Introduction to Alpine Climbing

Come to La Grave and learn the essential skills to take you to the peaks of your dreams. We will start with the basics and move very quickly into relevant terrain. Over six days, we will cross glaciers, climb alpine rock ridges, and develop your skills to move safely and efficiently in the mountains. 


  • How to Plan an Alpine Route - gear selection, researching and finding routes

  • Glaciology - formation, crevasse recognition

  • Roped Travel and Management - rope selection, knots, glacier travel, belaying, rappelling

  • Movement - climbing techniques, how to use an ice axe and crampons, self-arrest

  • Technical Systems - gear placement, snow and rock anchors, crevasse rescue

  • Terrain Assessment - hazard recognition, managing terrain

  • Navigation - tour planning, topo maps, whiteout navigation, time calculations

To maximize learning and to allow the group to potentially climb longer and more involved routes, the ratio is two students to one guide.

If you have a larger group that would like to take the course, we can accommodate that with another local guide. 


Day 1: Meet in La Grave and discuss the goals of the group. Take the lift, the Télépherique, up to 3200 meters. From here we are on the edge of the Glacier de la Girose. We will take a tour of the glacier where you will learn about rope techniques for moving as a group on a glacier. As well, this day will be an introduction to your technical gear including your crampons and ice axe. Knots, glaciology, snow/ice anchors, and crevasse recognition will also be covered.

Day 2: This day is all about rock climbing, and learning the essential skills of belaying, climbing, rock anchors, and rappelling/abseiling. We will spend the day at a local crag, most likely at the Arsine area. 

Days 3-6: We will spend the rest of the course climbing alpine routes while learning the rest of the curriculum listed above. We will go to where conditions are best while putting your new skills to the test. These are a few of the possible routes: Râteau Ouest, Meije Orientale, Pic de Neige Cordier, Aiguille Dibona, and Traverse de la Meije. 


€1500 per climber (minimum 2 students): This includes your guide fee. Does not include other costs such as but not limited to travel, lodging, and food. 


Public Course Dates:

June 22 - 27, 2019 [2 spots available]

July 13-18, 2019 [2 spots available]

Private Dates:

Contact me if you would like to have a private course, and we can find the dates that work best for your schedule.