Alpine Introduction Course

Highlights

  • Learn basic mountaineering techniques
  • Exhilarating walking in the French Alps
  • Opportunity to climb to the summit of Dome de Miage (3670m)
  • Time to experience Chamonix, the world capital of mountaineering
  • Possible 3-day extension trip to climb to the summit of Mont Blanc (4807m / 15,771 feet), the highest peak in the Alps, after completion of the course (additional costs apply)

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

This alpine introduction course is designed for newcomers to mountaineering and provides a solid basic foundation in high mountain skills, for snow, ice and rock, including crevasse rescue and navigation. We base the week in the Mont Blanc range that provides a stunning location and challenging climbs whilst undertaking the course. At the end of the trip we shall attempt an ascent on the Dome de Miage (3670m), which is a relatively straightforward climb on 40 degree ice and will be a good test of our recently acquired skills. This is a perfect introduction to alpine climbing and would be a great way to prepare for other expeditions in the Himalaya, South America or the Alps. After this course it is possible to add on a 3 day ascent on Mont Blanc (making a 10 day trip), please ask our staff for more details.

What's included

  • 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners
  • 3 nights accommodation in a 3-star chamonix hotel on a twin-share basis
  • 3 nights accommodation in mountain huts
  • Internal transport
  • Certified uiagm high altitude mountain guide (ratio of 1 guide to 6 climbers on days 2-4; and 1 guide to 3 climbers on days 5-6)
  • All common climbing gear (ropes, carabiners etc)
  • Ski lifts
  • Pre-departure information

Itinerary

Day 1 Join Chamonix
Please make your way to the group hotel which will be advised in your final documentation (any airport transfer service will take you direct to the hotel reception). A group briefing will be held at 6pm at the hotel reception, it is essential that you attend and bring your equipment with you; you will then proceed to the gear hire shop, Snell Sports, with your guide. Please ensure that your travel arrangements will have you in Chamonix at this time. Dinner and overnight at the group hotel. Snell Sports 104 Rue Paccard-74400 Chamonix Mont Blanc Tel. +33 (0) 4 50 53 02 17 Note: Hotel details subject to change; your final documents will confirm the group hotel.
Day 2 Depart Chamonix. Commence glacier instruction and basic mountaineering skills training on the many glaciers, passes and steep snowfields in the area.
From the top of the chairlift at the Balme pass, we will commence with ice-climbing basics on Le Tour Glacier: ie. using crampons, ice axe and rope management. This glacier instruction will cover the essential basics of ice axe and crampon techniques. At the end of the afternoon, we will climb to the Albert 1er hut (2702m). Dinner and overnight mountain hut. Schedule: 1.5 – 2.0hrs; Approx ascent: +570m.
Day 3 Ascend Aiguille du Tour (3529 m). To Trient refuge.
Today we will glacier hike through the cols superieur du Tour, and ascend the Aiguille du Tour (3529 m). We will learn ropework for glacier travel; and on the Aiguille du Tour, you will experience for the first time an easy rock climb (grade II and III). After your first summit, we will traverse the Trient glacier plateau to reach the Trient Hut. In the afternoon we will work on more advanced rope skills such as crevasse rescue, snow anchor etc. Dinner and overnight mountain hut. Schedule: 6 - 7hrs; Approx ascent/descent: +820m / –370m.
Day 4 Ascend Petite Fourche. Return to Chamonix.
Crossing the col Blanc (3405m) by a steep snow slope, we will ascend the Petite Fourche (3550m) with a steep snow slope and easy rock climbing. That will be the ideal terrain to walk down the Tour glacier, and reach the Albert 1er hut where we will be able to admire the Argentière north face and the Saleina glacier basin surrounded by many peaks. We will then take the chairlift down to the village of Le Tour. Transfer to hotel in Chamonix, for dinner and overnight. Schedule: 5 - 7 hrs; Approx ascent/descent: +550 m / –1400m
Day 5 Ascend to Conscrit Hut
Today we will head to Contamines village, which is located in another valley at the bottom of the Dôme de Miage and the Aiguille de Tré la Tête; a wonderful part of the Mont Blanc range to the south-west. The walk up to the hut will take us between 4 to 5 hours, with a stop at the Chalet Hôtel de Tré la Tête. Afterwards we will ascend the Glacier de Tré la Tête, where we will undertake a glacier exercice. The Conscrit Hut is quite new, and is located above the glacier in the middle of grass pastures, where you can often glimpse Ibex. Dinner and overnight mountain hut. Schedule: 4 - 5 hrs; Approx ascent: +1400m
Day 6 Ascend Dome de Miage (3670m), return to Chamonix
An early start will bring us to the Aiguille de la Bérangère (3425m). We will admire the sunrise on the southern French Alps and the Italian side of the Mont Blanc range. Following the ridge, we will descend to the col de la Bérangère, before our 400 metre re-ascent of the main Dôme de Miage (3670m). The slope is around 40° steep, and it will be a good test on our acquired skills with crampons. From the top, the panoramic view is magnificent. We will continue to follow the sharp ridge to get down to the col du Dôme (3564m). Looking behind us, the ridge is beautiful and impressive, but we worked it out! Then it is an easier descent through the big Glacier de Tré la Tête surrounded by the north face of the Aiguille de Tré la Tête, la Lex Blanche and the Dôme des Glaciers; back to the Conscrit Hut and the valley. Transfer to hotel in Chamonix, for overnight and celebratory dinner. Schedule: 8-10 hrs; Approx ascent/descent: +1000m / -2400m
Day 7 In Chamonix, trip concludes
The trip concludes after breakfast in the hotel. PLEASE NOTE: The above route and estimated times must be seen as a guide only. This itinerary may change at any time due to weather, snow conditions, group fitness or other reasons. Your guide will always make a final decision after assessing the situation and liaising with the group members.