If you've been to the Alps and want to take your alpine climbing further then this is the trip for you. We aim to take you from being a competent snow climber (perhaps you've climbed Mont Blanc or done our Monte Rosa trek) and turn you into a mountaineer. We will be focussing on scrambling skills, rock skills, and possibly even ice-climbing skills if the conditions allow.
We spend the whole week operating on a ratio of 1:2, so there are a huge number of quality routes available. By the end of the week we hope to have got you up routes graded AD- to AD. Typical routes climbed on a development week would be:
Traverse of the Aiguille Crochues. A superb rock scramble in the Aiguilles Rouges above Chamonix.
Traverse of the Aiguilles d'Entreves. A rocky ridge traverse on the Franco Italian border with some very "airy" moves.
Traverse of the Tour Noir. A classic route high above the Argentiere Glacier.
Milieu Glacier - Aiguille d'Argentiere. A steep glacial route to the top of this iconic peak.
Half Traverse of the Breithorn. A fantastic climb above Zermatt on both rock and snow.
Pollux. Another 4000m peak above Zermatt that combines scrambling, fixed ropes and a snowy finale to the summit.
We usually base ourselves in a hotel in the Chamonix Valley, and aim to spend a couple of nights in mountain refuges. Often we will travel to either Switzerland or Italy for a few days to stay in a refuge and take advantage of some of the excellent routes they have to climb.
The trip is run on a "Guiding Only" basis. This means that you've paid for the guides for the week, but all other costs arising are to be met by you. This means lifts and mountain refuges (for you and your guides) are covered by you, as is mileage outside the Chamonix Valley or Courmayeur. You should allow around 500euros for the week for these extras. Sometimes it's less, but sometimes it's a little more. It is usually best to book a hotel for the first two nights and the last night of the trip (please check with us before booking a hotel - if we get enough bookings we will try and arrange an apartment or chalet to give extra flexibility and reduced cost).