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Course evening instruction / briefing sessions
We aim to provide more than mountain guiding, and to achieve a balance of learning skills and techniques.
On some courses, either in the UK Lakes or the Alps, there are optional instruction / briefing sessions.
These are flexible to teach you extra skills / brief you on objectives for the next day, upon your requests.
Attendance at the sessions is totally optional, and is not on every evening during the week or when huts.
Instruction sessions are offered on scheduled (non-bespoke) courses, where specified in the inclusions.
At these flexible sessions, there is a wide range of instructional content that could be covered, or specific route and equipment briefings requested by the guiding team, or even a more informal social meeting to discuss that days activities and to look at maps and / or guidebooks to chat about the plans for the next day. Below is an outline of some of the instruction sessions for a typical week long course in summer or winter. The exact topics may be varied, to cater for conditions / course content / your knowledge. Use the plans below to give you an idea of the types of talks that may be given, not the specific topics you are taught.
Summer season Winter season
Sun 16:00 Check-in
17:00 Briefings
Arrive any time from 16:00 to 17:00 to be shown into your accommodation
Course itinerary and safety briefings, followed by kit checks and hire kit allocation
Mon
to
Wed
17:15-18:00
Evening
instruction
& briefing
session
options
Climbing ropework
Rope choice, fall factors, knots, and
key shortroping safety techniques
Mountain weather systems
Interpretation of synoptic charts, and
adapting them for mountain weather
Crevasse rescue hoists
Snow anchors for climbers crevasse
rescue, and emergency rescue hoists
Maps & guidebooks
Look at resources to see where you have been, and are going next
Route / equipment briefing
Specific breifing about plans for next day(s) and the equipment to take
Avalanche awareness
Presentation on the key risk areas, the
types of avalanche, and how to avoid

Crevasse rescue hoists
Skiers and climbers crevasse rescue
emergency hoist ropework systems

Mountain weather systems
Interpretation of synoptic charts, and
adapting them for mountain weather
Maps & guidebooks
Look at resources to see where you have been, and are going next
Route / equipment briefing
Specific breifing about plans for next day(s) and the equipment to take
Thu 17:15-18:00
Evening
instruction
Night off / night in a mountain hut
Many course itineraries have a night scheduled in a mountain hut on Thursday, but if you are in town, the course hosts will meet you to chat about the days activities and brief you on the plans for the next day
Fri 18:30 Drinks
19:30 Meal
Attend optional social drinks before dinner, in a local bar close to accommodation
Optional group celebratory evening meal in a restaurant in the centre of town
Sat 10:00 Depart Accommodation check out, and return keys. End of course. Return home
As you'll see from the ideas of topics in the lists above, they are non-exhaustive and we make them season specific to be as relevant as possible. You'll note that there are more topics than there are sessions, and we cannot cover everything, so your input is vital during the week. If you don't ask, you may not get, so pipe up and request specific instruction sessions. Where time permits, the guides and instructors may elect to cover some of the topics during the daytime, rather than during the evening, so we are as flexible as possible. If no topic is requested, as a default, we always will brief those in attendance about plans for the next day.

If you finish your daytime guiding after the instruction session time-slot, there's no extra session time, as we are very aware that after a long day, you'll have learnt and experienced lots, and be keener for a shower / beer / food / bed. We cannot stress enough that these evening sessions are completely optional, and that there is nothing taught during them which you will require as essential knowledge for the next guided days. They are for general interest, for those wanting to learn that little bit more. If you speak up and request a topic, the optional sessions are there to nurture your inner geek, and to provide a bit extra. It's over to you how to use them.
 
As you can see from the schedule above, we offer a different schedule in summer and winter, where the instruction is tailored to the skills used in that season.
We are aware that you are also on a holiday, and we strictly limit the sessions to a maximum of 45 minutes long, to allow you time to go out and relax too.
We are the only course provider to offer our clients these evening instruction sessions to help provide a different dimension and method of learning.
Clients are provided with a PDF copy of the 36 page Course Instruction Booklet as a FREE download once you have booked (see the cover on left).
The location for these evening instruction sessions or talks, is varied depending on the weather and talk type, either held inside (e.g. UK office) or outside.
We keep these instruction sessions very informal and flexible, to allow you to have a good input into what sessions you wish to cover on your course.
 
On courses, where there is an option to work towards gaining NNAS training or certification, you must request training sessions in the daytime and evening.
Some clients simply wish to cover the basics of navigation, and may study maps in the context of a route plan for the mountain they ascend the next day.
 
Some groups opt for a more relaxed approach, an prefer to meet in a bar to chat about their days activites, and to make plans for the following days .
Others use these times to look at maps, so they can see where they have been each day, and where they plan to go on other days during the trip.
The time is sometimes used by the guides to brief their groups on what to take for a specific route or climb, such as a talk about Matterhorn / Gran Paradiso.
We hope you'll have got the idea that this time is flexible, to be used as you want, and we are very aware it is your holiday, so it is tailored to you.
Latest news from Icicle
Icicle open evenings
Alpine Summits evenings are FREE and open to those booked on our Mont Blanc / Eiger / Matterhorn trips. The event runs from 18:00 to 19:30 at our Windermere shop, to show films of the routes, and discuss kit and training. Click for more details). E-mail us to reserve space(s) and confirm availability.
Any further questions?
A key part of choosing a company is being able to come and talk about your plans with an experienced course advisor face to face. In an increasingly virtual world, we know our clients value speaking to real people, getting open and honest advice. The vast majority of our clients are British, and our office and outdoor store is based in Windermere in the English Lake District.



Get in contact to arrange a meeting, and come in for a coffee to discuss your course in person with a trip advisor.
 


 
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