Alpine guiding – Custom programs
From Introduction Level | Private Guiding

Chamonix – The “Mecca of mountaineering & alpinism”
Chamonix is called the “mecca” of mountaineering and alpinism. Our “playground” is vast, and the choice of routes is tremendous. From popular classics to more secluded jewels.

Many lifts and cablecars (Aig. du Midi, Skyway, Montenvers, Brevent, Flegere, Le Tour, Grand Montets) provide quick access to many day climbs high up in the mountains. Taking the lifts up also helps us reduce the time on hut approaches.

We advise you to book 4-5 days. This allows us to make several day trips to maximize the climbing time or mix a couple of day climbs with a hut trip to get further into the mountains.

The most popular areas are:

The Aiguilles Rouges:
In this range, we focus mainly on rock climbs. A wide choice of routes is found, from classic ridge lines to modern sports routes. The easiest ridges are graded PD, and pure rock climbing starts in 4th grade.

Aiguille du Midi
With the easy access by cablecar early in the morning, we have a relatively large choice of great itineraries in this sector. We are high above the glaciers and climbing over 3000m of altitude.
The most popular and iconic climbs include the “Cosmique Ridge,” and “The rebuffat route on the south face of the Aig. du Midi,” “The Midi-Plan traverse,” and “The Chére couloir.” The list is long.

Pt. Helbronner:
The Italian side of the Vallée Blanche is accessed by the Skyway cablecar going from the village of Entreves to the height of 3400m at the Pointe Helbronner. From here, as from the Aiguille du Midi, we have a lot of significant climbs that are doable within a day. The “Traverse of the Marbrées” and “The Traverse of the Entréves” are popular outings ensuring a high-quality experience with plenty of scope to learn techniques on beautiful exposed rock ridges.
The Tour Ronde is another famous summit in the area. The North Face and the Gervasutti couloir are good snow/ice climbs. The descent is often done by the Freshfield Ridge to avoid the stone-fall risk on the normal route.

Plan de l’Aiguille:
The Aiguilles du Chamonix is renowned for great granite rock climbing. Good routes are. “The Papillon Ridge”, “The Peigne normal way”, “Aiguille de I’M”, “Petit Charmoz”, and “Le Lepidoptores”. These are granite entry-level climbs; anyone with a grade 5 level will have a great time.
Looking towards harder climbing, good climbs are found on the “Gendarme Rouge” on the Peigne (Contamine/Vaucher (TD, 6a, Le Maillon Manquant (ED1, 6b+) and the Red Pillar of Blaitiere (e.g. Nabot Leon (TD-, 5c), Les Diamants du President (TD, 6a+).

The interior of the Mont Blanc massif has a network of huts, which allows access to less-travelled peaks and areas in the high mountains with glacier approaches. Here, we find rock climbs, mixed routes, and beautiful summits.

Envers des Aiguilles
Guidebooks describe the enormous potential of granite rock routes on the many walls and rock faces around the Envers hut. The best idea is to plan for 3-4 days of climbing in this sector, as the approach from the Montenvers train station is fairly long. A grade 6 level is required to enjoy the climbing fully, and you should be accustomed to multi-pitch climbing and abseiling.

Bassin de Talefre
Expect a full-day approach to the Couvercle hut from the Montenvers train station.
Aiguille du Moine has an interesting southeast ridge with good climbing and great training for climbing in big boots. The descent by the normal routes is equally interesting and great training for mountains where down-climbing and efficiency are important (e.g., the Matterhorn).
This area also sports harder 4000m summits, such as the Aig. Verte, The Droites and the Aiguilles du Jardin. All these climbs are serious, and it is important to climb them in good condition. The “Courtes” and the  “Pointe Isabelle” are mountains just under 4000m and also have great objectives. Most of these mountains are climbed only for experienced groups and mainly on a 1-1 climbing ratio.

4000m peaks
Climbing alpine routes does not exempt climbing 4000m peaks. Within a week, a good plan could be to climb a few alpine routes, learn techniques, and acclimatise before climbing an exciting 4000m peak.

Many easy 4000m peaks can be climbed without much experience, but other 4000m peaks can only be reached by technical and long routes. You need to be able to climb on rock and ice, handle climbing on exposed ridge sections, be efficient and safe while down climbing, and know techniques such as abseils, crevasse rescue, and placement of protection gear. The alpine routes to these summits are often technically easier than climbing pure alpine rock routes or shorter but more difficult alpine climbs at lower elevations. Remember that the elevation, cold, wind, etc., on the 4000m peaks raises the stakes, which adds to the overall grade.

