Joining one of my open courses is a great way to have an adventure with other like minded folk, learning new skills along the way. As an individual it is a more affordable way to benefit from the teaching and guidance of an IFMGA guide.


No previous Alpine Climbing experience is needed but a good level of fitness is required such as a good background in hillwalking or trekking. Or the course would also suit rock climbers wishing to go into the mountains more.
Whatever your experience level I can help you progress and to learn new skills, whether you want to become an independent alpinist, or go on further guided climbs.
The first three days allow a gradual acclimatisation for the Gran Paradiso on the last day


4 days – Friday 28th July to Monday 31 July 2017

The course is run at a maximum of one IFMGA guide to three climbers


780 euros per person

Please contact me by email to book or if you have any questions regarding the course.


Day 1 – Moving together and scrambling on rocky alpine terrain

We take the lift up to Index above La Flégère were we go to the classic Aiguille Crochues 2840m  traverse, this involves interesting but never difficult Alpine ridge terrain and a 20metre pitch of ‘Big Boot’ rock climbing. During the day we will look at moving together, taking coils, belaying, route finding and short pitching.

Day 2 – Glacial Travel, Crevasse rescue and Mixed Terrain

We drive through to Italy and take the Skyway Monte Bianco Cable Car up to Punta Helbronner 3462m where we look at roping up for Glacial travel and safe glacial travel, we then climb the Aiguille Marbree 3535m where we use some of the skills acquired the day previously along with learning to use crampons on mixed ridge terrain. After descending we do some crevasse rescue training with the focus being on simple and effective and a progression on any existing skills.

Day 3 – Rock Climbing skills & Chabod hut approach

We go to a local valley rock climbing area such as Servoz or through the Mont Blanc tunnel in Italy.
The morning will focus on effective belaying techniques, rock climbing techniques, lowering, multi pitch abseiling, multi pitch climbing techniques and prusiking.
We then drive to Valsavarenche in the Val d’Aoste (Italy) which takes about 1.5hr, then we walk up to the excellent Chabod Hut 2750m  or the Vittorio Emanuel hut 2735m depending on conditions and weather. The hut approach takes between 2.5hrs and 3 hrs.

Day 4 – Gran Paradiso 4061m

The ascent of the Gran Paradiso 4061m involves over 1300m of vertical height gain involving a beautiful glacial journey, the final section is an airy rock ridge but is protected by bolts. The panorama from the summit Madonna is fantastic. Normally it is an early start with a 4am breakfast and starting with a head torch. Gran Paradiso is one of the nicest and most isolated 4000m peaks in the alps as well as being the highest mountain entirely within Italy. After descending to the valley we return to Chamonix.

To maximise the weather and conditions at the time it may be necessary to climb in alternative venues or swap the order of the days around.


  • Cost of IFMGA Mountain Guide
  • All travel including to Italy and the Gran Paradiso national park

Other Expenses to consider / not included

  • Uplift and Cable Cars for 2 days.
  • Valley accommodation.
  • Airport transfer
  • A night in the mountain hut which is about €55-€65 Half Pension per night plus guides hut fees (discounted rate) split between the group.
  • Mountain Rescue insurance