Autumn Alpine Skills
Our popular Alpine Skills course set in October and November, which are wilder, colder, often snowy and far quieter than the busy summer months in the Alps. The focus is on learning essential mountain skills such as crevasse rescue, ice climbing, roping up on glaciers all in a high mountain environment.
October - November
- + 12
GO OFF THE BEATEN TRACK ON A WILDERNESS ADVENTURE
Autumn in the Alps is a beautiful time of year and far quieter than the busy summer months. The focus of this trip is on learning essential mountain skills such as crevasse rescue, ice climbing, roping up on glaciers, and climbing confidently on different terrain. We will stay in the self-catering winter rooms above the Chamonix valley, which are basic but comfortable. We will be cooking our own food on gas stoves, fending for ourselves as the huts are unstaffed during the Autumn period.
By the end of the trip you will feel more confident in the high mountains as well as gaining self-sufficient skills and experience. The aim of this trip is to make you feel ready to tackle your next mountain adventure and experience the mountains in slightly harsher conditions. As it is Autumn, expect the unexpected.
YOUR ADVENTURE STARTS HERE
WHO IS THIS FOR?
You will need to come with a high level of fitness and be accustomed to being on your feet with a heavy backpack (5-10kg) for 5-8 hours per day. We recommend some basic mountain experience before signing up to this trip although you do not need to be well versed in specific techniques - that's what you're here to learn! However, a little mileage in the legs goes a long way in making this trip more manageable.
Plenty of determination is needed to keep you going throughout the trip. While this adventure is open to fairly inexperienced mountaineers, please note that doesn’t mean it’s physically easy.
Not sure whether you're ready? No sweat! Drop us a note and we'll be happy to talk it through with you.
October - November
You have some previous experience in the outdoors, whether that’s hiking, skiing or climbing. You will either be starting to venture into more technical terrain or slightly more 'aggressive' environments. Let's dial it up!
Great news! Your place on this adventure is carbon offset along with our footprint in creating it. To learn more about what we're doing head to our 'about us' page.
Kit & equipment required for this adventure
Certain items can be rented from Adventure Base such as crampons, ice axe, helmet and harness (You are able to add these to your cart at checkout). We use the latest kit from Black Diamond meaning you'll be using quality equipment and our rental options are cheaper than if you were to rent it from a local shop when you get here. Win! (Note: Your kit might vary sightly from the images below)
Please note this is a guide and you may be required to rent or purchase last minute equipment on arrival dependent on the weather and changes in itinerary. For the full downloadable Autumn Alpine Skills kit list please click here.
Straight shaft for general mountaineering
12 point steel mountaineering crampons
Standard hard plastic climbing specific helmet.
Standard climbing harness
Category 4 sunglasses
Must have high level of sun glare reduction and good UV protection.
Just in case you hit bad weather
For your nose and lips
GORE-TEX® or Similar
Light technical jacket, ideally with a hood.
GORE-TEX® or similar
Stretch, durable mountaineering trousers.
Keep them light and thin.
Keep them light and thin.
Something light and thin.
Highly breathable, lightweight synthetic technical t-shirt.
Sleeping bag silk liner
You don’t need a sleeping bag itself, as blankets are provided in the huts
Good walking socks are required
Thick and built for the cold
Thinner to be used for mid mountain conditions and glacial walking
Hiking shoes / Trail Shoes
Good grip and ankle support is recommended
Don't forget to pack spare batteries. They're essential
Ideally thin and single layered so it can fit under the helmet.
Choose your hat of choice as long as it shields you from the sun.
First aid kit
Blister kit, paracetamol, etc
Cash / credit card
For extra costs such as drinks and snacks
YOUR ADVENTURE PACKAGE
On arrival day you meet with your guides and fellow climbers at the accommodation for a welcome briefing and dinner in the evening. Here you will have an opportunity to ask any last minute questions as well as share your pre-trip excitement with your group.
- 3 days of learning alpine skills
- 4 nights accommodation half board
- IFMGA Adventure Base guide
- All transport within the itinerary
- All group equipment and food supplies
What's not Included?