Read more about climbing 4000m peaks on this page – click here

Reach your potential
Topping out of a route and reaching a summit, greeted by a beautiful sunrise, brings emotions, joy, and a profound feeling of accomplishment. Whether shared with your friends and loved ones or just a personal voyage, these are unforgettable moments and memories for life.

Our guides are great climbers and mountaineers with local knowledge of Chamonix and the nearby Alps. Their vocation is to show you this world of wonders, providing a safe and fun experience. You can rest assured that they will help you reach your potential in this spectacular environment. You will learn many techniques and progress quickly in a small team with a guide.

Weather and conditions
We enjoy climbing where it is suitable for the moment. This is mostly where access is still possible and safe when the weather is good enough and the terrain is in good condition. For example, rock is climbed when it isn’t slippery and wet. Snow and ice conditions are suitable when a good overnight freeze stabilizes rocks and consolidates the snow and ice.
When afternoon thunderstorms are predicted, we will be down in time.

Small teams
We prefer small groups of a maximum of 2 clients per guide. This ensures that we can do climbs and routes and provide the required level of security and success.

If you are a larger group, we can propose accessible summits or glacier walking. Just get in touch, and we can discuss and provide a quote for such scenarios.

Flexible and fun programs for all levels
Let us know what you wish to do and what your ambitions are. We will plan a custom-made preliminary program for you, considering your experience, fitness, and climbing level.

Number of days?
We recommend booking guides for 4-6 days.  This gives time for several single-day climbs or one or more longer climbs or mountains. This will include time to refresh or teach basic skills, get acclimatised for higher objectives and leave us time to adapt to changeable weather conditions.

Please look at our climbing programs at the Grand Paradiso, Mont Blanc, Saas-Fee 4000m & Matterhorn. These should give you a good sense of what is possible within a specific time frame.

In the high season (July – August) most guides work in blocks of weeks so make sure to book well in advance.

2024

No. of ParticipantsGuide-fee 1 – 4 days booked Guide-fee ≧ 5 days booked
1600€550€
2650€600€
3750€700€
4850€800€

The prices are displayed as the guide’s day rate according to the number of participants.  Have a look at what is “Included” and “Excluded” under the price table.

Note: These prices are for “normal” day climbs, including many climbs from huts.
Longer and more engaging climbs will always be subject to specific pricing.

Included

Planning and logistics
Assignment of guides, planning, information before the course, reservation of lifts.

UIAGM/IFMGA guides
The guides working with us hold the highest recognized mountaineering certificate. They are equally a friendly and sociable group of guides used to handling groups and climbs in the Alps.

Group equipment (ropes & safety gear)
The guides provide the group security gear (rope, glacier travel equipment, specific climbing gear).
You only need to make sure you have your equipment.

Excluded

Any cost not mentioned in the  “Included” section. The most important ones are:

Transport to Chamonix
Read more under “More information.

Transport in Chamonix Valley
Either with your car, the guide car* or communal transport.
(*re-imburse guide for petrol, etc.)

Accommodation in the valley
Read more under “More information.

Mountain refuges
Any expenses for huts are not included in the price. The participants cover the group’s expenses (including the guides) if the guided days demand a night in a mountain refuge or a hotel night away from Chamonix.
These expenses are mostly the overnight stay, dinner, lunch, breakfast and drinks.

Any uphill lift fees
We recommend you not to buy a lift pass in advance. Often, we can get away with buying single-lift tickets. In Chamonix, the guide will have a pass for the lifts. Going away from Chamonix, the clients must cover the guide’s lift expenses.

Lunches & drinks
Mostly, you would bring a sandwich, and we find a nice place to enjoy the view and rest while eating lunch.

Insurance
You should make sure you are adequately insured. Check our page on insurance.

The prices are displayed as the guide’s day rate according to the number of participants.  Have a look at what is “Included” and “Excluded” under the price table.

Note: These prices are for “normal” day climbs, including many climbs from huts.
Longer and more engaging climbs will always be subject to specific pricing.

Included

Planning and logistics
Assignment of guides, planning, information before the course, reservation of lifts.

UIAGM/IFMGA guides
The guides working with us hold the highest recognized mountaineering certificate. They are equally a friendly and sociable group of guides used to handling groups and climbs in the Alps.

Group equipment (ropes & safety gear)
The guides provide the group security gear (rope, glacier travel equipment, specific climbing gear).
You only need to make sure you have your equipment.

Excluded

Any cost not mentioned in the  “Included” section. The most important ones are:

Transport to Chamonix
Read more under “More information.

Transport in Chamonix Valley
Either with your car, the guide car* or communal transport.
(*re-imburse guide for petrol, etc.)

Accommodation in the valley
Read more under “More information.

