From Introduction Level | Private Guiding
♦ Experienced UIAGM/IFMGA mountain guides
♦ Introduction to advanced level
♦ Any number of days
♦ High safety priority and success rate
Exploring the Frozen World
Discover the world of ice-climbing with professional mountain guides, and take on the frozen landscapes created by the winter’s low temperatures. Ice can be climbed on waterfall climbs or mountain routes in runnels and steep mountain faces.
Waterfall ice climbing is quite intriguing. It is both beautiful and a bit scary. Ice is an ephemeral element. It only exists if the temperatures are low enough and the sun doesn’t melt it away. Climbing ice, safe and sound, take good judgement and decision-making. Maybe this is what makes it so exciting. The cold environment puts the climber to the test. It’s important to have the right equipment and use it correctly.
Specific ice climbing techniques, placing ice-screws, setting up ice anchors, etc., are best learned on waterfall ice climbs. Here, you have time to practise on anything from short climbs to longer multi-pitch outings. Before taking on bigger mountain objectives involving any difficulty on ice or mixed ground, any climber would greatly benefit from spending some time waterfall ice climbing.
Book at least 3 days
We suggest to book at least 3 days of consecutive ice-climbing. Not only will you have more time to get introduced to ice-climbing or perfecting your technique. It also allows us to climb in different venues and have the most fun. This could even be going to Cogne in the Italian Grand Paradiso National Park, where good ice-climbing possibilities are abundant. The area is rightly called “the ice-climbing mecca.”
The best time to climb ice
Few other climbs are as dependent on the temperatures and moisture as waterfall ice climbs. We find good ice-climbing conditions during winter as the cold weather takes hold and the ice starts building up.
Sometimes, we climb waterfall ice climbs as early as December, but generally, we have the best conditions in January and February on pure ice-fall climbs.
Mastering the skills
Ice climbing builds onto the skills learned in rock climbing and adds the skills needed to handle the tools used in a frozen environment.
You need to learn how to handle the ice tools, become proficient in using your crampons to their full usage, place ice screws and build ice anchors, belay double ropes, set up rappels using various techniques specific to ice-climbing, etc.
A non-comprehensive list:
- Ice Tool Handling
- Crampon Expertise
- Ice Screw Placement
- Ice Anchor Building
- Double Rope Belaying
- Rappelling Techniques
- Route Assessment
- Weather Awareness
- Physical Conditioning
- Safety and Self-Rescue
- Technical Gear Knowledge
|No. of Participants||Guide-fee 1 – 4 days booked||Guide-fee ≧ 5 days booked|
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.
The fee is split between the number of people in the group. For a group of 2 participants, multiply the guide fee by the number of days booked and divide by the number of participants to get the price/person.
Example: 2 climbers x 4 days booked / 2 = the amount each will pay.
Note: These prices are for “normal” day climbs out of Chamonix. If several days booked take us to further away destinations, expect a supplement to the guide’s day rate.
Planning and logistics
Assignment of guides, planning, information before the course, reservation of lifts.
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.
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.”
Any hut or additional hotel fee is 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
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.
We don’t need to buy a lift ticket for many valley climbs.
Lunches & drinks
Mostly, you would bring a sandwich, and we find a nice place to enjoy the view and rest while eating lunch.
You should make sure you are adequately insured. Check our page on insurance.
Private guided days are flexible regarding the program. The guide will suggest training days or climbs that fit the group’s level and desires. , snow stability and glacier conditions.
The equipment we need depends a lot on what climbs we are doing. The list below would work for most ice climbs, considering that the guide brings most equipment for protection. Check out a more in-depth ice-climbing equipment page – click here
Extra warm layer
2-3 Pair of gloves
2 warm gloves
2x technical Ice axes
4-5 Locking carabiners
2 x 120cm slings
Tour Grade: From 1/From A
Please read through the requirements for participating in this tour and follow the link to the “grading page.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
You must take out search & rescue, repatriation, and cancellation insurance. Read more about insurance here – Click here.
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!
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.”