
Today will be a fairly casual start as since today we are climbing rock – one of the stunning spires that lies behind the hut is named after the Cabane or hut itself. Our goal of the day is to reach the summit of the Aiguille de la Cabane by one of the stellar routes all of which are on immaculate granite rock. In the afternoon, we head up the moraine and scree slopes to reach the Cabane de Trient our new base camp for the evening.
Night at the Cabane de Trient.
Orny Glacier-Aiguille du Tour-Trient Hut
This will be your first real alpine start of the week and following a short breakfast, we will head out onto the Orny glacier and travel towards the French border to reach our destination of the Aiguille du Tour. This interesting climb includes some snow and finally rock to reach it’s summit block where the 360 degree views are amazing. We will be able to learn and put into practice glacier related skills and navigation. The return is via the Trient glacier back to the Trient hut.
Night at the Cabane de Trient.
Trient Glacier-Tete Blanche-Tour Glacier
Today brings us more alpine fun with the final traverse across the Trient Glacier and plateau to reach the base of the Tete Blanche. The Tete Blanche offers a steep yet straightforward snow climb where we will put into practice our snow skills. The descent is via the Tour Glacier and finally back into the village of le Tour. Late afternoon celebrations in town with course debriefing before returning home.
F - AD - grade 3. Easy to moderate snow, mixed terrain and rock.
Technical Level: 2 out of 5
Here is what you will typically have in your pack when going to a hut and or climbing. (Items with * can be rented in most alpine areas such as Chamonix or Zermatt):
Gore-Tex (or similar breathable hardshell clothing) Jacket and pants
Lightweight softshell climbing pants
Lightweight thermal top (polypro, smartwool or capilene)
Fleece or synthetic insulation jacket
Warm ski gloves w/ leather palms if possible and a shell over-mitt
Spare pair of lightweight spring gloves or wool liners
Warm hat or balaclava
Baseball cap (for the sun)
2 pairs of socks
Glacier glasses or Cat 4 sunglasses
Harness * w/ 2 locking carabiners and a belaying device
2 prussik loops
1 long sling
Ice axe * typically anything over 60cm is too long
Crampons * w/ anti- balling plates
Mountaineering boots *. Leather is the preferred choice. Make certain your crampons work on them !
Rock shoes *
A small rucksack 30-35l (2000c.i.) is plenty big enough
Headlamp with new batteries
Telescopic poles - help take a load off you legs and back
Small compact camera, GoPro or just simply your camera phone (avoid bringing along a heavy DSLR)
Personal first aid kit (second skin, aspirin, toilet articles)
Sun block and lip cream
Water bottle 1 liter minimum - I prefer metallic bottles
Sleeping bag liner for the huts
About the Guide
IFMGA/UIAGM Mountain Guide
I am a professional mountain & ski guide. I have been guiding now since 1994. I have always been into the mountains – skiing at age 4 and secretly sneaking away for overnight bivouacs in the mountains behind my parents house. At age 13, I decided to pursue my airy scrambles for something that looked a bit more fun. I went to work as an assistant bringing out other young teenagers on exciting hiking and more importantly to me, climbing outings. One thing led to another and before I knew it my world revolved around the mountains.
At the age of 18 I moved to France to pursue my passions, later becoming actively involved with the French Alpine Club in Dijon and organizing outings and putting up climbing routes here and there in Burgundy.
In 1992, I entered the infamous ENSA or French guides school in Chamonix and became the first American to receive international certification (UIAGM/IFMGA) through this prestigious school.
Since then I have been making my living as a full time professional guide, climbing and skiing in many of the worlds great mountain ranges. I speak fluent French, some Italian and I am now learning German.
Previously I have worked as a technical consultant for Petzl, and Grivel.
If you are looking for a great adventure, skiing or climbing, please get in touch with and let's discuss about it.