Mountain refuges
Any expenses for huts are not included in the price. The participants cover the group’s expenses (including the guides) if the guided days demand a night in a mountain refuge or a hotel night away from Chamonix.
These expenses are mostly the overnight stay, dinner, lunch, breakfast and drinks.

Any uphill lift fees
We recommend you not to buy a lift pass in advance. Often, we can get away with buying single-lift tickets. In Chamonix, the guide will have a pass for the lifts. Going away from Chamonix, the clients must cover the guide’s lift expenses.

Lunches & drinks
Mostly, you would bring a sandwich, and we find a nice place to enjoy the view and rest while eating lunch.

Insurance
You should make sure you are adequately insured. Check our page on insurance.

We will put you in contact with your guide a few days before you arrive. We will establish a meeting the day before, during which the guide will explain the actual weather and mountain conditions and go over the plan for the days you have booked.

The guide will let you know where to meet every day the evening before. It will either be in a place easily reached by the local bus and trains, or the guide will pick you up.

Private guiding is very flexible, and we do not propose a sample program. It is custom-made to your ambitions and requests, as well as the weather and mountain conditions.

The equipment we need depends a lot on what climbs we are doing. The list below would work for most alpine routes and rock climbs, taking into consideration that the guide brings most equipment for protection.

Clothes

Shell jacket
Mountain Pants
Water-proof overtrousers
Shell pants
Base layers
Mid-layer
Extra warm layer
Warm hat
Neck gaiter / Buff
Warm gloves
Thinner technical gloves
Socks
Snow gaiters (Short summer version).
Trekking, running, or approach shoes
Shorts
T-shirt

Technical equipment

30-35 litre backpack
15-20 litre backpack (if multi-pitch rock-climbing).
Light summer mountaineering boots
Crampons
Ice axe
Telescopic pole
Helmet
Harness
2 x Screw karabiners
Rappel devise
Prusik loop
1x 120 cm sling
Rock-climbing shoes (for multi-pitch climbs, they shouldn’t be too tight).

Various items

Headlamp (w. fresh batteries).
Water bottles / Tea flask
Snacks
First-aid
Suncream & sun-stick
Snow goggles
Sunglasses
Money
Sleeping bag liner
Phone charger
Tooth-brush
Earplugs

Tour Grade: Any Level/From B

Please read through the requirements for participating in this tour and follow the link to the “grading page.”

Technical Level

Your experience and skill level requirement depends entirely on the day’s objective (s). The more experience you have, the longer and harder routes we can do. The difficulty level we can do also depends on the group size.

Fitness

The fitness requirement is entirely dependent on the objective of the day(s). You should be reasonably fit for even the easiest days. Read more on our grading page; we can advise you when you get in touch.

General Information

Getting to Chamonix or the course venue
For most of our clients, the easiest way to get to Chamonix or the Alps, in general, is by plane. The nearest airport is Geneva.
Read more about getting to Chamonix here – Click here.

Valley accommodation
Not everyone wants the same accommodation type, so we rarely include Valley accommodation. Check our suggested hotels, B&B, and campsites on this page – Click here.

If you want us to include hotel nights in the price, please let us know what standard you are looking for.

Insurance
You must take out search & rescue, repatriation, and cancellation insurance. Read more about insurance here – Click here.

Safety
We believe our finest task is to give every client a unique mountain experience without taking unnecessary risks. The experience of the mountain guide, access to the most recent weather forecasts, and information sharing between guides are some of the important elements for making good and sound judgment calls. Suppose conditions or other situations render an attempt at a peak dangerous, avalanche conditions of a ski tour no longer possible, etc.. In that case, the guide will do his/her best to devise a good alternate plan. This might be a 100% change of the program. Emphasis is put on staying safe and having a great time!

Mountain huts
In some of our courses, we stay in mountain huts. On hut-to-hut trips, they are part of the itinerary; at other times, we use them as the starting point for a climb or ski tour.
The mountain huts offer basic accommodation in bunk-style rooms. Blankets and duvets are in the huts, so you don’t need to bring a sleeping bag. It is obligatory to bring a sleeping bag liner.
We are served a simple breakfast and a 3-course dinner (soup, main meal, dessert).
We will let the guardian of the hut know if you are on a special diet (vegetarians, allergies, etc.). Vegans will need to bring supplementary food.
There are hut slippers available for use inside the hut.
It’s helpful to bring cash for personal expenses (water, soft drinks, beer, lunches, etc.)
There is mostly no tap water in the huts, and you must buy bottled water.
You will be able to charge your phone.
Some mountain huts have showers. You must mostly pay for this; only a few huts can provide towels.

Make a booking
Please read through all the course information. Please make sure that you have the required level to join the course.
Contact us if you have any questions.

Read more about the booking process here – Click here.

We will need all to join a course to complete our “Participation Form.”