- Airport Transfers (approx. €45)
- Personal equipment
- Personal insurance
- Personal snacks and drinks
This trip is running on the following dates
OUR CHAMONIX ACCOMMODATION
When not climbing the mountain we know the importance of having a comfortable base. That's why we've chosen this mountain lodge with it's super comfortable rooms and warm atmosphere for your first and last night of the trip. But don't let that nice linen and warm showers win your favour just yet. Wait until you've experienced a good old mountain hut with its basic, yet charming amenities and friendly hosts. We bet you go home missing the huts more!
- + 3
The lodge is an excellent base for our Mont Blanc trip. With stunning views of the mountain, it's well placed and just a few minutes walk from Chamonix centre. Rooms are on a twin share basis with en suite bathrooms. Breakfast is included in your stay and is always plentiful. There is also a bar and restaurant for the evenings, with some lovely outdoor space to relax in after the climb.
Twin room en suite
We'll spend 2 nights staying up in the high Alpine environment. We choose the quieter huts for this time of year where we will cook our own food over gas cookers and be completely self-sufficient. It all adds to a real wild adventure. The sleeping arrangement is in dormitories with blankets provided.
WHAT TO EXPECT
HERE'S YOUR ITINERARY
While we try and stick to the tried and tested itinerary below, the mountain and the weather sometimes has other ideas. We will always remain as flexible as possible, which is why we only work with experienced and knowledgeable guides, to make sure we can change any plans if required.
Arrive in Chamonix. Get to know the guides and other members of the group over a delicious 3 course evening meal. Overnight in the Hotel.
Approach the Mountain Hut
We will need to hike up on foot to access the high mountains (3hrs) and we will carry our overnight gear and food with gas cookers (the huts aren’t staffed at this time of year). It will feel more like an expedition, and it will be quiet in the mountains making it more of an ‘out there’ experience. In the afternoon we will cover some basic skills before it's time to cook dinner, enjoy the magnificent sunset and settle in for the night.
Head out onto the glacier
Today we take a full day of learning and progressing essential alpine skills. We'll cover things like crevasse rescue, ice climbing and general rope techniques to stay safe in wild high mountain terrain. By the end of the day you will have a better understanding of how to be more self-sufficient in the mountains. We head back to the hut and cook another delicious meal before taking an early night sleep ready for the early start tomorrow.
Climb a nearby peak
Our final day is aimed at putting the skills learned together and climb a nearby peak (somewhere around the 3500m altitude mark). During the climb the guide may hand over some of the control to the group at certain times to allow for group members to lead and learn what that is like. The aim is to summit the peak, and then head back to the hut, eat a nice lunch before descending to the valley and back to the hotel for a welcome hot shower and dinner.
Departure after breakfast.
Meet your guides for this adventure
Tom was born in the US then moved to the UK aged 11 before quickly pursuing his passions in the mountains and reaching the top level he is at today. Tom has made the French Alpine town of Chamonix his home since 2009 and is vastly experienced in all mountain disciplines having completed some incredible first ski descents and countless mountaineering and rock climbing routes.
Pablo is originally from a small mountain village in Spain and came to Chamonix with only one dream to become a mountain guide. Based in Chamonix since 2013, Pablo made the Alps his playground as a guide and as an alpinist and has climbed many of the classic alpine routes. He combines mountain guiding with helicopter rescue work in Spain during the off seasons.
Miha is an IFMGA guide from Slovenia based between the beautiful Julian Alps and Chamonix. He has been climbing for over 20 years all over the world, including expeditions to Nepal, Tibet, India, Pakistan, USA, Mexico and Peru. He summited an 8000er on his first expedition to the Himalaya, did a first ascent on the previously unclimbed Lasher peak in the Himalaya and climbed El Capitan and many routes over the Alps.
Roger has spent over 15 years guiding around the world. He is a Guide instructor at the Spanish School of Guides and is fascinated by discovering mountains with clients. Roger has a big passion about showing people his beloved mountains and sharing climbs and descents with skis.
READY TO LEARN SOME SKILLS?
We hope you've found all the information you need above, but if not don't hesitate to get in touch. If you're ready to book, follow the link below.Start your adventure